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What is the PPSR and what does it do?

The Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR) is a government database of secured property in Australia, which you may check before buying a used vehicle or in other situations.

The PPSR is the only register of its type in Australia and is the official database of secured property. It is the only way to register a business security interest over property, and to make sure you are purchasing the full title and ownership of property – not unknowingly buying something that someone else already has a claim to.

You can use the PPSR to:

  • Register a security interest in property to protect yourself or your business from loss if a customer defaults on a loan or doesn’t meet their obligations.
  • Check the register before buying a car, boats or other property to make sure it does not have a security interest on it
  • Search by individual item: Motor vehicles, boats, aircraft, aircraft parts and intellectual property can all be individually searched in various ways, such as VIN or chassis number for cars, serial number for boats or patent number for intellectual property.
  • Search by grantor: The grantor is the individual or organisation whose property may have security interests on it. If you're about to offer someone a loan or extend credit, invest in a business, or otherwise make a significant financial commitment, it's a good idea to check whether the grantor has any security interests hanging over their property. You can search grantors by their name, ABN and other information.
  • Search by PPSR number: If you want to find a specific registration, simply look up the PPSR number.

Whatever you’re looking for, you can begin your PPSR search here.

Why would I search the PPSR?

One of the most common and important reasons people use the PPSR is to check whether a car is under finance when you're buying from a private seller. Other reasons include when you're:

  • Buying a boat, aircraft or similar large purchases from a private seller
  • Purchasing used machinery or other equipment from a business
  • Buying anything that may be under finance or used as collateral
  • Conducting transactions with a seller that uses stock as collateral
  • Extending credit or offering a loan
  • Making a considerable investment in an individual or a business

Finder survey: Do Australians of different ages buy their bike new or used?

ResponseGen ZGen YGen XBaby Boomers
Used / demo1.63%1.32%
Source: Finder survey by Pure Profile of 1113 Australians, December 2023

How much are the PPSR fees and charges?

The fees for accessing and using the PPSR range from $0 to $115 (or more) depending on what you use it for.

  • There is a $2 fee for online PPSR searches, including for used cars, or a $7 fee for searches through the PPSR contact centre
  • There is no fee to get a certificate as proof of your search
  • Registering a security interest costs $6 for 7 years or less, $25 for 7–25 years or $115 if there's no set end-date. Similar costs apply to changing these statements.
  • There are no fees for ending a registration.

How to do a PPSR vehicle check

If you're buying a used car from a private seller, you can check the PPSR first to make sure there are no existing finance or other claims on it.

If you know the seller’s full legal name and date of birth, you can search by grantor here.

Otherwise, you can search by vehicle identifiers.

  • Was the car made before 1989? You will need to search by chassis number. This is the last six digits of your vehicle identification number (VIN).
  • Was the car made after 1989? The vehicle identification number (VIN) will most likely also be the serial number.
  • How do I find the VIN? The VIN can generally be found at the bottom of the passenger-side windscreen, along the driver-side door closure area, or on the car’s body or underneath it.

Search cars by VIN, chassis number or manufacturer number here.

You can also do this when buying tractors, trailers, trucks, caravans and other vehicles.

How to register a security interest on the PPSR

Before registering a security interest on the PPSR you should have written evidence of your security agreement. The PPSR is a noticeboard only, and simply registering does not actually transfer title or ownership, or otherwise grant you clear rights over property.

Once you have registered your securities interest, searchers may contact you to request more information or verifying documents.

To register a security interest you will need to:

  • Create a PPSR account
  • Provide detailed information on the nature of your interest, including collateral type, grantor details and information on involved parties
  • Log into your account and follow the prompts to register an interest. If you cannot complete it all in one go you can save your progress to finish later

After registering an interest you must let the grantor know by giving them a copy of the verification statement.

What can be listed on the PPSR?

Almost anything with value can be listed on the PPSR. Listable items are divided into four groups which are then subdivided. When you are registering your interest in property you will always need to specify the categories. Searching the PPSR is also easier when looking in specific categories.

These categories are:

Frequently asked questions

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