What is the PPSR and what does it do?

How to register and check for secured property on the PPSR.

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The Personal Property Securities Register is a database of currently secured property in Australia. If your business has a security interest in property, such as if you’re a lender who has accepted a car as collateral, then you can register your interest to officially mark yourself as having certain legal rights over the property. You can also check the register before purchasing a privately owned vehicle.

You can use the PPSR to:

  • Register your business interests in property to protect yourself from loss if a customer defaults on a loan or doesn’t meet their obligations.
  • Check the register before buying cars, boats or other property to make sure it does not have a security interest on it

What is the PPSR?

The Personal Property Securities Register is the only register of its type in Australia and is the official database of secured property. It is your only go-to for registering your business security interest over property, and for making sure you are purchasing the full title and ownership of property, and not unknowingly buying something that someone else already has a claim to.

One of the most common and important uses of the PPSR is to check whether a car is encumbered when you’re buying from a private seller. Private car sales are done at the buyer’s risk, so the PPSR is used to make sure you know what you’re getting.

The ideal way to search the PPSR depends on what you’re looking for.

  • 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 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 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?

Other than checking whether you're buying an encumbered car, you should also consider doing a PPSR search if you are:

  • 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

How much are the PPSR fees and charges?

  • For online PPSR searches, you will pay a $3.40 fee per search.
  • Registering financing statements online (registering your securities interest over property) carries costs depending on the duration of the statement. It cost $6.80 for 7 years or less, $34 for 7–25 years, and $119 for no stated end time. Similar costs apply to amending these respective statements.
  • There are no fees for discharging financing statements.

How to do a PPSR vehicle check

Thinking of buying a used car from a private seller? Check the PPSR first to make sure no one else has already laid claim to it. Private vehicle sales are largely buyer beware, so making sure the car is clear is your obligation. This also applies when purchasing tractors, trailers, trucks, caravans and other vehicles. 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.

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:

Have more questions?

Should I use a third-party PPSR checking service?

No. They only use the tools discussed on this page and don’t do anything you can’t do yourself. They also charge higher prices. Follow-up account management may also be required, and it’s a good idea to know how to do it yourself.

How long do I have to register an interest after closing a deal?

You should register it as soon as you have whatever information you need to do so. You may not be able to claim any rights over the property until you have registered your interest.

Do I have to do a PPSR check when buying a car privately?

No, but you should. If you buy an encumbered car, it can be repossessed from you even if it wasn’t your debt. A search costs $3.40 and can be done online, which is much better than unexpectedly losing your new car.

How much does a deal have to be worth before I should register my interest with PPSR?

It’s up to you. Note that you may be unable to claim rights to property without registering your interest. PPSR advises you should register all interest worth $5,000 or more.

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