How to Save Money Buying a Used Car

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It’s not always easy to buy a used car, because you are never sure exactly what you are buying. For some people it can be a very stressful time and for others, it can be an easy process. It all depends on whether or not you know your cars and can determine whether a car is a good buy or not.

The value of car however, is not only in its mechanical soundness, but also whether or not the vehicle is encumbered or even stolen. Another problem is whether or not the car is on the Written-off Vehicle Register (WOVR). If the vehicle is on the WOVR, then you won’t be able to insure the vehicle, even if you buy it, not until it is inspected and shown to be road worthy again.

It is not unknown for some unscrupulous people to purchase these WOVR vehicles, tidy them up and sell them for a profit. In a private sale, the onus is you to perform due diligence, when purchasing any second hand vehicle.

On the other hand, when you purchase a second hand car from a dealer, you have certain assurances and legal protections around these matters, but if you buy from a private seller, there is no protection.

This problem applies to dealers who purchase private vehicles, as much as it does to individuals. Because dealers must also perform due diligence when buying cars for their lots or else they will rapidly lose money in their business.

This is where the Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR) comes in, because this register can help you make the right decision concerning a second hand car purchase.

What can the PPSR tell you about a vehicle?


Once you enter the VIN number into the PPSR, the resulting search will give you information on the make, model, year, and colour of the vehicle. So if this data does not match up with the vehicle, then you already know that the vehicle is not fitted with its original engine. If the seller has already disclosed this information, then that’s fine. If not, then this can be a red flag for proceeding with the purchase.

You will also find out whether or not whether the vehicle is encumbered, because the search will indicate any bank or other financial lender who has a registered interest in the vehicle. The last thing you want is to buy a second hand car where the seller still owes $5,000 to the bank – and then they disappear and you are now the registered owner of the vehicle.

If the vehicle has been recorded as stolen, this will also show on the PPSR and whether or not it is on the WOVR as well.

You can search the PPSR for interests in other items of personal property, not just in second hand cars. If you are an individual, then a single search of the PPSR costs you around $4.00, so it is well worth the cost.

As a business owner, who needs to make multiple searches for interests in personal property items, then the easiest option is to perform a PPSR search with Infotrack, who are PPSR brokers. Infotrack gives you the ability to perform bulk searches, generate automatic reports, and reduce the risk to your business, quickly and efficiently.


Photo courtesy of: StockSnap

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Kayla is a mid-20s single girl living in the Midwest, USA. She is focused on paying off her consumer and student loans, while simplifying her life and closet. You can join her on her journey at or follow her on Twitter @shoeaholicnomor.

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