When you buy a vehicle, you need to know you are buying it free from any unpaid debt. Buying a vehicle that is free and clear of any debt is known as clear title.
A Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR) certificate gives you information about any outstanding debts attached to a vehicle.
For example, if a bank has given a loan to the previous owner of the vehicle, who has not yet fully repaid, the bank has a financial interest in the vehicle. The bank is legally able to repossess the vehicle if the loan defaults.
If the PPSR certificate shows any outstanding debts, make sure the previous owner clears them before you pay for the vehicle.
Getting a PPSR certificate
If the used vehicle is being sold by a licensed motor dealer or licensed auctioneer, they must guarantee clear title. They are not required to give you a certificate, but you are guaranteed clear title regardless of whether you are given a certificate or not.
If you buy from a private person, it is your responsibility to get a PPSR certificate. The certificate can be used to prove the results your search until midnight on the day the certificate is issued.
Last reviewed 30/01/2012