The Importance of PPSR Checks When Buying Used Cars

After purchasing the car, Amanda attempted to insure it, only to be told it was previously written off

·3 min read
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Hidden History: The Importance of PPSR Checks When Buying Used cars

Imagine finding the perfect used car, only to discover it has a hidden past that could cost you dearly. This is exactly what happened to Amanda, who learned the hard way that a thorough check is crucial when buying a used car.

Amanda's Story: A Lesson in Hidden history

Amanda found a great deal on a used car that seemed to tick all the boxes. She was excited about her purchase and didn't realize the importance of a PPSR (Personal Property Securities Register) check before handing over the cash. After purchasing the car, Amanda attempted to insure it, only to be told it was previously written off. She contacted the seller, Joe, who claimed it was a repairable write-off and properly repaired. But Joe refused to reimburse Amanda, leaving her with a car that was worth less than she paid, difficult to insure, and even ineligible for registration in some states.

What are Write-Offs and What Do They Mean?

Write-offs occur when a car has been damaged to the point where it's considered a financial loss. There are two types:

  • Statutory Write-Offs: The damage is so severe (like a bent chassis) that it's unsafe to repair. These cars are typically only used for parts.
  • Repairable Write-Offs: The cost of repairs is likely to exceed the car's market value. These cars can be repaired to a specific standard, assessed, and re-registered.

However, repairable write-offs often come with hidden consequences:

  • Lower Value: They generally sell for less than comparable cars that haven't been written off.
  • Insurance Complications: Some insurers may not offer full coverage or may increase your premiums.
  • Warranty Issues: Factory warranties may be voided on late-model cars.

The Power of PPSR searches

A PPSR Search reveals crucial information about a car's history. It would have shown Amanda that the car was a write-off, giving her the chance to investigate further and decide if she wanted to proceed with the purchase.

Why is a PPSR Search Essential?

  • Protects You from Repossession: It shows if a car has outstanding loans or finance agreements, which could lead to repossession.
  • Uncovers Hidden Issues: It reveals if the car has been written off, stolen, or is on a safety recall list.

What are Written Off Vehicle Codes ?

Your PPSR report contains information from the Written Off Vehicle Register about vehicles that have been declared a "write-off". This includes vehicles that have been badly damaged and are unsafe to drive. It also includes vehicles where the estimated cost of repair is more than the value of the vehicle. See Written Off Vehicle Codes for specific details about the codes and how to read them.

What You Should Know

  • Do Your Research: Even if a used car seems like a great deal, always do a PPSR Search before you buy.
  • State Regulations: Each state has different regulations regarding the registration of written-off vehicles. Check your state's requirements before purchasing a repairable write-off.
  • Negotiate: Don't be afraid to negotiate the price of a written-off car, taking into account its lower market value and potential future issues.

Remember, a PPSR Search can save you from a world of trouble when buying a used car. Take the time to do your research, and you can drive away with peace of mind instead of regret.

See our docs page for more information, or Contact Us if you have any questions.

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