Consumer protection

Search before you buy

If you check the PPS Register before you buy, you can find out if the personal property you are buying has a security interest attached to it. This is important because if a consumer buys property subject to a security interest, it is possible that the person with the security interest will come and claim it.

Personal property such as cars, boats and art works are covered by the personal property security (PPS) system. The PPS system means that an agreement which provides for a security interest to attach to personal property may be registered on a single national register created under one piece of national legislation, the Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Cth).

For more information go to the information sheet about purchaser protection and the PPS Act.

Who is affected by the PPS system?

Consumers will generally be affected by the PPS system when:

Buying a car?

Buying a new or second hand car is the most likely situation for a consumer to come in contact with the PPS Register.

This is because more than seven million transactions involving interests in cars were registered on the various state and territory registers (REVS) in 2009.

A similar number of consumer personal property registrations is forecast for 2011­-2012.

Since the commencement of the PPS Register, it is the single national register for registration of security interests against all types of personal property (which includes cars).

Registrations on state and territory registers that existed at the time of commencement of the PPS Register were migrated to the PPS Register shortly before the PPS Register commenced operation.

Borrowing money to buy new or second hand car?

If you are a consumer buyer of a new car with a financing agreement you do not need to worry about making a PPS registration yourself.

Registrations of financing agreements for the purchase of new or second hand cars will generally be made by the finance company or bank which is lending you the money to buy the car.

Buying a second hand car privately

Before buying a car privately you should check that there is no money owing on the car by searching the PPS Register.

Buying other types of personal property?

Many other types of personal property (other than cars) can be used to secure a payment or other obligation, and therefore those security interests may also be registered on the PPS Register. For more information about the types of consumer personal property against which a security interest can be registered see the definition of consumer property in the glossary.

Why search the PPS Register?

Searching the PPS Register will assist consumers to obtain information about personal property in a simple and inexpensive way to ensure it can be purchased free from security interests that could lead to repossession by a finance company or other individual or company.

The new Australian Consumer Law

Since 1 January 2011, Australian consumers - wherever they live in Australia - have the same consumer protections under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).

The ACL replaces different national, state and territory laws about consumer rights and trader obligations for goods and services with a single, national set of rules.

For more information, see the Australian Consumer Law website.

Last modified 7/10/2014 5:21 PM
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