Share this page:
Are you concerned about a used car search result?

Have you done a PPSR used car search and the result shows something that concerns you? Learn about your options and who you can contact if information in your search doesn't seem quite right.

On this page

When you do a PPSR car or motor vehicle search, you'll get a search certificate that tells about you information about the car such as:

  • whether there are security interests registered against it (usually indicating there is money owing on the car)
  • its written-off status
  • its stolen status
  • its Vehicle registration number and expiry
  • its make, model and colour of car and
  • whether is it part of the faulty Takata airbag recall.

If you're not sure where to find this on your certificate see Understand your car search result for help.

If you've done your search and it's returned information you think is wrong, there are some steps you can take to try and resolve the issue.

Security interests or money owing

If you are the buyer

If you're thinking of buying a car, and your PPSR search show there is a registration against it, this means there could be money owing against the car.

Your first step should be to talk to the seller of the vehicle. You can ask them to have the registration removed before you buy it. Going ahead with the purchase can put you at risk of having your car repossessed if someone still owes money on it.

If you are the seller

If you are the seller, and you believe the registration against the car is an error (such as if you've already paid off a car loan in full), you can contact the person who made the registration (the secured party) and ask them to remove it. They are usually your lender. Their contact details are contained on the search certificate.

If you've asked the secured party to remove the registration and they haven't, you may be able to use our Dispute a registration process. This involves either making a request to us to remove the registration or going to court.

NEVDIS information

Every time you do a search, the information you get in your search about the vehicle's written-off or stolen status is updated. This information comes from a database called the National Exchange of Vehicle and Driver Information System (NEVDIS). This database isn't managed by us, so we aren't able to change or give any more detail about the information that's provided under the NEVDIS section in your search result. However, you do have some options.

Written-off status

The written-off information in the NEVDIS database comes from the state and territory road transport authorities, who are able to give you more information or correct an error if there is one.

If your search has returned a result with the car listed as being a statutory or repairable write-off, it may be a good idea to find out more before purchasing the car. Some risks with buying a written-off vehicle include difficulty getting it roadworthy, registered or insured and it may have a lower value due to the write-off.

If you are the seller, and you think there's been a mistake with the written-off information in the search, you can contact your state or territory road transport authority to request a correction.

Stolen status

The stolen information in the NEVDIS database comes from the state and territory police authorities, who are able to give you more information or correct an error if there is one.

If your search results show any stolen vehicle indicators, proceed with caution . If you buy a car from a private buyer which is later found to be stolen, you may lose both the vehicle and the money you paid for it.

If you think there's been a mistake with the stolen indicators returned in the search, you can contact your state or territory police to request a correction or more information.

More than one vehicle returned

If more than one motor vehicle is returned, the serial number is not unique. 

If there’s written-off or stolen information, you may need to check with the road transport authority or police to find out if it applies to the particular vehicle you’re interested in.

If there’s a registration, you could ask the secured party to confirm whether there’s money owing against the particular vehicle you’re interested in.  They may agree to give you a letter confirming what their registration relates to.

Vehicle registration, make, model or year

When you get your car search results, it usually has information about the vehicle's registration details, such as the licence plate and expiry as well as details about the car's make and model. It's a good idea to check these details against the car you're thinking of buying to make sure they match up. If they don't match up, you may want to proceed with caution.

See Understanding your used car search result for help with what to do if there is more than one car listed.

Check the VIN

If the details returned in your search results don't match the car you're looking at, first make sure that you've searched for the correct vehicle identification number (VIN) or chassis number. If you accidentally entered the wrong serial number, it may have returned results for another vehicle.

If you find you've put in the wrong serial number, make sure you do another search using the correct VIN or chassis number so you are protected if you buy the car.

If the VIN is correct

If you checked the VIN or chassis number and you're sure it was entered correctly, proceed with caution, as details not matching is one possible indication that the VIN or chassis may have been altered. You may also consider doing an online registration check using the car's registration plate number through your state or territory road transport authority. These are usually free and can give you the car's VIN, registration expiry date as well as details of the vehicle's make and model.

Details not matching may also be an issue with the information entered in the NEVDIS database. You may want to speak to the seller of the car (although proceed with caution) - as they may need to ask their local road transport authority to correct the mistake.

As the NEVDIS database isn't managed by the PPSR, we aren't able to change or give any more detail about the information that's provided under NEVDIS in your search result.

Takata airbag recall status

If your search results indicate the car is affected by the compulsory Takata airbag recall, you can check if the airbag has been replaced by going to Is My Airbag Safe. If the car was part of the recall, but has since been repaired, it will not return any result as being affected by the recall. If the car was never affected, the PPSR search won't return any information about the recall.

This information is provided monthly by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the results returned in your PPSR search may not be updated in real time. Visit Is My Airbag Safe for further information.

For more information about the recall visit the ACCC's Product Safety Compulsory Takata airbag recall.

No additional information

If your PPSR car search returned no additional information under NEVDIS, this may have been due to:

  • An incorrect VIN or chassis number being searched on - check you've entered the serial number correctly and selected the correct serial number type (i.e. VIN, chassis or manufacturer's number).
  • The NEVDIS database being unavailable at the time of search (we'll always notify you on our website and on the PPSR when this happens).
  • The vehicle has either never been road registered or has been unregistered for a long period of time. Contact your state or territory road transport authority for more information.

Note: even if your search does not return NEVDIS information, it will still provide you with information about any security interests registered against the serial number of the vehicle you did your search on.


As written off and stolen data (NEVDIS information) is not managed or maintained by us, we have no control over its accuracy or availability. We do not provide refunds when this information is incorrect or not available.

Was this information helpful?

We welcome your feedback to help us improve our website.
Unfortunately we are unable to respond to individual comments or suggestions.

For enquiries see the options available in our contact us section.