Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is a CarFacts History Report?

A CarFacts History Report is a comprehensive report of a used car's history. A CarFacts History Report gives you the confidence and peace of mind to make what can be a very stressful and difficult process a lot easier and safer. All CarFacts History Reports contain a Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR) certificate and, depending on the information returned, will also show:

  • if there is finance / money owing on the car (encumbrance)
  • if the car has ever been written off or stolen
  • if there are any odometer discrepancies (possible rollback)
  • car identification
  • car description
  • Market Comparison
  • registration details
  • green star rating
  • ANCAP / Safety rating

What is a Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR) Certificate?

A PPSR Certificate is an Australia wide check for financial encumbrances registered against a car. The PPSR replaced state based REVS registers in January 2012, providing details of any finances or money owed against a car including the interest holder, the car recorded on PPSR, the date the interest was recorded on PPSR and the type of interest. It may also include information including whether the car has been recorded as written-off or stolen.

Why should I get a CarFacts History Report?

A CarFacts History Report may prevent you from buying a car with a hidden past. A car with finance owing could be repossessed to pay off the debt, leaving you without car and out of pocket. A car which has been written off, stolen or had the odometer rolled back might mean you'll pay too much for that vehicle. Don't get taken for a ride - a CarFacts History Report can give you give you peace of mind you're getting what you pay for.

I am selling my car. Can I still get a CarFacts History Report?

Yes, and what better way to show prospective buyers that the car you're selling is a sound purchase! It's as easy as showing them your independent CarFacts History Report to demonstrate your car's clean history and give them the confidence to buy your car today.

Where can I find a car's Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)?

The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) can be found in a couple of places including on the car's registration label, on the build plaque in the engine bay or on the passenger side windshield and door jamb. It also appears on registration and insurance documents. Make sure you enter the VIN accurately, here are tips to make sure you have the right number:

  • copy and paste the VIN if it comes from a web site
  • type the characters in groups of four (no spaces)
  • the letters "I", "O" and "Q" never appear in a VIN
  • the VIN must be exactly 17 characters in length
Where can I find the VIN?

Why are there a selection of vehicles to choose from after I enter a VIN?

A VIN is a unique identifying number, like a car's finger print. The VIN does not always tell us the exact make, model and variant of a car which we use for reporting the car's information such as fuel type, engine size, fuel consumption, cylinders / rotor numbers, power and torque, C02 emissions, safety ratings and environmental ratings. In these instances we need you to tell us a little more about the car to ensure we match it accurately and provide the best possible report for you.

Why is the vehicle I am checking not listed when I enter a VIN?

Sometimes we won't have a list of possible matches or we do but your car won't be on the list. It's nothing to worry about, but we do need a bit of help from you. In these instances we ask that you select your vehicle from the drop down boxes. After confirming these details we can tell you all the vehicle information such as fuel type, engine size, fuel consumption, cylinders / rotor numbers, power and torque, C02 emissions, safety ratings and environmental ratings.

I have an older car which doesn't have a VIN. Can I still get a CarFacts History Report?

Unfortunately, no. CarFacts History Reports rely on VIN's as the prime identifier of a car. All vehicles manufactured on or after 1 January 1989 will have a VIN. You can look up cars on the PPSR Government website by using a chassis or serial number to receive basic information.

Does my VIN need to be correct to get a CarFacts History Report?

Yes, it does. An inaccurate VIN will result in an invalid or inaccurate report. Always double check the VIN and refer to our advice on getting it right.

Why is there information missing from my CarFacts History Report?

There are a couple of reasons why specific information might not appear on your CarFacts History Report. Data might not be available for a particular part of the vehicle or the car's history, or if the 'Vehicle ID and Registration' section is blank you may have entered an incorrect VIN.

What does encumbrance mean?

"An encumbrance relating to a vehicle" put simply means there is money owed on a loan relating to the car. We recommend you check the finance is cleared and the encumbrance removed prior to purchasing the car. It's also a good idea to ask for proof of repayment from the seller and contact the financer for verification.

How long does it take for encumbrance history to be removed from a car's records?

The length of time it takes for an encumbrance to be removed from a car can vary. The person or entity holding the security (which is likely to be a finance company) is responsible for informing the PPSR when interest is no longer held. It may also take some time for the PPSR to process this request. If you believe that an encumbrance on a car should be removed, we suggest the person who allowed the security to be taken out over the vehicle (the granter) contact the finance company (the secured party) to ensure this information has been passed on to the PPSR. We recommend you make sure all the finance is cleared and encumbrance removed before buying the car. Ask for proof of repayment from the seller and contact the financer for verification.

What does it mean if a car has been 'written off'? Are there any implications for a buyer?

If a car's been 'written off' it means it's been in an accident or has suffered some form of impact, water, fire or malicious damage.

Sometimes car's which have been written off are unable to be re-registered (declared a statutory write off). Sometimes though they can be repaired and re-registered if they pass a written-off vehicle and safety certificate inspections (a repairable write-off).

Just because a car was written off, doesn't necessarily mean you shouldn't buy it. It does mean though, that you should do some thorough checks when to make sure it's safe - and is owned by the person selling it. Your state or territory road authority will be able to help with any specific queries about the accuracy of 'write off' information provided.

What does the odometer reading check do?

An odometer reading check will show you whether the odometer could have been rolled back to show less Kms on the clock. We use data from the carsales Network and affiliate entities to perform these checks.

What is an ANCAP rating?

These ratings referring to the vehicle's Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) crash test performance. You can find out more about these ratings and how they're worked out visit www.ancap.com.au

The vehicle I searched on is reported as having been stolen, what should I do?

If the car you requested a CarFacts History Report for has been reported as stolen, we suggest contacting the state or territory law enforcement as indicated on the PPSR certificate included in your report.

Who do I contact if the information on one of the reports is not accurate?

You can contact us at support@carfacts.com.au.

Market Comparison

Compare similar cars in the market based on odometer reading and sales price.

I ordered a CarFacts History Report but haven't received it yet. What do I do now?

You can contact us at support@carfacts.com.au.

How long does it take to receive a CarFacts History Report after I order one?

We'll usually email you a copy of your CarFacts History Report within 15 minutes. We do rely on external data for some parts of your Report. These can sometimes be delayed but this is unfortunately out of our control. If you haven't received your report or are having trouble you can contact us at support@carfacts.com.au.

I've lost my CarFacts History Report, can I another copy of it?

We can re-send you a copy of a CarFacts History Report which has been generated within the last month. All you need to do is send an email to support@carfacts.com.au with the email address used to order the report, as well as the date and time. Data may have been updated from the time of the original report, so for the most up to date information re-enter the VIN and lodge a request for a new CarFacts History Report.

How long is a CarFacts History Report valid for?

A CarFacts History Report is a point in time report which are time stamped upon production (Canberra time).

The report can assist a buyer to acquire serial-numbered personal property (such as a car) free of security interests if they search the PPS Register and do not find any security interest registered against that property. For the protection to apply, the search must be done immediately before the transaction, or up to the previous day. Exceptions do exist and consumers should refer to www.PPSR.gov.au for full information.

How accurate is information included in a CarFacts History Report?

The information supplied in a CarFacts History Report is extracted from information provided by various government, internal and external sources. It is only as accurate and up to date as what has been entered into the government and other national databases. For terms and conditions click here.

Don't risk buying a car with an unknown past

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Where do I find the VIN?

View Sample Report