Car History Report Guide

Car History Report Guide

Buying a car can be an exciting experience. There are so many types available with numerous great options. However, many car buyers find themselves out of their element and purchasing a vehicle is a stressful experience.

Unless you are buying a brand new car fresh off of the dealer’s lot, your car will have a bit of history that comes along with it. While this is normal, knowing the history of a vehicle you are considering buying is a vital part of the process.

What is a Car History Report?

A car history report is a detailed document that shows the history of a used vehicle in Australia. The report is designed to disclose significant information about a car to potential buyers. These are available on vehicles registered in Australia. Car histories and reports are essential for your peace of mind. Additionally, if you need a loan to purchase a car, your lender will want specific information before they approve the loan.

How Can I Get a Car History Report?

Getting a report of your car’s history is a straightforward process that is fast and relatively inexpensive. To get a report, go to one of the reputable online sites such as Rev’s Check Report, Car Facts, or You will likely find free or exceptionally inexpensive history search sites, be advised that you may get what you pay for if you use one.

There are two ways you can search for a car history report:

  1. The VIN – All cars have unique vehicle identification numbers or VINs. Enter the number on your car history site to initiate a search using a VIN. If you cannot locate the number, the seller should be able to provide it. If the VIN is not available or appears to be tampered with, you should not purchase the vehicle.
  2. The Rego Number – The Rego or registration number can be used to generate a report on your car’s history. Enter the number on your site to get your information.

Note: You can also get the PPSR (The Federal Government’s Personal Property Securities Register) for the history of a car using the registration number and the state. You will get the following information:

  • If money is still owed on the car
  • Its written-off status
  • Its stolen status
  • If it is part of the faulty compulsory Takata airbag recall and has not been recorded as repaired

You should remember that while this information is important, this is not a complete history of a pre-owned vehicle. There are other necessary facts you should know about a car before you buy it.

Man checking car history report.

What Information Should Appear on a Car History Report?

A clean car history will be helpful when you are sorting out financing. While some companies may have slightly different information in their car history reports, you can typically find the following:

  • ANCAP Safety and Emission Ratings – See how well the car you may purchase did on emissions and Australian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) the year it was built
  • Damages and Written Off Check – The vehicle’s history regarding accidents, hail, flood, fire or other occurrences are chronicled, as well as information regarding if the car has ever been damaged so badly it was written off as a total loss
  • Odometer Check – The report will confirm the car’s correct odometer reading. Roughly 1% of vehicles show an odometer discrepancy, but you do not want to be buying a car from that group
  • PPSR Certificate – The information regarding money owed on the car, its stolen or written-off status and if it has been repaired as part of the Takata airbag recall
  • Previous Sale Information – How many others have owned the car before this sale
  • Sales Price – Find out if you are paying a fair price or if the seller is asking too much
  • Stolen Status Check – It is vital to learn if the car you are about to buy is stolen, as this happens about every nine minutes in Australia. Getting a car history check can save you massive frustration and lost money.
  • Vehicle Financial Liability Check – Buying a car that someone else has stopped payments on will put you at risk of losing the vehicle to its owner. The owner is entitled to repossess the car even if you are not responsible for failing to pay.

Top Three Reasons to Get a Car History Report

  1. All vital facts about the car are out in the open – By law, car dealerships only need to ensure no finance is owed on the car, the vehicles they are selling are of acceptable quality, and they match their description. That leaves quite a bit of room for omitting things like being written off because of flood damage or being hit by a Ute.
  2. You are paying a fair price for the car – Kicking tyres and admiring a brilliant clear coat will not guarantee anything as far as the value of a car. You can get reasonable price comparisons based on information in a car history report. Additionally, a report can alert you to suspicious odometer readings. Rolling back the odometer can give a vehicle the appearance of greater value.
  3. You know what you are buying – Unless your car has just rolled off of the assembly line, you have no idea what may or may not have happened to it. Tell-tale signs of accidents are not always apparent right away, cleaning up cosmetic damage from events like floods cannot erase the permanent damage to parts like the car’s motor or electrical system. And not every car with a low odometer reading was owned by a little old lady who only drove it to church on Sunday.

We understand how intimidating buying a car can feel. So at Loans Unlimited, our expert staff will help you through the loan process. We are available to answer questions and clarify the processes involved in securing a car loan. Our team can also help you with other products, such as personal or leisure loans and refinancing.