Looking at purchasing a second-hand caravan privately? It could be hiding secrets. An easy $2 search can tell you if a caravan has money owing on it. Vehicles that have a security interest against them may be repossessed by loan providers if the security interest isn’t discharged.
For example, Noel and Judy had recently retired and were looking to buy a second-hand caravan to kick off their nomadic lifestyle and travel around Australia. Jim, a good friend, was about to upgrade his caravan and suggested they come check it out before he advertised it online.
The caravan met their checklist requirements and was being offered at a good price. Noel paid cash the following day, without completing an Australian Government PPSR search.
Six months later Noel and Judy went to trade in the caravan in order to upgrade. The dealership they went to advised they were unable to go ahead with the sale. The Dealer identified that there was a PPSR registration against the caravan’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). This meant there was an outstanding debt for the caravan, and the dealer wouldn’t accept the caravan as a trade in.
The next day XYZ Caravan Finance Company contacted Noel advising they were coming to collect the caravan due to the fact their client had stopped making repayments.
Noel and Judy didn’t know anything about XYZ Caravan Finance Company and were distressed about the situation, particularly since they’d bought the caravan from Jim, a trusted friend.
It turns out Jim had also bought the second-hand caravan from a private seller without completing an Australian Government PPSR search – and then sold it to Noel and Judy without knowing there was money still owing on it.
As a result, Noel and Judy are left with no money and no caravan. XYZ Caravan Finance Company repossessed the caravan in order to repay the outstanding debt.
If Noel and Judy had done an Australian Government PPSR search, it would have shown there was a security interest registered against the caravan by XYZ Caravan Finance Company. Noel and Judy could have then contacted XYZ Caravan Finance Company to ask for more information about the security interest and determine whether it was still worth purchasing the caravan from Jim.
For more information or to complete an Australian Government $2 PPSR search, visit ppsr.gov.au.
Loss of Vehicle – A finance company can legally repossess the caravan to pay out the existing loan.
No money back – Finance companies mostly sell at auction and aim to recover their own costs. There are often no funds left over for someone in Noel and Judy’s situation.