Private sales, made easy.


Are you looking to purchase a boat, caravan, car or jetski privately? It comes with its risks, but it you follow a few basic rules you are on your way to a safer and more pleasant experience.

A private sale is defined as a sale between two individuals or businesses, neither operating under a license to buy or sell an asset. So, it can be an individual purchasing from a business, a business from a business or a sale between two individuals. Unlike Dealer sales, there is no requirement for either party to perform the basic checks such as identification, PPSR or provide Warranty provisions.

The team at have provided you with some basic tips to help guide you through the process and ensure a smoother and safer sale and purchase.

Identify the Buyer, Seller and the Asset

Each party to the transaction should be identified. Sighting a copy of the Driver’s license for both the buyer and the seller will ensure both parties are comfortable with who they are dealing with. If either Party is a Company entity, then an ASIC search (ACN check) should be conducted on the business. The Registration Papers will confirm the ownership of the vehicle, so it is important to get these upfront and ensure the Identifiers on the Papers match the registration and Chassis/HIN numbers.

Sight the Registration Certificates / Rego papers

Sighting the current registration papers is important for a few reasons. Firstly, they will confirm the license is current and registered to operate on road or water. They also have all of the Identifiers which allow you to cross-check them with the vehicle, and perform a PPSR check. They confirm ownership, which can then be verified with the indentification provided by the Vendor.

PPSR Checks

PPSR checks are conducted online through third party providers or directly through the Government website – They are a necessary check when buying privately. A PPSR will check for:

  • A Security Interest, such as finance owing on the vehicle.

  • Make, Model and Colour.

  • Repairable Write off status.

  • If the Vehicle is stolen

  • If the vehicle is part of the faulty Takata airbag recall and has not been recorded as repaired.

The Buyer should perform this check as close to pick up as possible, and just prior to transferring funds.


Although not essential; if you are paying cash for the car, it may be prudent for all parties signing an invoice to ensure all details of the purchase are recorded. This may be especially necessary if either the Buyer or Seller is a Business entity.

Transfer Forms

At the time of collection and prior to handing over payment, all parties should sign the Transfer forms. By identifying each other, the Buyer and Seller need to ensure that the details on the Transfer forms are accurate. Each party should receive a copy of this document.

Don’t buy sight, unseen

In the age of Covid, buying a vehicle or marine product has led to more being purchased without being sighted. Why? Supply is currently limited and often getting access can be an issue. You should be careful in purchasing or putting a deposit on a vehicle without seeing it and driving it. Fraud in the private sale market is prominent and an important part of the purchase process is sighting the vehicle. ensuring it is in good condition and the identifiers (registration, engine and chassis numbers) match the registration paperwork provided. If you are unable to “physically” view the vehicle, then consider other options like FaceTime.

Beware of Third Party payments

If the Vendor asks that you make payment to a Third Party account i.e. an account not in their name; then make additional enquiries. More so, the checks we have already outlined above are important – ensure the Vendor is identified, request identification for the Account Holder, prepare an invoice for all parties to sign authorising the payment.

We would recommend avoiding this due to the complex nature of third-party payments.

Control the Payment of Funds

If you are financing the purchase, then consider an unsecured loan so the payments are made directly to you. This way you can control the timing of the payment. Generally, if the vehicle you are purchasing is being used as security for the loan, the payment needs to be made directly to the Vendor. The Lender (and Broker) will perform checks to ensure the transaction risk is reduced – checks such as PPSR, Vendor Identity, Vendor Bank Details and others.

The team at specialise in private sale transactions an we can help guide you through the process, helping to protect you and the Vendor. Call use today on 08 9304 2010 or Enquire below.

The information is intended to be of a general nature only. We do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss incurred as a result of reliance upon it – please make your own enquiries.

Any advice contained in this document has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situation or needs. For that reason, before acting on the advice, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs.

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