You may have previously heard of REVS (the Register of Encumbered Vehicles). As of 30 January 2012 the PPSR (Personal Property Securities Register) took over from REVS as the national database for storing vehicle encumbrances.
It is important to check the register whenever buying a used car because it helps uncover whether there is any debt associated with the vehicle.
If a vehicle you have purchased is found to be encumbered, there’s a risk that it can be repossessed by the relevant creditor.
This is not the kind of surprise that you want when buying a car and hence it’s often used as the first line of defence against the risk of this happening.