What is the purpose of a REVS check?

Where Can I Find the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number)?

The vehicle identification number (VIN) is composed of 17 characters (digits and capital letters) that act as a unique identifier for the vehicle. A VIN displays the car's unique features, specifications and manufacturer.

The VIN can be found in a couple of places including on the car's registration label (1), on the compliance plate in the engine bay (2) or on the passenger side windshield (3), or on one of the door posts (where the door latches when it is closed) (4). See the image below:

Look for the VIN in these other locations:

  • Insurance card/Insurance policy
  • Vehicle title and registration certificate

Running a REVS check before you commit to buying a used vehicle is a smart way to keep you – and your money – safe on the road. 
These days, a REVS (Register of Encumbered Vehicles) check report is more commonly known as a Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR) check. When you run a PPSR check or REVS check online today, you’re now getting access to a nationwide database of vehicle information, instead of having to run an individual check for each state like you used to. 
This makes a REVS check an incredibly cost-effective and time-efficient way to check if the vehicle you want to buy is worth the sale price, if the physical condition in which it is being sold is genuine, and finally, if it reflects a low risk to your physical or financial safety. 

What is the purpose of a REVS check?

The purpose of a REVS check is to help you make an informed decision about the levels of risk involved with the purchase of a particular used vehicle (e.g., a car or a caravan). Not all sellers are honest, and it’s important to understand exactly what you’re about to buy. 
For example: if you unknowingly – or knowingly – purchase a vehicle that has a current security interest or financial encumbrance, such as a car finance loan taken out by the previous owner, you run the risk of that car being repossessed against their debt should the debtor fail to meet their loan payment terms. Regardless of the fact you now own the car, you will be left out of pocket and usually without any rights to claim compensation for the cost of the car (or a replacement). 
Ensuring your future vehicle is not at risk of being repossessed is just one of the reasons why running a REVS check is so important. If you buy a car that has been classed as a repairable write-off by an insurance company  due to weather or accident damage, you also run the risk of not being able to get your vehicle fully insured. In fact, some states refuse to register them at all – and will prevent you from reselling. 
We offer two different types of REVS checks for caravan or car to ensure your peace of mind: a standard car history check, and our premium CarHistory report. Both provide useful information on the specifications, sale and damage history of a used vehicle, as well as a vehicle registration check and an encumbered vehicle check accompanied by a government-generated certificate, verifying the current encumbrance status of the vehicle. 
For the careful buyer, our comprehensive CarHistory PPSR VIN check provides a much more in-depth vehicle history including:

  • Manufacturer specifications like car or caravan model and variant, country of origin, year of production, engine and airbag details, transmission type, and more;
  • Whether any legal modifications have been made to the vehicle;
  • If the car or caravan is under security interest,e.g., any loan finance or debt arrangements that may cause the vehicle to be repossessed;
  • A stolen vehicle check;
  • Accident history;
  • Water and storm damage checks; 
  • The current Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) safety and emissions rating;
  • Its current valuation and market comparison;
  • Whether the vehicle has been written off by an insurance company or deemed unroadworthy;
  • An odometer check to see if it has been wound back to make the car or caravan appear like it has done less mileage than it really has. 

Because the onus is always on the buyer to research their purchase before they buy, having the comprehensive information provided by our premium report can better prepare you to assess the risk and market value of your prospective used vehicle. 

How long does it take for a REVS Check?

Regardless of whether you request our standard or comprehensive CarHistory report, a REVS check only takes a few short minutes. All you need to get started is a VIN or the rego number and state of the vehicle you’re interested in. 
If you're running a VIN check, make sure the VIN on the rego or insurance paperwork matches the one on the vehicle. When requesting the vehicle identification number remotely from a seller, make sure they can provide recent photo evidence of the VIN on the paperwork and vehicle itself. 
Asking the seller to provide a clear photo of the VIN listed on the rego or insurance documents alongside the VIN on the car door frame is an easy way to ensure that the VIN you’re being given is genuine.

How to do a REVS Check?

We’ve made completing a REVS check easy. 
Once you’ve got your VIN or the car rego and state information, enter it into the VIN search box located on the right side or bottom of our website and hit ‘Get Report’. 
Next, follow the prompts to nominate your preferred REVS check report type (standard or comprehensive), enter your email address for delivery of the report, and complete the relevant payment details. 
Then, sit back and take it easy! You’ll have an easy-access PDF file with all of the requested information in your inbox within no time at all. 
Remember: the closer you run a VIN lookup to the purchasing date, the more accurate the information provided will be. 

View a sample report >