Motor Vehicles

Buying a Car

Before purchasing a vehicle, we recommend that you check the Personal Property Security Register (“PPSR”). The PPSR is an online database that records if your potential vehicle has been used as security for a loan, written off in an insurance claim, or reported as stolen.

For more information on the PPSR, and how to use the PPSR, visit the PPSR website and search for “buying a car” using the search function in the top right corner; or call our advice line on (08) 9221 7066.

Contract to buy a car

A contract to buy a car from a dealer will contain a list of ‘conditions’ on the back of the contract. These conditions describe the rights and obligations of the buyer and the dealer including:

  • Finance requirements;
  • Delivery date;
  • Changes in purchase price (for new cars); and
  • Rights to terminate the contract.

By law, the dealer must give you a copy of the contract at the time you sign it.

A buyer may terminate a contract to buy a car if certain conditions are not satisfied. Click here for our Terminating a contract which is subject to finance fact sheet.

For more information, visit the Consumer Protection website and search for “buying a vehicle” using the search function in the top right corner; or call our advice line on (08) 9221 7066.


Contract to finance a car

Even if you are just one day late in making a repayment on the finance contract for a car, you are in default. Your lender may send you a default notice. Click here to read our Default Notices Fact Sheet.


If you do nothing, the lender may seek to repossess your car in certain circumstances. It is therefore important to address the problem as soon as possible. If you have missed a payment to your car loan, you can review our fact sheet  Repossession of goods other than real property fact sheet.

If you are behind on a car finance contract repayment, your options include:

  • Applying for a hardship variation;
  • Negotiating an arrangement to pay by instalments or to settle the debt;
  • Refinancing the loan; and
  • Negotiating for time for you to sell the car.

See below for more information, or contact our advice line on (08) 9221 7066.

For more information about your rights and obligations as a car buyer, whether buying privately, through a car dealership or at auction see

For information on applying for a hardship variation, click here.


If you have received legal or Court Documents from the lender, you may be at risk of your car being repossessed and you should contact us urgently.


(Click here to download a PDF version of the Infographic)