How to Ease the Headache When Buying From a Private Seller

A common question I get asked, is can I use finance to purchase this truck, trailer or vehicle from a private seller?

The simple answer is generally YES however, there are a few more checks and balances that need to be completed in order to satisfy the requirements set by the lender and ensure that you are covered when exchanging funds.

N.B. Even if you have chosen not to use finance to buy the goods, these checks and balances are good to complete for your peace of mind and to prevent any headaches down the road.

These requirements include:

• Get an inspection or roadworthy completed

Often completed by myself, the lender or a third party. An inspection checks the general condition of the goods & confirms the identifiers of the vehicle or equipment to make sure it actually exists!

Although not required by the lender, for your your peace of mind, you may also wish to spend the money and get a mechanical inspection as it may just save you in the long run!!

• Complete Government Register Checks

This involves getting a copy of the registration papers and visiting the government website to look up the VIN and/or Serial number. This will tell you if the vehicle has ever been written off, stolen or if it’s still under finance.

Unfortunately, written off vehicles or repairable write off’s listed on the WOVR (written off vehicle register) are unable to be financed.

• Ensure the seller is the actual owner of the vehicle

Unfortunately registration does not prove ownership and therefore for this one you will need to ask the seller for a copy of the invoice or sales receipt from when they seller originally purchased the asset to prove ownership.

If this is unavailable and the asset is being financed, ask the seller to sign a statutory declaration of ownership.

• Know your obligations if the asset is currently under finance

This is a big one to consider and one that is often missed.

If the asset is still under finance make sure you get the private seller to request a payout letter from their lender and make sure that you as the buyer pays out what is owing on the finance contract first. If there are then further funds owing to the seller to purchase the asset (i.e. the price that the seller is asking is more than what is remaining on the finance contract) you can then pay that directly to the seller.

The main reason for doing this is that if you leave it in the seller’s hands to pay out any outstanding finance they just might not do this & you could then be the owner of an asset that is technically still owned by the lender of the seller you purchased from.

• Ensure there is a match between the name on the bank details and the seller’s name 

Alert, alert… it’s called fraud! I know, I know everyone seems trusting and fraud is not as common in this country however, ensuring that the sellers name or business name matches the bank details that you have been given is the only way to ensure that your hard earned money is going to the right person or business.

Happy shopping!

BTW… The good news is if you engage me to organise the finance for the goods for you, I personally do all this legwork on your behalf without you having to lift a finger.

If you have any questions about these tips or would like to find out more about financing your next purchase from a private seller, you can contact me on 0431 177 605 or via the contact us form.


COVID-19 has had a major impact on our economy with some businesses struggling to cope. If you are concerned about the impacts of the current situation on your business and/or its impacts to your businesses current/future lending I’d be happy to have a phone chat with you to help you get your head around things – no cost, no obligation.

Simply follow this link to my calendar to find a time that works for you. We’re all in this together and I’d be happy to help.

Alternatively you can also contact me by texting or calling 0431 177 605 or via our Contact Us page.

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