PPS Serial Numbered Collateral Series – Part 2: Motor Vehicles

Articles, Loan + Securities

The Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Cth) (PPSA) prescribes a specific definition to “Motor Vehicle”.

A “Motor Vehicle” for the purposes of the PPSA is a type of serial numbered collateral which is usually a car, truck, motorbike, tractor, caravan or trailer.  It must however either have a vehicle identification number (VIN), chassis number or manufacturer’s number.

Definition of Motor Vehicle

For a vehicle to be considered a Motor Vehicle for the purposes of the PPSA, it needs to fall within either of the following categories as described in r 1.7 of the Personal Property Securities Regulations 2010 (Cth):

  1. it is self-propelled property:
    • built to travel wholly on land by a motor that forms part of the property; and
    • capable of a speed of at least 10km/h; and
    • has one or more motors with total power greater than 200W; and
    • has any one of the following:
      • a VIN;
      • a chassis number; or
      • manufacturers numbers
  1. other property that is:
    • capable, when being towed by, or attached to, a motor vehicle, of travelling at a speed of more than 10km/h; and
    • machinery or equipment with wheels designed to be towed by, or attached to, a motor vehicle; and
    • has any one of the following:
      • a VIN;
      • a chassis number; or
      • manufacturers numbers.

Examples of category #2 property include a trailer or large generator equipped with wheels capable of being towed by a motor vehicle. 

If the property runs on rails, tram lines or other fixed paths then the property it is not considered to be a Motor Vehicle.

Registration Requirements

If the personal property is considered to be a Motor Vehicle under the PPSA, then the registration requirements are determined by whether the property is commercial or consumer property of the grantor in accordance with the PPS Regulations. For more information on the Consumer and Commercial Property distinctions, please see Part 1 of the Series.

Commercial Motor Vehicles may be described by serial number but must be registered over the grantor in accordance with Schedule 1 of the PPS Regulations.

Consumer Motor Vehicles must be described by the serial number (but may include the individual grantor’s details). If the Motor Vehicle must be described by serial number, Pt 2.2(3) to Schedule 1 of the PPS Regulations provides the serial number details that are needed for a valid ‘Motor Vehicle’ registration:

  1. The VIN;
  2. If it has no VIN, but a chassis number – the chassis number; or
  3. If it has no VIN or chassis number – the manufacturer’s number.

A registration will be considered defective under s 165(a) of the PPSA if the collateral must be described by serial number and a search of the serial number (using the above details) is unable to identify the registration (i.e. there is an error in the serial number or no serial number was included in the registration).

In Part 3 of the series we discuss registering interests on the PPSR against Aircraft.


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