Vehicle check

Vehicle plate checks

Before you take your car, you should check the build and compliance dates. These dates are found on the plates fitted to your car.

The build date is:

  • when the car was manufactured
  • used to value a car when you resell it.

The compliance date is when the car:

  • met the Australian safety standards
  • became legal to drive in Australia.

The compliance date is not always the same as the build date, mainly on imported cars. Make sure the advertised year model of the car matches the build date.

If you buy a car based on its compliance date, rather than build date, its resale value could be much less than expected.

Other checks

You should do other checks before buying. If you buy from a licensed motor dealer, they have to do some of these for you.

  • Ensure clear title.
  • Have an independent qualified mechanic look over the vehicle.
  • Ask the previous owner for servicing records.
  • Check that any modifications meet legal standards and are properly approved by the Department of Transport and Main Roads.
  • Make sure you know about restrictions on the type of vehicles P1 and P2 licence holders can drive.