Frequently Asked Questions

General questions


What you need to get your AutoCheckExtra

Getting your report over the phone

Results of the report – Stolen Vehicle

Results of the report – Money Owing

Results of the report - Odometer Inconsistent


General questions

Q: AutoCheckExtra - What will I find out about the vehicle?

The AutoCheck Extra is a detailed report that includes the following information about a vehicle:

    • Security Check - identifies if the car has been used as collateral for a loan and has money owing on it. We’ll also let you know who the money is owed to. This includes a check on all past number plates. This check also includes advice on what to do if there is money owing.
    • Stolen Check - a warning if the vehicle has been reported stolen.
    • Vehicle Description Check - a detailed description of the vehicle so that you can ensure the vehicle is 'as described'. This check confirms the Year, Make, Model, Engine Size, Date of First NZ Registration, Latest Odometer Reading, VIN and Chassis Numbers, and identifies any previous Number Plates.
    • Current Owner Check - Details of the current registered owner including how long they have owned the vehicle.
    • Owner History – The number of past owners the vehicle has had, and the length of time it was owned by them.

Please note: We are able to confirm details of ownership if provided, but by law we can no longer give name and address details to unauthorised parties (e.g. private individuals).

    • Odometer History - This check provides a warning if the odometer reading is known to be unreliable or there are odometer discrepancies.
    • Registration Status - cancelled, expired, on exemption, or current, and if current the expiry date. A warning if the vehicle has previously been deregistered.
    • WOF Status - expired or current, and if current the expiry date.
    • RUC Status – If the vehicle is a diesel, we’ll tell you when the Road User Charges are paid up until.

Q: Can an AutoCheckExtra tell me if anything is mechanically wrong with the vehicle?

Not specifically, although if the report shows the vehicle was imported damaged, or if it’s been previously deregistered it can be a sign that the vehicle has mechanical issues.

If you’re looking at purchasing a vehicle, we highly recommend that you get a thorough mechanical inspection from VTNZ, the AA or your preferred mechanic. 

Q: Why can’t I see the name and address details of the current or previous owners?

In May 2011, law changes came into effect that significantly restrict access to the names and addresses of private motor vehicle owners held within the Motor Vehicle Register. These law changes are designed to better protect the personal information of vehicle owners.

You can however, confirm the current owner of a vehicle if you have their name (exactly as it is spelt on their drivers licence) or their drivers licence number (It’s in section 5a on the front of their licence).

When you type in their name/drivers licence number and the licence plate of the car, our system will either confirm them as the owner of the vehicle, or you’ll get a message telling you ownership cannot be confirmed.

To confirm ownership, go to this page on our website click here or give one of the team a call on 0800 909 777 and they’ll run the check for you.

Please note: Companies that own vehicles are unaffected by this change, you will still see full ownership information if the vehicle in question is owned by a company.

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Q: How much do the reports cost?

You can purchase a report from this website by going here, reports cost $20 inc GST (charges to your credit card). If you prefer, you can also purchase a report over the phone:

If you’d like to pay by credit card, call the team on 0800 999 707. The report will cost $20 incl GST.

You can also purchase a report via our 0900 number (0900 55 007), these calls cost $7.95 + GST per minute and the call will usually take 2-3 minutes. 

Q: What about Credit Card Security and Refunds?

We take special care to keep your Credit Card Information secure.
We use a 3rd party credit card validation system that communicates over a secure Internet connection, using SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encryption and security keys.
MotorMania Ltd t/a Autofinder will not accept liability for visitors providing incorrect information when applying for or purchasing goods from this website and have a policy of no refunds in these cases.

In the case that a refund is required MotorMania Ltd t/a Autofinder will reverse the debit to your credit card overnight.

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What you need to get your AutoCheckExtra

Q: What information do I need to carry out a check on a vehicle?

All you need is the registration plate number of the vehicle.

If the vehicle is unregistered, you can use the 17 character Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). They’re usually found under the bonnet on the firewall, sometimes it’s etched into the windscreen too.

Note: VIN's do not contain the alphabetical letters I,O, or Q (they will always be the numbers 1 or 0). 

Q: Can I check a vehicle using only the chassis number?

The problem with chassis numbers is that they are not unique. There may be a number of vehicles in use that have the same chassis number.

If there’s no plate number, try and get the details of the last number plate or look for the vehicles VIN (the VIN is a 17 character number and is usually located under the bonnet on the firewall and on some vehicles it is etched onto the windscreen as well).

However, not all vehicles registered prior to the 1st April 1994 will have a VIN (after that date all newly registered vehicles were required to have a VIN). 

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Getting your report over the phone

Q: How do I get an AutoCheckExtra report over the phone?

You’ve got 2 options; call us toll-free on 0800 909 777 or on 0900 55 007 and we’ll run the report for you over the phone.

You’ll need a credit card handy for the 0800 number. Each report costs $20 incl GST.

For the 0900 55 007 line we’ll charge it directly to your phone account. 0900 calls cost $7.95 + GST per minute. The average call takes 2-3 minutes. 

Q: Do I get to talk to a live operator or is it just a machine?

You’ll get to talk to a live operator who will run the report based on the licence plate number you give them. They’ll give you a brief overview of the results and offer to send out a copy of the report to you via fax or email.

If all our operators are busy you will get our 10 second introductory message and then an engaged tone. You will not be charged for the call. Please call back in a couple of minutes.

If you call outside of our call centre hours our after hours system will advise you of our call centre hours. You will not be charged for the call.

You are not charged for any call unless you speak to a live operator. 

Q: How long do the calls take?

Most calls are usually only 2 to 3 minutes in length. 

Q: I have tried ringing 0900 55 007 but get a "no such number" tone?

You have a 0900 bar on your phone. Phone Telecom on 123 and ask to have it removed.

If Telecom say that there is no 0900 bar on your phone ring faults on 120, explain that you cannot call 0900 numbers and that you have called 123 and been advised that you do not have a 0900 bar.

There may be what is called a 'ghost' 0900 bar at the exchange. 

Q: I do not want to remove the 0900 bar on my phone, how else can I get an AutoCheckExtra?

You can run a report yourself on our website or you can give us a call on 0800 909 777. Payment is by Credit Card and costs $20 incl GST.

Q: If I use your 0900 service how do I pay for the call?

The cost of the call will be automatically debited to your phone account.

Calls cost only $7.95 plus GST per minute.

Most calls are usually only 2 to 3 minutes long.

Q: When is your call centre open?

Our call centre is open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.

Phone 0800 909 777 or 0900 55 007 between these hours and one of the team will be pleased to assist you.

Results of the report – Stolen Vehicle

Q: The AutoCheckExtra report has informed me that the vehicle has been reported stolen. What should I do?

Contact your local police station and let them know where and when you’ve seen the vehicle.

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Results of the report – Money Owing

Q: The vehicle I have just checked has a ‘Registered Security Interest’ what does that mean?

This means that the vehicle is currently being used as security for a loan and that loan has yet to be paid off.

The seller of the vehicle has told me that the loan was repaid a long time ago and not to worry about it.

Worry about it! The security interest still exists. Ask for written confirmation from the lender that the loan has been repaid and that they will remove their security interest. 

Q: The vehicle I would like to buy has a registered security interest on it, what do I do next?

Let the seller know that you have run a security check on the vehicle, and that it shows the vehicle still has money owing on it.

Give them the name and contact number of the lender – this information is in the “Secured Party” section of the report. 

Ask the seller to request a settlement statement from the lender. This will confirm the amount that is still owing and that is required to be repaid before the security will be removed. 

We suggest you pay the outstanding amount directly to the lender and the remaining balance (if any) to the seller of the vehicle. 

Note: If you call the lender/secured party directly, be aware that they will not release information on the balance owing to anyone other than the person they lent the money to. 

Q: The seller has no idea about the security interest, they say it must be from another past owner.

Don’t assume that just because the vehicle hasn’t been repossessed so far that everything is ok!

If you’re still keen to purchase the vehicle, give the Secured Party (The Lender) a call yourself, a contact phone number will be in the security interest section. Explain to them what is happening, they will begin debt recovery proceedings on the previous owner.

If all else fails, you may be able to come to an arrangement with the secured party talk to them and ask what options are available. 

Q: I’ve already brought the vehicle and there’s a registered security interest on it. What do I do?

If you can, try to contact the seller and ask for written confirmation from the lender that the loan has been repaid and that they will discharge the security. Otherwise, ask for your money back.

If that’s not an option, you can contact the lender/secured party and let them know the vehicle has been sold to you. They will begin debt recovery proceedings against the previous owner. 

Q: Is it true that if I buy a vehicle, and there’s money owing on it, the car can be repossessed?


Q: Can the vehicle still be repossessed if I’ve completed a change of ownership and all the paperwork was done properly?

Unfortunately yes. Until the loan is repaid the vehicle legally belongs to the secured party (the lender) and their claim of ownership trumps yours.

If you can’t contact the person who sold it to you, get in touch with the secured party (the person / company who leant the money) and explain the situation to them. They will begin debt recovery proceedings and you may be able to come to some sort of arrangement with them.

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Results of the report - Odometer Inconsistent

Q: I’ve got the report and it says the odometer is inconsistent. Has the vehicle been wound back?

Possibly. Take a look at the Odometer Records section on your report and find the inconsistency, these values are recorded during WOF/COF inspections and sometimes numbers get transposed or left out.

Alternatively, sometimes the engine or the dashboard instrumentation is replaced, and the readings will be completely different.

If you have any doubts at all about the reliability of the odometer, we strongly suggest that you get a thorough mechanical check from VTNZ, the AA or your preferred mechanic.

Q: The report says “This vehicle's odometer has been marked as unreliable, it may have been tampered with.” What does this mean?

The New Zealand Transport Agency has inspected the odometer and has cause to believe it has been tampered with. This usually happens at the border check when the vehicle enters the country.

This information comes from government databases, so we are unable to change or remove this warning. For more information please contact the Motor Vehicle Contact Centre on 0800 108 809. They’re open Monday – Friday 9am to 6pm.

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We’ve used Autofinder since they first launched in 1997.  It saves a lot of mucking around when our window cards come through ready to go, whereas other services don’t offer the fuel saver label”.  

Mike Moore,  Mike Moore Autos LMVD


Autofinder is such a convenient service for me – When I want a report on a vehicle I just ring up and it’s done!  I’d definitely recommend the service to others, the team are so friendly to speak with.  In fact, I’d never use anyone else. Forget the rest, I’ve got the best!

Noel Sanders, Sanders Auto Service


Autofinder provide a friendly service with that personal touch.  I’ve always  used them for my reports and I would definitely recommend them to others.”

Mark Puttick, Wheels 4 U Ltd


"Service from Autofinder is Prompt, Easy to use and Efficient.  We have a smooth line of communication from the lovely and professional team and helps us as a business. The updated and self - managing aspect on the website is really resourceful.  Thank You very much for your service, very easy."

Leonora Hampson, ACU Credit Union Aotearoa