Did I Buy a Stolen Car?

Hey guys need some advice. Bought a Peugeot 207 MY2007 last night for $5.2K, and had 51K on the ODO. I also paid for a comprehensive REVS check and everything was clean - no finance, no write-off, not stolen, no ODO rollback… Not a single issue. I had a previous Peugeot 308 so kinda knew what to look for. Everything seemed fine and we went for a few drives and the car ran/sounded fine. The only thing missing was a logbook as he said it was typically serviced by friends or mobile mechanic and never kept receipts. Ended up transferring the cash, and getting Part B of the Notice of Disposal. I bought this as a gift for my bro and the only thing I wasn't able to give him was my bro's licence number, which he's waitinng for.

This morning, I checked some old paperwork in the folder where the manual is kept and it shows some really old service receipts from 2007. The name and signature of those receipts by that owner is different to the guy I bought from (as per the name and sig on the Notice of Disposal). The old receipts had a distinctly anglo saxon name, but I bought this car from a Korean guy with both a very Korean name and signature. But the rego papers were in his (Korean guy's) name. However, the rego paper was only 3 months old as it shows he paid for it in Feb this year (expires May this year). I'm starting to see alarm bells.

This guy says the car has only had one owner - himself. It does seem strange that the car has done only 51K in 10 years and the car seems way too clean inside and out. The engine area is spotless and the insulation materials on the back side of the bonnet all look brand new (not a single mark or fraying). In my mind I'm wondering if this car has been rebuilt?

I've already transferred the $5.2K, but I haven't provided my bro's licence number - not sure if that's mandatory to dispose of.

Do I have any leverage here if the car is stolen or if there's something fishy?

I should have got NRMA to do a full inspection for $200, but in my head everything seemed to check out, until this morning… It also doesn't help I didn't get his licence number, just have the rego paper.


  • +32 votes

    Ask him straight out. If rego is in his name it sounds fine, but he might have lied about being the only owner.

  • +5 votes


    Input the REGO/VIN and pay $3.40. It will show you if the car was written off or was stolen.


    fairly sure it's not stolen

    highly likely there is something dodgy going on…..but what exactly?

  • +38 votes

    i think the seller lied to you about being the first owner. rather than the car being stolen.

  • +5 votes

    Way more likely that he lied about how many owners versus it being stolen.

  • +14 votes

    Probably just lied about being the only owner, not really illegal or anything.
    Also, no one is going to bother rebuilding a 10 year old car that is worth $5,000.

    I had a 20 year old car with 30,000km on the clock, totally spotless. Legitimate mileage because we've owned it since new but never really drove it much.

  • +17 votes

    Nothing sus except the guy bullshitted you about it having one owner.

    How on earth did you suspect it was stolen based on this information? :/

  • +1 vote

    Maybe he was not the only owner of that car. But it is not strange to have that low kms for a 10 year old car.
    3 years ago I bought a Yaris 2006 with 20.000 kms on the clock. It was also spotless inside an out, like if it was never driven. Difference is that I got the log book and invoices of the maintenances done in Toyota.

  • +2 votes

    I'm going that the guy bought it, cleaned it up, wound back the speedo, had to dump the service manual as it indicated the actual kilometers that the car had actually traveled.
    See if you can contact the first owner on the paperwork and ask him how many kilometers it had done when he sold it.

    • +4 votes

      You can usually tell if the odo was wound back, if the car has low kms and excessive wear on seats, carpet, etc.


        When you go to the transport dept when you are transferring the car, they will ask for the ODO reading. If the ODO reading is less than the ODO reading the last time it was sold they will pick it up

  • +2 votes

    Maybe he has two names, people sometimes do that when there birthname is difficult for people to pronounce.


    Nothing to worry, he wasn't the 1st owner most likely. Can't see any problem with that apart from not telling the truth.

  • +8 votes

    Update: So amongst some old servicing receipts from 2007/2008, I found the original owners mobile number. Thank goodness he didn't change it. He said he sold the car only a few months ago to a Korean guy. And said he sold it with under 40Ks on the speedo, and a worn clutch and broken gearbox. So the Korean guy lied about him being the first owner, but I think everything else checks out. The Korean guy must have changed the gearbox and clutch cos I didn't notice and weird sounds or rough handling both when he drove and when I drove last night… Feeling a little more relieved but still not sure why the Korean guy only registered for 3 months, I suppose everyone has their reasons. I think the real test is passing the pink slip when it's due for rego in May.

    • +27 votes

      under 40Ks on the speedo, and a worn clutch and broken gearbox

      That is the most worrying bit on this whole thread.

      • +2 votes

        Agreed, although we may be looking at it from the perspective of Japanese car ownership, where I expect 400k from a gearbox, rather than French…

        That sort of wear/damage on low km makes me wonder whether the car had another life as some sort of racer/rallier. Sometimes you pull insulation etc off then when it retires, put it back on again and flog it as new. Happens in motorcycles all the time where the original fairings and speedo are removed for racing then after it has been flogged to near death on the track, the fairings are put back on making the bike look like new with low km. Probably harder to do in a car.

        So to seems the car did under 40k in 9 years, but still managed to stuff the clutch and gearbox? That is little old lady travelling to church once a week km.


          This is making some sense cos the engine looks so new - there are no rusty parts, and the insulation under the bonnet is brand new, not a single scratch and one of the metal plates was still shiny like it was put on yesterday. I thought that was odd but since the inside of the car was also in fairly good condition, I thought maybe they just looked after it well.

          So if this car was used as a racer or what not, I suspect it won't have a long life. Oh well, my bro gets it for free and hopefully has at least a year or two's worth of use.

      • +1 vote

        tis a french car and 10 years old.. with long periods of non use the seals would dry out.. leak and bam… dodgy gearbox.

        A friend of mine dumped a 307 for didly because she had an shed full of issues post 5 year warranty age..

    • +15 votes

      The seller was North Korean and he sold you a French made bomb.

    • +6 votes

      The Korean guy might have just bought it cheap, fixed and cleaned it and sold it off for profit, hence the 3 months rego. In which case he might not want to say that he did that because it could potentially work against him when negotiating price… Just a possibility.

      • +1 vote

        I think this is exactly what he did. I drove it around last night and the gears and clutch worked fine. I don't know what a worn clutch feels or sounds like, but gear changing was butter smooth. The engine just has a tapping sound mainly at idle, but googling shows this is normal for the 207 and some Citroens which use the same engine.


          Could the parts (engine) that have been used to replace the broken ones be stolen? Not sure why though

        • +1 vote

          Easiest way to check for a worn clutch is to get the car around 40-50km/h, then slot it into top gear (5th in your case) and attempt to accelerate. If the car lugs and the RPM doesn't climb rapidly or inconsistently, it usually means the clutch is fine.

          I have pretty much the same car but with just under 130,000km on the odometer and the clutch is still fine. Slight rattle of a bearing when in neutral and clutch engaged is the only negative with mine - disappears when driving, however. Ticking and tapping is relatively normal for 207 motors, particularly with the EP6 in the GT/GTI, however pre-2010 models did have a fault with the timing chain and could be replaced under warranty (again unique to the EP6/N13 engines). If the car is a GT/GTI, and is excessively noisy for 10-15 minutes after start-up or whilst driving, get it checked immediately. Usually the car will enter limp mode if such a fault exists. One last thing to note is that with any GDI engine, is that the fuel does not clean the intake valves and thus will lead to a build up of carbon. This then causes loss of power, etc, and a fault code if very serious. A good preventative maintenance technique is to spray an upper engine cleaner (like Subaru SA459 or Threebond) into the intake prior to an oil change.

          Otherwise the car has been rock-solid and very reliable. Handles like it is on rails and goes hard (within legal limits). I've also found dealership servicing to be decent value.

    • -1 vote

      Registered it for 3 months because people want to buy a registered car.

      If it was registered - it means it passed a bunch of tests. Also - it is the cheapest option for registration.

      The guy obviously bought the car very cheap and fixed it all cheaply - got it registered for the lowest amount to resell it on and make a buck.

      People stay away from unregistered cars because once they buy and take to get registered they find out about the 20 things that they have to fix before they can get it back on the road.

  • -2 votes

    Oh gosh. You bought a parted car


    So the first owner averaged around a tank of fuel every 2 months for 9 years? I would have to assume the car was either bought as a backup car, an elderly person's run-around, or most likely, an L-plater's first car which they then did not use (replaced with an auto, perhaps?).

    Korean guy might have paid to have it made roadworthy, but can't afford further repairs?

  • +2 votes

    Just putting it out there, but maybe the Korean guy meant only 1 "previous" owner. Things do tend to get lost in translation more and more these days. As the original owner of the car said, he sold it with a worn clutch and broken gearbox, I would get those checked out ASAP.


      Well he didn't say previous but given he's only had it for 3 months I suppose the logic still stands.


    The low ODO (51K) might sound slightly dubious…
    BUT from my own experience, not so much.

    I'm the second owner of a 2005 ford courier ute, that I purchased back in 2008, from a used car dealer, with only 19K on the clock.
    I thought, hang on… just over 6K per year? Then with the fore-thought of checking out the previous owner, (stalker mode), from the log-book, I found out that it was a managers vehicle that he used, only, to check local contractors work.

    The tray was unmarked and had no tow-bar. So, NOT being used to cart heavy loads or towing, made sense.

    It has only had 30K added since I purchased, because of illness, (only drive when absolutely necessary, we use the wifeys little 5hit6ox because it's cheaper to run).

    So, it's not inconceivable to have a car of this age with low Kms.


      Yeah I think our friendly sleuths here have deduced that the original owner used it as a rally car every few months with his mates - i.e. Low K's and Damaged Gearbox. Since the Korean guy fixed the gearbox, I hope it's somewhat 70% back to good health. Enough for my brother to go on for a year or two until he gets his own car.


    Sounds like your seller maybe a "dealer".
    If he believes that he is a "dealer", this easily explains the quarterly rego. He would also not consider himself not to be "an owner".
    Licensed Motor Dealers are not considered owners and do not pay Stamp Duty on rego transfers.

    If he is not licensed, he (or you) could be in a lot of trouble.
    There are a lot of people who would never be able to go legit because of criminal record, lack of financial backing and lack of experience.
    Some will have a conscience and do the right thing. Others will rip you off blindly.

    The worn clutch and broken gearbox at 40K sounds to me like someone lacking a few coordination skills.
    I have seen cars with less KM's than your with worn clutches because the people rest their left foot on the pedal at all times.


      It's registered as a Private vehicle and by registered in means it's passed pink slip right? What's the "in a lot of trouble" referring to?

  • -2 votes

    If he is acting as a dealer without a license, he will be caught and fined.
    And if he is acting illegally, you would need to consider whether he has repaired the car to acceptable standards.
    And passing a Pink Slip is also not an indication of the condition of a vehicle. If he has friends, it is an easy task, especially if he creates a break between the pink slip and the sale.

    I spent 20 years in the motor trade. If he was honest, he would have told you everything upfront.
    And to leave old receipts in the car that would bring his lies undone?
    He is careless.

    Take it to a specialist and get them to check it over.
    If you need help with that PM me.


      Cool. Well he didn't act like a dealer - we exchanged on the street, and there was no dealer's warranty or such. He said he bought a new Audi that's why he was selling. Whether this car has issues remains to be seen… when it breaks down on the Bridge in peak hour making news headlines.


    Just do a PPSR check


    Ummmm.. was he North Korean or South Korean ?

  • +22 votes

    Why is the seller mainly referred to as the 'Korean guy', and not simply the seller?

    Kind regards,
    The Chinese guy.

  • +14 votes

    Stop buying Peugeot's, they're trash

  • +4 votes

    The ODO is probably rolled back. Drive in reverse and see if the kms go lower

  • +7 votes

    Prostitute telling her clients that she's a virgin. Similar to your story regarding single owner.

  • +3 votes

    A "vehicle history report" will tell you how many owners there really were.

    Several years ago I was about to buy a car from a guy who said he had owned it for 3 years. Using this report I discovered that he had owned it for 3 weeks. A few other dubious claims by the seller made me decide not to buy the car.

  • +2 votes
    1. It's a Peugeot
    2. Done hardly any kilometres
    3. Current owner is selling it after owning it for a short period
    4. Not giving you service info

    Given my experience with Peugeot's, it's probably got a recurring unfixable problem which is why no one's driving it and it's changing hands quickly.

  • -1 vote

    Your first mistake was buying a Peugeot the first time.
    Your second mistake was buying another one.


    Do I have any leverage here if the car is stolen …

    Yes definitely. Its a win for the seller.

    Offer cash, you'll get a quick sale, then a visit from Police to confiscate the car.


    Read through the first few comments, but has anyone mentioned that it could a an ex-demonstrator model that may have been sold a while after it was built.
    This may explain why it was serviced in 2007 from someone different.
    As long as you have their details and a signed record saying that they owe no money on the car and are the sole owner, I wouldn't worry too much.


    1 owner 3 owner, who cares? as long as the car is not a repairable writeoff, not encumbered and not stolen, has passed a mechanical inspection, its all good!


    He picked it up for a song with the intention to repair and profit. Reseller lies about being the first owner to make the sale.

  • -3 votes

    Everyone's bagging on Peugeots but the 508 is an excellent large car and great value second hand.


      what you refer to as "excellent value" i refer to as huge depreciation. what you refer to as "great value second hand" i refer to as, no one in their right mind would buy a 2nd hand euro car out of its warranty period :)

  • +1 vote

    Sounds like a basic flip to me with a side of dishonesty to boot. Purchase cheap, fix what's wrong, flip it. Hence the 3 months rego. Some flippers don't even change the ownership into their name so that they don't pay stamp duty. Just purchase, fix, flip.


    Definitely stolen, dump it in an industrial area (not the bush) and burn it before the cops get hold of you! Then move interstate and change your name

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