Why Searching Your VIN Is A Must Before Buying A Car

The 17-character “Vehicle identity Number” or VIN stamped on the car may seem confusing to many drivers. However, it holds a great deal of information about a car’s past and present. 

Considering buying an old or used car? Keep on reading to understand what VIN means and why searching it is a must. 

What is VIN?

As mentioned above, VIN is a seventeen-character number that is unique to each car. Consider it a fingerprint of your car. Every vehicle in the USA with a 1981 model must have a VIN in the standardized format. Though models designed before 1981 also had VINs, they were different in formats and length. 

If you think the string of letters and numbers included in VIN is random, you’re mistaken. It actually is a code comprising various characters that translate into different information and detail about the car.

  • Characters 1 to 3 classify the car manufacturer.
  • Characters 4 to 8 outline the car model, engine type, body style, and more.
  • Character 9 is the manufacturer’s code to ensure the VIN’s accuracy
  • Character 10 tells the model year of the car.
  • Character 11 shows which plant has assembled the vehicle.
  • Characters 12 to 17 are the serial number of the car

You may find VIN in multiple places on a vehicle, including

  • dashboard 
  • near the door latch 
  • engine
  • transmission 
  • fenders

Why Searching a VIN is Important before Buying a Car

Keep in mind that a VIN plays an important role in many scenarios. Typically, searching for VIN is crucial when you;

Purchase a Used Car

When purchasing a used car, you need to get the history and records to make sure you get the right deal. Car-buying websites and dealerships can provide history reports of vehicles, but if you buy from an individual, getting a report yourself is important. 

For this purpose, you will need a VIN of the car. Remember that with VIN, you can access the history of a vehicle on many websites such as AutoCheck and Carfax. 

Using our VIN search tool, you can determine if a vehicle has any stolen or salvage title by searching on the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

Recall Information

Never buy a car without determining the safety recalls on it. Usually, the manufacturers issue the recalls if there are any issues with the model. 

When you know a VIN, you can find out the safety recalls from the manufacturer by entering the code into the recall tool of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It shows you all the recalls relevant to the vehicle within the past 10 years.

Want to Find out If Your Vehicle Is Stolen

It is always smart to know your vehicle identification number to deal with theft issues. You can find out if your car or its parts are stolen with the help of a VIN. Law enforcement agencies recover stolen vehicles by entering the VIN into a national database.

In Conclusion

A VIN helps you ensure that the details and information you have apply to the specific car you want to purchase. Thus, search for a VIN before sealing the deal to make a wise decision.

Know Before You Buy

Feel confident in knowing a vehicle’s comprehensive history, including specific details on any past accidents.

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