Vehicle Identification Number Check Explained
Every motor vehicle is assigned with a unique number at the time it was manufactured; this number is known as its Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). The VIN number is a string of 17 characters of alphabets and numerical, without spaces, and without the letters Q, I and O, in order to avoid confusion.
These characters are not random but provide specific pieces of information about the vehicle and its history. The information within the VIN number can also be including when which country and which factory the vehicle was manufactured in.
You may face a situation where you need to run a VIN number check, such as before buying a used car. Data registries often use a vehicle’s VIN number to log information on its history.
If you are someone interested in buying a new car and want to know about the car’s history – then you have to run a VIN number check. The VIN number is located under the hood, on the driver’s side dashboard, inside the pillar on the driver’s side door and on the front end of the vehicle’s frame in older cars.
The information you can obtain from a VIN number includes information on who previously owned the car, any accidents the car may have been involved in as well as what kind of repairs the car has previously undergone.
You can also find information on whether the manufacturer of the car recalled the vehicle and whether they then made the changes the vehicle was recalled for. VIN numbers checks are also important in law enforcement. Police officers can use a vehicle’s VIN number to identify stolen vehicles.
Where Can You Run a VIN number check?
There are many sites on the internet where you can run a VIN number check. Anyone buying a used car, not from an established dealership may not be able to access some of the paid options. Portals like autoDNA.com, CARFAX, and AutoCheck are all paid platforms. Usually, an established car dealership will let you look up the VIN number of the vehicle you are interested in before purchase. But that same benefit may not be available if you are planning on buying a car from a third party, online or through personal contact.
Websites such as VehicleHistory.Com, iSeeCars.Com and the National Insurance Crime Bureau all offer free VIN number checks.
What information will pop up if you run a VIN number check?
It is important to know what each character in the VIN number denotes. Even if you run a successful Vehicle Identification Number check, you may not necessarily be able to decipher the information that pops up. The 17 alphanumeric string is constituted of characters that each provide some information about that vehicle.
The first number on the VIN string of characters denotes which country the car comes from. The character next to it denotes which company the car was made by. The third character shows what kind of vehicle it is and what division it falls under.
The next five characters provide information specifically about the car, including the vehicle’s brand, type of motor, type of engine and other such information. The character after this is the vehicle’s security digit.
The next character is the year the model of the vehicle was manufactured and the character after it denotes the plan the vehicle was assembled in. The last five characters are the production number of the vehicle.
Always make sure that you have gone through a vehicle’s history if you are buying a used car. There may be information unavailable to you, especially if you are not buying from an established dealership. Even if you are, it is still imperative that you run a VIN number check before purchase so you know the car's history. You can also better understand how it has performed in the past and predict from this information, how it will likely perform in the future.