VIN is an abbreviation of Vehicle Identification Number. It is a unique 17-character code of letters and numbers for a particular vehicle.
Note: Vehicles manufactured before 1981 can have VINs that vary in length between 11 and 17 characters.
VINs are vital in the process of buying a used car. You can look up any vehicle online. Further, learn whether there is any outstanding money owed on the car. Or an important piece of information, just by using the VIN. Because a loan is typically applied to the car itself, even if it is re-registered and given new plates.
You can also learn whether the vehicle has been in a serious accident that might make it unsafe. Or whether the vehicle was previously reported as stolen. You can check the history of odometer readings, as well.
Where Can We Find VIN?
The VIN can usually be found in two ways: on the vehicle’s documentation, such as the title, registration, and insurance documents, and on the vehicle itself.
The VIN may be located in different places on the vehicle. It is most commonly located above the steering wheel in the lower-left corner of the dashboard. But may also be found in the rear wheel well, underneath the spare tire, inside the driver-side door jam, or in front of the engine block.
If you’re facing trouble locating your vehicle’s VIN. You can consult the driver’s manual or do an internet search for your particular model.
When you purchase a vehicle, whether new or used, write down or take a picture of your vehicle’s VIN and keep it in a safe place. If your car is ever stolen or goes missing, having the VIN handy will speed up the process of filing a police report and may help law enforcement to find and identify your car.
Decoding the VIN
• Digit 1: Location of manufacture
• Digits 2 and 3: The manufacturing company
• Digits 4-8: Type and size of the engine
• Digit 9: Manufacturer security code
• Digit 10: Model year
• Digit 11: Manufacturing plant
• Digits 12 to 17: Vehicle serial number