It won’t be wrong in saying Vehicle Identification Number or VIN is equivalent to human “DNA”. A VIN is basically a serial number for any vehicle. It is 17 characters long and is a mix of numbers and alphabets. Each character or digit has a particular purpose.
Given letters not included in the VIN number, I (i), O (o), or Q (q) (to avoid confusion with numerals 1 and 0). It displays vehicles uniqueness and heritage and provides a form of factory to scrap yard identification.
It can be used to track recalls, registrations, guarantee, warranty claims, thefts and insurance coverage.
A Vehicle Identification Number is marked onto a small metal plate and usually fixed to the driver’s side of the dashboard so that it is visible through the windshield. In the case of theft, it is used by police, in case of accidents by insurance companies, and by manufacturing companies for recall, mechanics or anyone that has a need to identify the vehicle or its attributes. However vehicle manufacturers can stamp the VIN anywhere they want; frequently the engine block will have the VIN number stamped on it.
How to understand vehicles VIN?
This 17 digit characters used to set out the vehicle from other vehicles present in the market. It divided into four parts:-
World Manufacturers Identification (WMI three numbers or letters)
Vehicle Description Section (VDS five numbers or letters)
The VIN Accuracy Check Digit (one number)
Vehicle Identification Section (VIS eight numbers or letters)
All 17 characters of Vehicle Identification Number Description :-
- The First Character identifies the manufactures country.
- The Second & Third Characters or letter identifies the car manufacturer or vehicle type.
- While from Fourth to Eighth Characters identify attributes of the vehicle, like body style (like sedan, hatchback, SUV) and engine type.
- The Ninth Character uniquely identifies the car, ensuring that no two cars within a 30 years period will have the same VIN number.
- The 10th Character is the model year.
- The 11th Character is the assembly plant.
- The 12th to 17th Characters identifies the sequence of the vehicle rolling off the production line; the last four characters are always numeric.
Use of VINs while buying a used car:-
Sometimes used vehicle exporter does not disclose complete information regarding the vehicle’s condition in order to make profit. There are many things a seller may not disclose to a buyer, such as a salvage title, flood damage or an odometer rollback. Any of these and other issues can affects the safety, performance and even value of a used vehicle.
Seller sometimes provides wrong VIN in online advertisement or may not provide the VIN at all. A buyer should ask seller to provide VIN number. So in case seller hide or refuse to disclose the VIN, that could be a sign of that seller do not want you to learn vehicles history.
Vehicle Identification Number helps buyers to identify many things regarding the vehicle such as its condition, any accident history. Vehicle history gives detailed history of the buyer regarding the vehicle. It is important for buyer to match the VIN and vehicle’s history. In case it did not match, do not buy the vehicle.