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Every vehicle has its own unique fingerprint and identity which can be verified through Vehicle Identification Number or its acronym – VIN.
Here’s an example of what a VIN number looks like and its label:
Photo credit to CARFAX
The VIN is unique in every car so no two vehicles have the same Vehicle Identification Number under any circumstances. It is composed of 17 characters consisting of digits and uppercase letters that serves as an identification of a specific vehicle. Just a mixture of numbers and letters and you’ll also be able to identify the vehicle’s manufacturer, specifications, and unique features. VIN plays a very important role on tracking recalls, registrations, insurance coverage, warranty claims, and deter thefts.
VIN’s 17 serial number are broken up into sections:
Last six digits
The last six digits are the manufacturer’s production sequence numbers or for small manufacturers that make fewer cars, they use some of the last digits as additional manufacturer identification codes. This last sequence is the vehicle’s serial number itself.
Vehicle Identification Number is essential because of its unique identifying code, it can protect you from buying the wrong vehicle. The VIN helps you identify whether the car has a checkered history. It comes in handy when checking possible vehicle issues such as recalls, registrations, warranty claims, theft, and insurances.
Also the fact that there are billions of cars roaming Earth, how are we going to track them all? VIN. VIN is the holy grail of car trackers and the key to your car’s history.
For used car buyers, VIN can protect you from getting scammed. VIN will give you access on reliable information about your prospect car’s history. You can have a better view on how the car was maintained, what it goes through and more.
Here’s some important situation where VIN can help:
The letters and numbers included in the Vehicle Identification Number are not just random characters. Each of those represents a meaning or symbol that tells something about the vehicle.
A Vehicle Identification Number will never contain the letters 'I', 'O' and 'Q' because these letters can easily be confused as other characters. An 'O' can be read as zero while 'I' can be mistakenly be interpreted as one. As a general rule, the VIN’s format is fairly standard in all cars.
Vehicles manufactured before 1989 may either have an 11-digit or 17-digit VIN. This will depend on the country of origin and the car manufacturer. However, information on these vehicles is limited that’s why their VINs will be difficult to verify.
You’ve probably come across your Vehicle Identification Number many times before but was not familiar with it. It can be found in random places inside the car and on your vehicle documents:
There are also search tools you can use to locate your VIN numbers such as the Identicar and iRego Vin Decoder and Lookup.
There are two known international standards for VIN – the ISO and the U.S. Standard FMVSS 115. The ISO covers all areas to ensure quality standards across the globe. With regards to the automobile industry, the ISO standard is set to help minimise and prevent crimes involving vehicles, with theft being the number one. ISO supplies the CRIN (Car Radio Identification Numbers) to prevent theft and to advocate standardisation of areas involving vehicle safety.
The US Standard comes in different formats from the ISO. It is covered by a wider bill on safety which includes driver safety, crash safety and road-worthiness.
Here in Australia, we follow the ISO 3779 VIN. This is relatively more complex than other ISO Standard 3780 because of the countries and manufacturers involved. For this reason, our government strongly advise checking for VINs with NEVDIS to verify if the number is valid and authorised.
Having a knowledge of what the VIN can do is an important asset that can safeguard you from being sold a stolen or re-birthed car. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or an experienced motorist, this valuable information will come in handy during the time of unexpected need.
For safe and easy car buying experience, head on over to www.motormatcher.com.au and find your perfect match!