Did you know that more than 700,000 vehicles were stolen in the US in 2019 alone? This resulted in damages of around $6.4 billion as the average loss for each car theft is about $9,000. How can you tell if a vehicle was stolen? By checking its VIN.
VIN verification is an important task to do before buying a vehicle. This number gives you access to a detailed record regarding the vehicle’s history. Keep reading to learn more about the vehicle identification number and everything related to it.
What Is a VIN?
A VIN is an internationally-valid unique number assigned to each car. Whether you drive a small sports vehicle or a large pick-up truck, each car has its own unique VIN consisting of about 17 digits. If the car is manufactured before 1981, chances are that its VIN consists of 11-17 digits.
The VIN for a car is similar to a fingerprint for a human. There are no 2 identical VINs worldwide. This number is also cleverly designed to avoid fraud. For example, if you multiply all the digits of the VIN except the ninth one and divide by eleven, the result should be equal to the ninth digit in the VIN.
Why Is VIN Verification Important?
VIN verification is very important for all cars because it offers an accurate history of the vehicle itself. For example, you can enter the VIN on various websites online and find out where the vehicle has been manufactured.
You can also find information about the odometer readings and check to see if they have been altered in the past. This aspect is very important if you’re buying a second-hand vehicle. Also, if a car has been involved in a serious accident, this information is usually associated with its VIN.
A simple VIN verification will reveal the car’s accident history and help you decide if you want to buy it or not. If a car has two or more VINs on it, chances are that it might be made of separate components that didn’t belong to the original vehicle. You can find more info here.
Where Can You Find The VIN?
The VIN is usually stamped on multiple places around the car, so you should find it pretty easily. For example, the VIN is located above the steering wheel, on the engine block, under the spare tire, and so on.
If you’re buying a new car, make sure that you check for its VIN in all these places. Having the VIN written down for your records can be helpful in case your vehicle is stolen. You can quickly communicate the VIN to the police officers and help them track down the stolen vehicle faster.
The VIN is also present on the vehicle documentation such as the insurance papers, title and registration papers, etc.
Remember to Note Down Your VIN Number
It’s nearly impossible to remember a 17-digit number by heart for long periods. That’s why you should write it down and keep it safe for your records. If you plan to buy a new car, VIN verification is probably the first thing that you should do because it offers so many vehicle details at a glance.
For more interesting information on how to verify a vehicle before buying, make sure that you check out the other articles on our website.