The Importance of Your Vehicle’s VIN Number

Your vehicle information number, more commonly known as the VIN number, can tell people a lot about your car. In fact, your VIN number is special, there isn’t another one out there like it.

Today we are going to take a look at what your VIN is, where it’s located, and why it’s so important you know all about it.

What is a VIN Number?

Your vehicle’s VIN number is a 17-letter combination of numbers and letters that contains a lot of important information related to your vehicle. The most common places you’ll find your vehicle’s VIN number include:

  • · Driver’s side dashboard
  • · Driver’s side door frame
  • · Vehicle title
  • · Owner’s manual
  • · Body shop repair records
  • · Vehicle insurance records
  • · Police reports
  • · Vehicle registration card

Despite the VIN seeming like a random bunch of numbers and letters scrambled together, here’s what information you gather, especially if you run a free VIN check on a car you’re thinking of purchasing:

The First Three Units. This sequence identifies the country in which the vehicle was assembled and who the manufacturer is.

The Second Six Units. This sequence contains information about the make and model of the vehicle including things such as whether the company comes with air bags, seat belts, what kind of parts were used, and what type of class the car is under, such as economy. The eighth digit usually represents the type of engine the vehicle has.

The Last 8 Units. This sequence is what makes your car unique when compared to all other vehicles of the same make and model.

Why is Your Vehicle’s VIN Important?

A vehicle’s VIN is the best way to truly identify a car and its history. In fact, here are the best reasons why you should know about your vehicle’s VIN number and be able to identify the VIN on any vehicle you plan to purchase:

  • Safety Recalls. If any parts on your vehicle have been recalled in the past, your VIN will be able to identify that in the large database of information that keeps records of all vehicle part recalls. This ensures that your vehicle is as safe as possible. It can help prevent accidents or injuries related to defective parts, and protect car manufacturer’s from being embroiled in many lawsuits. After all, those recall notices that are sent in the mail aren’t always delivered to the right people.
  • Used Car Purchase. If you are thinking about buying a used car, especially from a private third party, it’s especially important to run a vehicle VIN check to make sure you aren’t buying a defective car. You can easily verify whether the seller is being upfront about the condition of the vehicle you’re about to buy, whether the vehicle has been involved in any accidents, and if any recalled parts have been replaced or not.
  • Theft. If your vehicle is stolen, it’s helpful to be able to report to the authorities your vehicle’s VIN number. After all, a stolen vehicle will not have the correct license plate on it, which is one way of identifying that a vehicle is yours. However, you cannot change the VIN number on a car without going to a lot of trouble. And even then, the thief may skip secret places the VIN is stamped without ever realizing it.

In the end, understanding the 17-digit VIN on your vehicle is important for many reasons. It serves to protect you and those that buy your car, identify you to authorities, and help you recover your property in the case it’s taken from you.