Today we will deal with the VIN – what is the number, what is it for and how to check it.
VIN number – what is it?
VIN, or Vehicle Identification Number, commonly known as the body number, is the vehicle number that allows its identification and serves to identify a specific copy. The VIN is issued by the manufacturer of the model and currently consists of 17 digits and numbers. The VIN number of the vehicle can be found in the registration certificate – the field marked with the letter E and the so-called data plate mounted in the car. The board is usually located on the inside of the front wall of the body or on the threshold of the front door.
Checking the car after VIN allows you to get information about a specific vehicle. These are basic information such as its make and model, date of manufacture, body type and color, engine type or fuel type. The amount of information depends on the manufacturer and quite often decoding the VIN number also gives information about the factory where the vehicle was manufactured, the market for which it was dedicated, and even the color of the upholstery and original equipment installed by the manufacturer.
Checking the VIN can also help you make a decision before buying a particular model. The history of the vehicle, which is covered by the VIN should include information on authorized inspections (from 2014 also includes information about the mileage of the car), actions and service repairs carried out by the manufacturer, any information about the theft of the car, its communication damage or even online auctions on which model may have been sold.
How to check the VIN?
In the European Union, the ISO-3779 quality standard is used in the VIN number entry, which in practice means that the identification number will consist of several specific sections. The first three characters, i.e. WMI section allows you to decipher the country or region, as well as the vehicle manufacturer. VDS is a six-character description of the model, i.e. the general characteristics of the vehicle, which the manufacturer codes. The last eight symbols are the VIS section, i.e. the vehicle serial number, which includes year of manufacture of the model or factory in which it was produced.
The combination of characters includes both letters and numbers excluding the letters I, O and Q. On the nameplate, the three sections mentioned above can be separated by special characters. In the documents, the VIN is given as an unbroken alphanumeric string.
Check the car
There are many websites that allow you to check your car by VIN. Some of them offer this service for free, but more detailed reports require payment of an appropriate fee. When checking the car, it is worth deciding on a free service first and after clicking the “check vin” button to see if the history of the selected model does not include information that is important for the buyer. If not, it is worth using one of the paid reports, whose authors use their own databases, as well as the data of the police, vehicle control station and ASO. However, it should be remembered that checking the VIN does not give 100% certainty. In the history of the car there may have been events, accidents or repairs not posted anywhere and decoding the VIN number will not provide information on this subject.