What is the Importance of Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)?

What is VIN? Is it essential? Learn more about VIN right here and know its relevance when it comes to owning a vehicle.

Every car has a VIN wherever you are on the planet. A VIN, an acronym for Vehicle Identification Number is the unique identity of a vehicle, like how does a name go for a person. It is usually a 17-digit number stamped or attached to the car’s chassis, the reason why it is sometimes called a chassis number.

You might wonder what makes this series of numbers important. VIN is the unique code of vehicle which helps authorities and manufacturers identify the car. For example, the VIN starting with ‘WA U’ is the unique identity of German Audi.

Remember that the VIN should not be confused with a registration number. The latter can be changed, whereas the former is permanent. A VIN is permanently fixed on the car.

Why Check the Car’s VIN? 

A car owner must know his vehicle’s VIN. It is the quickest and easiest way of establishing the true identity of the car. Vehicle registration authorities keep track of an automobile’s VIN and record the car’s history, data, and even accidents if any. Inasmuch, you can find out everything about your car by checking its VIN alone.

Though VIN is found in the car’s registration papers and manual, it is smart to write it down and save it for future reference. The car’s VIN can be used to track the vehicle in case it is stolen or missing.

You can also check the car’s chassis number through online sources. There are online service providers that offer chassis number checks. These sources allow you to have a background inspection on the vehicle, especially if you bought a used car.

What Happens When the Car’s VIN is Different from its Records? 

Here is when checking the car’s VIN comes into play. The vehicle’s chassis number should match what is indicated on its records and vehicle registration certificate. If the information does not match, no doubt there’s something wrong. For safety reasons, it is better not to pursue the deal.

A mismatched VIN and records tell the chassis was replaced. A different chassis was transplanted on the vehicle, or there was a mistake when registering the vehicle. However, the latter though possible is unlikely to happen. In most cases, if the car has a different VIN from the records a VIN cloning occurred.

VIN cloning is the transfer of the identity of a legally registered VIN into a stolen one. Criminals do this to hide the car’s identity. They even produce fake documents to alter and to hide the vehicle’s true identity.

If you’re planning to buy a new or a used car, always check the vehicle’s VIN. If it does not match the records, you should walk away.

This alone shows the significance of the VIN and why it is necessary to check the chassis number. Checking the chassis number gives peace of mind knowing the vehicle is legally purchased and has zero anomalies.

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