Get All Information of Vehicle with VIN

Beginning in 1981, a unique 17-character VIN number was introduced for all European and North American vehicles. The VIN number has many important applications, including revealing information about the vehicle.

The chassis number, as it may also be called, has other important uses. For example, service shops use this VIN to identify the manufacturer-installed engine, transmission, and brake systems, so that maintenance can be carried out correctly. State law enforcement uses the VIN to identify and recover stolen vehicles and their parts. Automotive manufacturers use the VIN number when they decide to recall certain products for safety reasons.

Chassis number location

The VIN can be located in different parts of the vehicle, but the most common is on the dashboard (it can be seen through the windshield) and also on a sticker on the driver’s door. 

In some vehicles, the VIN or Vehicle identification number may be additionally located on the engine, hood, and other parts. The VIN may also appear on vehicle documentation, insurance policies, service records, and police reports regarding the vehicle.

Vehicle history data from VIN

The characters that make up the VIN indicate the vehicle’s year of manufacture, make, model, where it was manufactured, and more information. 

Decoding the VIN is the process that makes it possible to decipher these details. The chassis number is also used to access the CARFAX Vehicle History Report. All  reports contain important data that can affect your decision about a pre-owned vehicle, all through a detailed VIN check. After searching by VIN, these are the types of data that are included in the report:

  • Vehicle registration
  • Documentation on total loss or scrapping
  • Odometer readings
  • History of factory defects
  • Accident history as a total loss
  • Structural / frame damage
  • Accident indicators, such as airbag deployment
  • Service and repair data
  • Use of the vehicle (taxi, rental, leasing, etc.)
  • Product recall data

Use of the VIN in the vehicle purchase process

There are many things that the seller/importer may not disclose, especially when it comes to used vehicles, such as a total loss, flood damage, or tampering with the odometer. These and other issues can affect the safety, performance, and even value of a used vehicle. To make it harder for you to find out the vehicle’s history, a malicious salesperson may advertise a vehicle with an incorrect VIN or may refuse to provide it. Scammers can also alter vehicle documentation to hide potential problems.

You can follow the tips to protect yourself from fraud when purchasing a used vehicle:

Get the VIN number from the dealer or the vehicle itself. If the seller refuses to reveal the VIN, it may be a sign that they are not interested in having the vehicle’s history checked.