What A VIN History Report Can Tell You About A Car

14 December 2015
 Categories: Automotive, Articles

A VIN, which is an acronym for a Vehicle Identification Number, is a series of 17 characters (either digits or letters) that is assigned to a vehicle during the production process. A VIN can wind up telling you plenty about the status of a particular car if you decide to look it up. There are a number of helpful things that a VIN history report can tell you about a vehicle, and you should know them in order to ensure you know the importance of getting one when you are car shopping.

Where Can You Find Your VIN?

There are numerous spots on a car where you might possibly find a VIN. Among the most common spots for VIN placement are beneath the windshield on the driver's side of the vehicle and in the engine bay on the firewall. If you cannot find a VIN in those places, check on the driver's side doorjamb, as it is often located there on a sticker or metal plate.

If you are unable to locate your VIN  on any of the aforementioned areas of your car, it is recommended that you consult your vehicle's manual in order to find out precisely where it is located. If you cannot find this information in your manual, call your car manufacturer in order to discover where this information can be located on your vehicle. Unless you are purchasing an older car, you will be able to find a VIN number on your potential car purchase. VINs have been in use since 1954; however, in 1981, VIN numbers became standardized. It will most likely be easier to get a VIN history report on a vehicle manufactured after 1981.

VIN History Reports

VIN history reports are very much essential for discovering numerous quirks and information about the car's (possibly bad) past. There is plenty that you can learn from such a report. Many law enforcement agents use the VIN to determine any illicit activity that is associated with the car. For example, if the car has been stolen and reported, a simple check of the VIN can determine whether this is the vehicle in question.

For a consumer, this can reveal a veritable list of information about the car's history. Among the things associated with what a VIN history report can reveal, perhaps the most important thing you can discover about a vehicle vis-a-vis a VIN history report is any attempted fraud sales associated with the car in question. For example, you can discover if the car is a "lemon" or not – or rather, whether the car is in good working order during the process of being sold and whether the car is being sold under good faith.

You can also learn about more prosaic things about the car in question, such as the number of people that have owned the car in the past, and, in some cases, who the owners of the vehicle were. Any liens placed on the vehicle will also come to your knowledge. Title and accident history are also provided during the process of receiving a VIN history report, and you will learn about any trips to the salvage yard that the car in question has taken. If the car has had any odometer or rollback alerts associated with it, you will also learn about this.

A VIN history report can offer you up numerous things that are associated with the car in question that you have the right to know about. Hopefully, this brief article has shed a bit of light onto what a VIN history report can do for you and how it can be helpful when you go about purchasing a used car.