What Does a VIN Tell You?

While you’re going to buy a new car, experts tell you to check the VIN, using the popular VIN check site. Doing so is more than important when a purchase is related to a pre-owned car.

If you have no idea what VIN is then let us help you out in understanding its worth and significance in a car or any other vehicle purchase.

Read the post and all the key information – related to VIN – is mentioned in it.

VIN – Understanding the Meaning

VIN stands for Vehicle Identification Number and is often referred to as the DNA or fingerprint of the vehicle. It’s a unique code, allotted to all kinds of motor vehicles, towed vehicles, scooters, cars, trucks, and other motor vehicles.

The idea of providing VIN to every vehicle came into being in 1954 in the United States. During the early days, there was no standard VIN format, and vehicle manufacturers used to adopt the format of their choice. It was too confusing to understand.

It was towards the end of 1981 when a standard VIN format came into being by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the United States.  

As per the new standard format, VIN features 17-characters. While numbers from 0-9 are included in VIN, letters other than O, I, and Q are also involved. These letters are omitted just to keep confusion at bay.

Here are some of the key characteristics of VIN to pay attention on:

  • VIN is unique for each vehicle, just like a human fingerprint.
  • Each manufacturer is asked to follow the set VIN pattern.  

What Information VIN Tells?

Checking VIN is a crucial move to make when one is planning to buy a new or pre-owned vehicle. We know this. But, what information does it tell? To know more about it in detail about what does the popular VIN check site returns, have a look at the below-mentioned text:

The information stored in VIN is organized in different groups and each group refers to a certain part of information. To have a better understanding of VIN, let’s take an example.

Say we need to extract information from a dummy VIN 1AE-23DSD6-34XXXXXX.

  • The first group of 3 characters denotes World Manufacturer Identifier, i.e. WMI.

Out of these, the first character talks about the country where the manufacturer is located. It could be a letter or a digit. The second character is for the manufacturer’s name. In the above example, A stands for Audi. 

The third character/digit with the previous two letters/numbers gives out the vehicle’s type or manufacturing division. 

  • The second set of 6 alphanumeric codes is known as Vehicle Descriptor Section.

The first five characters of this set describe information like model, restraint system, engine code, body type, and transmission type of the vehicle.

The last character is a digit in most of the cases and is called a check digit, used to find out the invalid VINs. This number will be based on the mathematical formula, developed by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

  • The following group of eight characters is the Vehicle Identifier Section.

The character, mentioned in the 10th position, describes the model year of the vehicle while the 11th character gives details about the manufacturing plant where the vehicle was assembled.

Every manufacturer has its own set of assembly plant codes. The last six digits of this section refer to the production sequence of the vehicle and are unique. This number is received at the time of assembly line. 

Such detailed information can be extracted for a VIN. But, before you fetch all these details, you need to know where VIN would be mentioned on a car or vehicle. 

Where to Spot VIN?

VIN is mentioned on some of the vehicle documents and at various spots on the vehicle itself. If you’re trying to extra VIN information from the documents then look for it in the insurance card and registration papers. It will be mentioned in these documents. As you know that it’s 17 alpha number code, finding it won’t be hard that much. 

If you want to grab VIN details from the vehicle itself then the most common place for this magic number is to be at the bottom of the driver side’s windshield. Most of the vehicles have VIN mentioned here only.  

If your vehicle doesn’t have it over here then come of the most common places to look for VIN are:

  • Dashboard of the car 
  • Side of the door on the driver’s side
  • Engine block
  • The underside of the hood
  • On the fender 

These are the most commonly used places to mention the VIN. If you look carefully, you’ll be able to spot VIN for sure. If you are having any troubles in spotting, contacting the dealer or manufacturer will work. 

Can We Decode VIN Manually?

Technically speaking, yes you can. But, ideally, it’s not suggested as it involves high error odds and it’s too time-consuming as well. One has to figure out what each character represents and refers to. Checking the corresponding details is too time-consuming. 

This is why it’s wise to take the help of an online VIN check platform, like BMW VIN Decoder.

The high-end AI of this resource will fetch details in a blink of an eye. The best part is it would be accurate and exact. There is no way that the information would be outdated or wrong, provided you’ve entered the right details. 

To make sure the right VIN details are entered, capture the VIN image and then enter it on the platform.

You can also note it down then enter it. Memorizing VIN is not to help you out. Whether you need VIN details of a new car or a pre-owned car, BMW VIN Decoder will provide every bit of detail. 

Ending Notes 

VIN seems like a mere code. But, when decoded accurately, it can help you find out some of the most hidden details. It can bring the reality of the vehicle to the surface and will help you make a wise deal. So, next time when you’re planning to buy a car, take the help of an online VIN checker like BMW VIN Check and know every truth about it. 

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