Why VIN is important
3 minutes

Have you been searching for a suitable used car in the auto market? You’ve probably seen a variety of vehicles and carried out different tests and inspections to ensure you’re getting a fair deal. But did you perform the VIN check? Why is this number so crucial, and what does it reveal? But first, it’s essential to know what the number is and where you can find it. Let’s find out:

What is the VIN number?

VIN stands for Vehicle Identification Number. A seventeen digit string of numbers and letters work as an identification code for the vehicle.

  • Digits 1 to 3: The first three make up the WMI (World Manufacturer Identifier). These digits signify the country of production, the manufacturer and the vehicle type. Example- SAJ for Jaguar, SHS for Honda.
  • Digits 4 to 9: Vehicle descriptor section. These numbers provide information about the vehicle such as model, engine, body style etc.
  • Digits 10 to 17: Vehicle identifier section. It specifies the serial number and includes information on options and power train choices depending on manufacturer preference.

Why is the VIN check important?

Have you been searching for a suitable used car in the auto market? You have probably seen a variety of vehicles and carried out different tests and inspections to ensure you’re getting a fair deal.

The true identity of the car is revealed only when you check a car Vehicle Identification Number. As you know, the used car scam is high in the market.

Car manufacturers and vehicle registration agencies hold these databases of numbers to identify and validate the car accurately. Let’s discuss how actually vehicle identification works.

Why should you check your car VIN?

When you intend to buy a used car, You need to check that the printed VIN number on the vehicle registration document matches the number stamped into the vehicle’s chassis. And also matches the number on any other plates located on the car.

There is a chance that you can’t find the VIN; maybe you are looking in the wrong place. Know where you can find the VIN for free.

What happens if a vehicle has no VIN number?

It is a red flag when a few scammers might remove the VIN. Mostly “no VIN” possible reasons are the cars have the modified often or overwritten or removed it. If you don’t find the VIN, it is better to enquire about the seller. When you find irrelevant reasons or suspicious activities, walk away from the deal.

What if the VIN number of the car differs from the logbook?

Don’t buy the car if the VIN doesn’t match the vehicle registration document. The dodgy seller tries to copy the VIN, apply for duplicate papers, and produce forged documents to hide the car’s identity. It is illegal to sell the car by concealing stolen cars or selling them without scraping. Hence, a mismatched VIN number signifies something wrong with the used car.

Read how to tell the logbook is genuine.

What is the difference between a VIN, chassis and an engine number?

The vehicle VIN is called its chassis number. You can find the VIN, which is stamped on the chassis of the car. The engine number denotes what size and power output that engine produces.

It is better to keep the engine and chassis number different. You can get the new engine number alongside the existing chassis number when the engine blows up & needs a replacement without scrapping the car.

Note: You can’t replace or renew the vehicle identification number.

Answering your questions

Is it possible to get the VIN numbers for free online?

Yes and No. The car history data providers cannot offer the vehicle VIN for free. Alternatively, you can obtain the last 5 digits from us online as part of our basic check £1.99.

Is there any way to change your vehicle’s VIN?

It is rare where some vehicles need a VIN change like kit cars or rebuild. DVLA offers the new VIN when your vehicle passes its assessment. Later, you need to register the vehicle to confirm the vehicle is stamped with the correct VIN.

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