Why you Should do Vin Number and How to do a Vin Number Check (vehicle identification number)
Check Before Making A Purchase
Learning how to do a VIN (vehicle identification number) number check is essential if you’re planning to buy a used car or motor vehicle, especially from a private party. There are many risk factors involved, and neglecting to check vehicle history to save a few bucks could wind up costing a fortune if you buy a lemon in need of expensive repairs.
You could also wind up paying too much for the vehicle if the true value has been inflated by the seller. A VIN number check produces a vehicle history report, which could reveal serious problems including odometer rollback, theft, lemon status, major collision, reconstruction, water (flood damage) and fire damage, and other pitfalls were experienced by previous owners.
A VIN lookup combined with checking the blue book value is the best way to avoid problems and find the best price.
A vehicle history report also documents previous DMV transactions, title transfers, odometer readings, past owners, engine size, body style, vehicle type, status vehicle’s title, and similar records useful for determining the actual value of the vehicle and if it’s wise to make the purchase or move on. Whether you’re buying a vehicle from a dealer, or through a private seller, you must complete a VIN number check. A seller could hide vehicle history to get the sale, or they might not even know anything about history at all.
What is a VIN or Vehicle Identification Number and is there a way to decode it?
A VIN number is a code that identifies a unique automobile. It’s like the social security or serial number for your car which is a standard for the automotive industry.
VIN information is gathered by the NHTSA (National Highway Safety Administration) from manufacturers who submit this data to the organization
Many law enforcement agencies will also do a VIN check to track and find vehicles that have been stolen.
You can Google “Vind Number Decoder” for various sites which will have an online VIN decoder to decode the VIN so you can get more information regarding the car.
Where To Find The Number For A VIN Number Check
In order to complete a VIN number check, write down the entire 17 digit figure, which is comprised of both numbers and letters.
A VIN number is always added at the car maker’s assembly plant.
A VIN number is usually located on the dashboard in the far left corner of the driver’s side of the vehicle. The number is usually engraved into the dashboard, on a sticker in the door jamb, or on a label fastened to the surface.
You might also find the VIN number on the side of an opened car door, inside the trunk, near the engine, the inside of the window, or on the passenger side of the dashboard.
Unfortunately, you cannot complete a VIN number check for vehicles built prior to the 1981 model year, because this is the year the number first came into use and is the standard identifier for motor vehicles.
The VIN number also tracks the country of origin and is sometimes located on the driver’s side door.
How to do a Vin Number Check For Motorcycles
How to do a VIN number check for motorcycles, ATVs, and other vehicles. A VIN lookup is not only used for cars but also motorcycles. The VIN number for a bike is usually 17 digits long, but occasionally only 11 digits.
VIN numbers began to accompany bikes in 1950, so you can complete a VIN check for older bikes. The VIN number is usually printed on a metal plate found on the frame of the engine.
How to do a Vin Number Check and is it really a free VIN check?
To learn how to do a VIN Number Check, Check out websites advertising to get a free VIN number check or free vehicle history report and see what they offer. There are DMV websites that allow a free car history report, but you’re probably only going to receive a partial report and not the complete history. The DMV sites are good because they connect directly to national databases which contain more information.
In most cases, paying for a quality VIN number search for a used vehicle from a service like Carfax or Autocheck is your best bet because you’re going to receive the most information. This information will include the car’s accident history if any, which is critical to prevent buying a lemon, which would be a total loss.
A free car history report won’t give you much information. Beware of some sites offering free reports, as you may be signing up for more than you bargained for. You should definitely try to stay safe online.
Prices to use a VIN lookup service range from $30 – $40, which is actually very reasonable compared to similar types of services. Paying $30 is a wise investment if it can prevent serious financial problems in the future.
Additionally, this could be a guiding factor to decide if you should buy an extended warranty on a used car.
Hire a trusted certified mechanic to inspect a vehicle, in addition to using a VIN number check. Do not use the mechanic at the dealership. A good mechanic friend should be happy to pop open the hood and take a look at the parts, as well as complete a test drive.