We all know that most of the times cars are being purchased as “used”, and although there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, you should always make sure that you know the entire history of the car before closing up the transaction. Unfortunately, we all know what the reality of the market is, and the person trying to sell you a vehicle will probably never tell you about all of those “accidents” that might’ve happened to the car a few years back.
Luckily, there is a way to check the history of a car, and what’s even better is that you can do it for free. How? Feel free to read until the end if you want to learn more. Without further ado, let’s take a look.
What is a VIN Number?
A VIN number is something that every vehicle made after 1981 has. It is a “code” that is composed of 17 characters, including numbers and letters, and they are listed on a small tag, which is usually located on the driver’s side of the dashboard. It is visible when you’re looking through the windshield from the outside of the vehicle, but you’ll need to pay a much closer attention if you want to fully read it from there.
Some vehicles will have their VIN Numbers in other locations, so if you can’t find yours on the one we just mentioned, do not panic. Other locations where VIN numbers might be are the following:
– Inside the drivers’ side door on the rear side of the door frame
– Under where you place your spare tire
– On the engine block, in most cases at the front side
A VIN number can also be found on the registration card and insurance documents, as well as any other paperwork for the vehicle, but the most reliable one is the one that you can find on the car itself.
What can a VIN Number tell me?
A VIN number can tell you many things about the history of the vehicle. In order to find out this information, you’ll need to check your VIN number on an online checker. VinFreeCheck is a service that provides free VIN number reports, so feel free to pay them a visit if you want to learn a thing or two about your car.
What do the characters mean?
Some people think that the VIN number is just a random code that is unique for each car, but it is really not just that. Every character in the code has a meaning. The first one is the location of the manufacturing. The second and the third is the company that manufactured the car.
The fourth up until the eight are telling you what type and size is the engine. The ninth is the security code. The tenth is the model year. The eleventh is the manufacturing plant and the last ones are the vehicle serial number. This adds to a total of 17 digits, with each one of them having a meaning.