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What You Need to Know About VIN

A VIN is essential in almost any stage of a car ownership journey. It provides crucial information about the car’s manufacturer, model, year, and other specific details. This information can help you track and maintain a vehicle’s history, including its production date, engine size, and any previous accidents or repairs. You will need a VIN to determine the value of a car and its eligibility for auto insurance and financing. 

A VIN decoder is necessary to access all these details from VIN. The free VIN Check tool can help you decode your VIN accurately. With Free VIN Check, you can identify stolen vehicles and check for any open recalls or safety issues. Click here to learn more about this free VIN decoding service. Therefore before you buy a used car, use Free VIN Check to verify the VIN to ensure the vehicle is not stolen and to obtain a comprehensive understanding of its history.

What You Need to Know About VIN
What You Need to Know About VIN

Meaning of a VIN And Why It Is Important

A VIN is a 17-digit number meant for every car’s unique identity code. These characters typically contain information about a vehicle’s features, specifications, and manufacturer. Every vehicle gets a VIN on the production line and sticks to it forever. Much like a Social Security number, or fingerprint, it is a unique identifier throughout the life of a vehicle. This code, which is usually stamped into the vehicle chassis, is unique to each car – you can never find two vehicles with a similar VIN.  

However, vehicles manufactured before 1981 usually have VINS that vary in length between 11 and 17 characters.

The VIN comes with a clever system to see if the code stamped on a car is legitimate. Here is how: when you multiply all the numbers except the ninth together, then divide the result by 11, you should get the ninth digit. 

So, what is so special about this number anyway? Here is why it is important

Why Is a VIN Number Important?

When buying or selling a used car, a VIN check on the car’s VIN helps you authenticate a car’s identity and confirm its ownership. You can know whether there is any outstanding loan owed on the car because a loan typically applies to the vehicle itself, even if it has been re-registered and got new plates.

You can also determine whether the vehicle was previously reported as stolen or has had extensive damage or an accident that might make it unsafe on the roads. By checking the odometer readings, you can confirm that the odometer has not been tampered with.

A VIN check lets you see whether the vehicle is subject to a manufacturer’s recall. Besides that, it will help you track registrations, warranty claims, and insurance coverage, among other things.

Additionally, you need a VIN to find replacement parts for faulty parts of your vehicle. A VIN contains details on the technical aspects of the car, including vehicle style, engine type, body, seatbelt, airbags, etc. A VIN can help you determine the correct part for replacement.

A Comparison Between a VIN Number Chassis Number And Engine Number

Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and Chassis Number are often used interchangeably, but that is because they mean the same thing. VINs are sometimes referred to as chassis numbers because the VIN is stamped on the chassis. The chassis refers to the base frame of the vehicle. 

The VIN is also placed on other convenient parts of the car so that anyone can easily find them – No one deserves to crawl under the vehicle to locate a VIN.

Engine numbers are, however, not the same as VINs. Unlike VINs engine numbers are not fixed to the car. Just like other components they can be changed. The engine is an essential part of any car, which is why they get numbers to specify their size and power output. When you need to replace your engine with a new one, your car will be assigned a new engine number. Therefore unlike the engine number that changes, the VIN remains the same, even if the car undergoes some significant repairs.

Do All VINs Have 17 Characters? What If the VIN Is not 17 Characters Long?

The serial number of classic cars produced before 1981 contains characters that vary in length between 11 and 17. All vehicles manufactured from 1981 must have 17 alphanumeric characters. Therefore, if your car is post-1981 and the VIN is not 17 characters long, then something is wrong.

It could be that the owner scratched off the characters, which should be a big red flag because it could mean that the car could have been seriously damaged or stolen. The owner may be trying to hide this information from you. 

Kindly double-check your VIN before confirming it is not 17 characters long.

What If the VIN Is not 17 Characters Long?
What If the VIN Is not 17 Characters Long?

Which Car Should You Never Buy Used? Here’s How a VIN Can Help You Decide

A VIN can help you learn a lot about a vehicle’s past. Using this past, you can decide whether the vehicle is worthy of purchase. When you run a VIN and notice a car has been recalled (in which case it is not safe to drive around in it ) or it has more than one VIN, you should never buy such a vehicle. 

Additionally, If you run a VIN check on a used car and you find the following information, you should never buy them, or at the very minimum, be extra cautious about buying them:

  • If the vehicle is salvaged and you know nothing about repairing them,  
  • A car has had too many owners, 
  • The car has mysterious gaps in the Carfax for servicing, 
  • Any car containing massive depreciation, 
  • If the seller drops the price of the car drastically for you without any reason, some VIN checks will let you estimate the market value of any car based on its past history or current condition. If the car is selling far below market, and it seems too good to be true, most of the time it is. 
  • Cars with their OBD II not functioning well. It is usually because the seller is hiding something.

Although high mileage puts many customers off, it doesn’t have to be a huge concern. You can have high mileage, for example, nearly 250,000, and still, have a good car with no major issues except routine maintenance. Either way, before you purchase a used car, ensure that you have enough past details about it as possible.


Are you looking to buy a used car but worried about getting a bad deal? FreeVINCheck should be your starting point. This site will give you comprehensive information on the car’s technical specifications and its past history. It allows you to inspect hidden issues and get notified should there be a fraud. It is your best bet for making an informed purchase.

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