What can you find out about a car using the VIN number

What can you find out about a car using the VIN number Books written by Uri J. Nachimson

In the announcement of the sale of the car, they do not always write all the details. For example, later it may turn out that the car was in a serious accident, worked in a TA.
2022-01-20, by Uri J. Nachimson , Book author

#Car || #2022 || #Production ||

Table of contents:

Cars are primarily identified by VIN or body number, for right-hand drive Japanese market cars. Sometimes the check can be made directly from home, if the number is indicated in the ad for sale.

Free services provide information about one or more verification parameters. If you collect them all, you will get a full appraisal of the car. Payment services collect all the data in a single report and supplement it with useful details that have been passed on by commercial companies. For example, authorized dealer recall campaigns or vintage car sales ads with photos and descriptions.

In this article, I`ll tell you what a VIN is (based on the post VIN decoder) and why check a car that uses it, what you can find out about a car from its number, what free government services are available for verification . I`ll also compare the features and prices of popular payment services, and at the end I`ll explain why their reports shouldn`t be treated as 100% true.

What is a VIN

VIN is an abbreviation for Vehicle Identification Number in English & mdash; Vehicle identification number. It consists of 17 numbers and letters, each of which contains information about the car. Every car has a unique VIN, like a human fingerprint.

The code is divided into three parts:

  • The first three characters are the world manufacturer code, World Manufacturer Identifier (WMI).
  • The following six are the general characteristics of the model, vehicle description section (VDS).
  • The last eight are the characteristics of a particular vehicle, VIS-Vehicle Indicators section.

How to check a car before buying it

The first VIN digit or letter is the geographic area in which the car was produced.

What does the first VIN character mean

  • A-H Africa
  • J-R Asia
  • S-Z Europe
  • 1-6 North America
  • 6-7 Oceania
  • 8-9 South America

The second symbol is the country. Some countries correspond to a whole range of letters or numbers. For example, after the unit at the beginning of the VIN, there can be any number or letter: in any case, it will be the United States. To facilitate identification, there is a special table. Vertically & mdash; part of the world, horizontally - letters and numbers that correspond to countries.

The third symbol is the manufacturer`s division. Sometimes it denotes the type of vehicle. Together with the first two digits, it forms a code with which the car manufacturer can be identified. If a manufacturer produces up to 500 cars a year, it will always be number 9.

The symbols from the fourth to the ninth are determined by the manufacturer itself and coincide with two cars of the same model and configuration.

Symbols have their own sequence and designations unique to each manufacturer. They may contain information about the model, engine type, bodywork and transmission.

Generally the ninth position is a check digit. It is calculated according to a special algorithm at the factory, what it will be depends on the other characters. If any character in the VIN is " interrupted & quot;, the check digit will also change.

Not all manufacturers use all six characters to characterize the model, so the remaining characters are padded with zeros or the letters Z.

A car with a twisted mileage

The tenth through seventeenth symbols are the identification of a particular car. The tenth symbol, as a rule, indicates the model year of the car. Do not confuse this position with the car`s year of manufacture, as they may differ. For example, if the model was released in 2018, the 10th character will always be "J", even if this particular car was made in 2021. Since 2001, the codes are indicated by a number, and since 2010, by a letter. .

A manufacturer may have many factories around the world, so the 11th digit indicates a specific manufacturer. The last six positions of the VIN are the car`s unique serial number, and the last four are always digits.

Source: VIN lookup

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