Do you Know About VIN’s Significance?
Vehicle Identification Number(VIN) is a unique combination of numerals and alphabets that form a code. This method of embossing unique codes on the vehicles was initiated by the automaker for the purpose of distinguishing different vehicles of the same make.
When was the System Initiated?
The method to identify cars was introduced in the year 1981. Although there were existing methods earlier; since there was no standardization as different number series were being used, it created ambiguity.
Hence, in 1981, for bringing consistency, automakers had obligations under the law to adhere to the standardized version. The combination code consists of 17 characters and contains essential car details. The key details are car type, model, make, manufacturer, model year and engine.
According to the law, the Vehicle Identification Number is essential for all the passenger vehicles that include motorcycles, cars, buses, trucks, etc. Also, it is prohibited to repeat any VIN for a vehicle before a period of 30 years elapses.
How Can you Check the VIN?
Usually, VIN can be found by closely examining the dashboard from the driver’s end. Another likely location is the door on the driver’s side.
However, if you find the whole process of finding VIN difficult, you can find it in the car’s owner manual. Since the VIN code is engraved in multiple places, it might be a good idea to match the VIN in various places to ensure authenticity.
The corner of the car where dashboard meets windshield is the most probable location for VIN to be engraved. Another likely location is the driver’s side door, specifically the door latch. In case VIN gets difficult to locate, you can simply refer to your car manual. The VIN is inscribed in more than one place, so it is necessary to ascertain that VIN sequence on the dashboard is identical to the one etched at the bottom of driver’s door post.
The vehicle’s ownership permit has the VIN code too, which can be used for matching.
Advantages Of VIN
VIN is not just a random series of numbers and letters. Rather, it is a valuable tool for the identification of any vehicle. The benefit of VIN is showcased most in the case of someone looking to buy a used car.
In some cases, car owners and dealers aren’t upfront with the car’s history. At such cases, VIN helps you find about the car’s history and if there is any issue with the car, or if it is a defective car. Nobody would want to be short sold than what they wanted based on what they paid for. Additionally, it can be used to check if the car is a stolen piece or is sold illegally by verifying vehicle registration documents and police records.
Important Facts about VIN
VIN is a 17 character code composed of alphanumeric but the positioning of the alphabets and digits portray its own significance. Here are the number/alphabet positions explained for clarity:
- The first three letters/alphabets signify the location where the vehicle was manufactured
- The next five(4,5,6,7,8) characters deal with the car’s features, for example, the car’s engine, series, body style, weight among other features.
- The ninth number has no relation to the vehicle anyhow is only made up of random values from 0-9 or X. The purpose of the ninth number is only to confirm the VIN code validity.
- The 10th character speaks about the vehicle’s manufacturing year while the 11th character indicates the assembling plant where the car has been assembled.
- The position of characters 12-17 is fixed for a special sequential number that is used for identifying particular vehicles.
- It should be noted that in the VIN, the letters ‘I’ ‘O’ and ‘Q’ are never used in VIN. The reason behind is the probability that they might be mistaken for the numbers ‘0’ and ‘1’.
- The last five characters position in the VIN are usually numbers.
One of the most important and yet intriguing facts about the VIN is related to the fact that VIN’s first character is used to denote the continent where the vehicle has been manufactured. For example, if the letter is from A-H, this signifies that the car has been made in Africa; for Asia, letters J to R are used, Asia includes the Middle East too. To signify Europe, letters S to Z are used to symbolize manufacturing in the Europe; and numbers 1-5 have been designated for the North America.
For Australia or New Zealand, number 6 and 7 are used while finally, number 8 to 9 signify South America.