If you’re buying a secondhand automobile, how can you tell if the car is six months or even a year old? This is where the car's DNA comes into play, and it's important to know what it is.
A VIN and a chassis number are terms you'll likely hear when purchasing auto insurance. But why do insurance companies need this information? That's because your car's VIN serves as a personal identification number. The best analogy would be to think of it as a footprint on a vehicle.
This article explains how to locate your car's VIN quickly by following a few easy steps, so let's get started.
5 Ways To Find a VIN Number
- Look at Your Car’s Dashboard
- Look on the Driver-Side Door
- Look on Your Auto Insurance Card
- Use a VIN Decoder
- Ask the Car’s Owner
Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) or "Chassis Number" is a unique number assigned to your vehicle by the manufacturer. Registration authorities register your vehicle by using the chassis number. Its unique 17-digit serial number sets it apart from other models and brands.
If you want to know how to locate a car's chassis number, you could try the following:
1. Look on Your Car’s Dashboard
Automakers publish the VIN on the driver’s side dashboard. Looking at the dashboard in front of the steering wheel while sitting in the driver's seat might be enough to find it. Otherwise, standing outside the car and peering through the windshield can get you a better view of the VIN.
If the vehicle was built after 1981, the VIN should contain 17 characters. VINs ranged from 11 to 17 characters in length for cars built before that date.
2. Look on the Driver-Side Door
Additionally, the VIN should be included on the Federal Safety Certification Label, which is a small white sticker on the inside of every new automobile on the road today. Finding your car's chassis number on the driver's door is common. The car's B-pillar has a metal strip with the vehicle's serial number printed on it, and you might see this when you open the door on the driver’s side.
3. Look on Your Auto Insurance Card
As a car owner, you must get your vehicle insured. Since your automobile is insured, you'll be able to discover your vehicle's VIN number in your insurance policy documentation. Many keep their car insurance documents in their glove compartment alongside the owner’s manual and registration.
Thanks to technological advancements, this policy paperwork is delivered to your email address as soon as you purchase or renew your auto insurance. The VIN of your automobile may be found in your registered email account as well.
4. Use a VIN Decoder
You can also use the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's website for VIN lookups and decodings or to check for a recall using the NHTSA’s two free VIN check tools available.
A VIN decoder can tell you a lot about a car's history and some of its most significant specs. Still, it also has more serious functions, such as determining the car's title, registration, and insurance.
Always verify the vehicle identification number (VIN) before making any auto parts purchases. If you simply know the year, make, and model of your automobile, you may be unable to find compatible components.
5. Ask the Car’s Owner
The simplest alternative is to go back to the dealership where you bought the automobile. They'll be able to find your vehicle's VIN with ease. Your car's model and year will help them discover your vehicle identification number (VIN).
Why Do You Need To Know Your Car’s VIN Number?
VINs allow us to trace the whereabouts of the planet's more than one billion automobiles. A vehicle's unique identification number (VIN) is used to document any changes to the vehicle, including accidents, oil changes, and overhauls.
You can learn a lot about your car's history by looking up its VIN, which is why VINs are a precious tool for everybody, regardless of age or background.
1. You Need a VIN for Buying or Selling a Car
Used car owners often utilize VIN check websites to find out whether their vehicle has been involved in an accident, if the manufacturer has ever had to recall it, how many times the vehicle has been purchased and sold, and more... It goes on and on. In addition to the model year, country of origin, vehicle title, and warranty information, anyone selling a car ought to know the VIN identifier.
Hence, when considering the purchase of a used vehicle, potential buyers must find its vehicle identification number (VIN). Prospective purchasers can acquire trustworthy information about a car's history if they have the VIN to hand. They won't be a victim of fraud if they follow this advice.
2. You Need a VIN for Recall Information
You may not know whether your automobile is included in a safety recall when you buy it. Automobile recalls occur considerably more often than you may think, so it's a good idea to check in on the condition of your vehicle regularly.
According to legislation, automobile manufacturers are obligated to notify owners about recalls. This notification may come in various forms, including mail, email, and telephone.
Think about your car's VIN or Vehicle Identification Number. Many third-party applications for iOS and Android allow you to scan your vehicle's bar code (typically found on the windshield or in a door jamb) with your phone and get recall information without entering all those letters and numbers.
Learning about your car's characteristics and maintenance history is possible using some of these applications.
3. You Need a VIN To Find Your Car’s Serial Number
Familiarizing yourself with the serial number of your vehicle helps you determine its exact age and prevents you from purchasing a car that is too old (or sold as a new one). Moreover, to receive the correct IDV (Insured Declared Value) when purchasing a motor insurance policy, you need your vehicle's VIN or serial number. Therefore, the VIN provides you with the necessary information before buying a car and avoids fraud.
What To Do Next
It’s critical to be familiar with your vehicle’s VIN number when buying and selling, but that’s not the only part of the process. Whether you’re buying or selling a vehicle, you’re going to need a way to get it from point A to point B.