Once manufactured, your car receives a unique number that enables tracking it – even after years. What does it consist of, and what is its purpose?

When registering your car, you receive many documents that you should later have at your disposal in the case of vehicle control. The VIN number, however, is granted even before the registration under your name. It doesn’t ever change – even if the vehicle changes its owner. 

What is the VIN number?

VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) is a unique configuration of digits applied to each car by its producer. Every vehicle released to the market is required to obtain such a number. 

VIN can adopt different forms depending on the country and the norms they follow. However, there is one factor that is common to all the VINs – the number of digits. Regardless of the country, there should always be seventeen digits. 

Do the digits refer to anything? Yes – their significance depends on the applied norm. According to the ISO norm, there are three parts of the VIN: WMI, VDS, and VIS. The first one consists of three characters and refers to the international code of the producer. The second one is a code for the properties of the particular model. The third part – VIS – is the serial number of the vehicle. It can include the year of production and the place where the car was constructed (in the 10th and 11th digits). However, that part is required in the EU member states.

Why is it important to know your VIN?

The essential use of the VIN is protection against theft. Using the number, you can carry out a vehicle history check. That’s particularly significant for these who plan to invest in the second-hand car. Using a free car check online, they can not only verify if the vehicle is stolen but also check its technical state. After putting the VIN in the register, you’ll be able to do a mileage check and see whether the car has participated in an accident.

There is another significant reason why knowing your VIN is essential. Having it at your disposal makes it easier to order the parts for your vehicle. If you invest in an older car that requires some major repair, with VIN you can make sure that the adjusted elements fit.

Verifying the car before purchasing it second-hand is essential to avoid any hidden defects and legal problems. Aside from participating in the technical inspection together with the seller, make sure to perform a car lookup to have all the vehicle information laid out. Sometimes it looks great at first glance, but then its value turns out to be overstated.