Are you planning to buy a car soon? Buying a used car might be one of the best financial decisions you can make.
Especially since when you buy new, your car’s value plummets the moment you drive off the lot. If you’re willing to drive a great, but less-than-perfect car, you can save a ton of money and drive with less risk.
At the same time, buying used can be risky. You don’t know anything about the car’s history. That’s where a VIN number comes in handy.
What is a VIN number? It’s essentially your car’s identification number and it can tell you a lot about the vehicle that you wouldn’t know otherwise.
Want to know how to find a VIN number and why it’s so important? Keep reading to find out now.
Don’t Buy a Car Yet
If you have your eyes set on a beautiful, used car that seems perfect in every way, don’t buy it. At least, not yet.
The current owner might not be the original owner. There may have been a few people who have owned and driven this car.
And the current owner can only tell you so much about a car. The problem is, though, that you don’t know what’s true. Or if it is true, you don’t know what they are leaving out, intentionally or unintentionally.
So if you want to buy a car with confidence, you need a reputable source of information that isn’t biased. That’s why you need to know about VIN numbers.
What Is a VIN Number?
A VIN number, or vehicle identification number, is essentially your car’s unique ID or fingerprint. Every car (made after 1980) has one.
VIN numbers consist of 17 characters. It’s given to the vehicle by the manufacturer. And it’s loaded with vehicle information you need to know.
Car information that you can gather from a VIN number includes the make and model of the car, the model year, where it was made, and the serial number.
When you look up information about your car by the VIN, you’ll also find out if there are any recalls for the vehicle, which is important for your safety.
And you also need to know if the car was ever reported stolen. Looking up and verifying a VIN can do all of this for you in just a few moments. Once you have the VIN of a car you are considering, you can look it up here!
How to Find a VIN Number
Do you know how to find a VIN number? It should be listed on every car, so it’s easy to locate.
Look on the windshield. You should notice a small decal on the driver’s side, where the windshield meets the dashboard. It should also be located on the driver’s side door, in the jamb. This is typically near the door’s latch.
You can also find it on the vehicle’s documents. When looking at a car, make sure the number matches in all of these places, or it could be a sign that the car was stolen and rebuilt with other stolen parts.
All Driver’s Should Understand VIN Numbers
So what is a VIN? It’s the car’s fingerprint, its history, and its entire report all in one. It’s an incredibly helpful bit of information. Every driver should know what a VIN is, how to use it, and where to find it.
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