- Junk & Salvage Records
- Total Loss Records
- Flood Damage Records
- Cash for Clunkers
- Fire & Hail Records
A VIN is basically a formulaic serial number for a specific vehicle. Every vehicle manufactured is assigned a unique VIN number made up of seventeen digits and letters.
Before 1981, VINS were not subject to any standardization, and every manufacturer had their own system of letters and numbers they put on their cars.
In 1981, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) standardized the format, requiring all vehicle manufacturers to adopt the 17-character system, based on ISO 3779:2009. The policy prohibits the use of the letters (i), (o) and (q) to avoid any confusion.
Different countries, however, use different standards (one of four accepted) to identify their vehicles. There is a world identifier list that you can use when an international.
The numbers and letters that make up the VIN car number are not random. Much like your driver’s license number, they tell a story. With VINs the story is who made the car, the make model and engine type and where the car was built. Here is a breakdown of the entire 17 characters and what they mean.
On most American-made vehicles it is displayed on the driver’s side of the dashboard. You can search the VIN best from outside of the car looking through the windshield. If yours is not lo-cated on the dash, check the door panel (the edge where it latches). The code should be displayed there also.
You can also check your VIN on your insurance policy, card or vehicle registration and title pa-perwork. Other paperwork that you received when you purchased the vehicle may also help in the VIN lookup.
A vehicle history report, which may also be called a VIN check or VIN lookup, is a report that details specific information about a car, boat, truck or other vehicles. To request a VHR, you must have the correct VIN for your lookup.
Different companies offer levels of detail and some are free and others you need to pay a small fee to access.
Vehicle history reports are beneficial when you are trying to decide to purchase a used vehicle or not. They may show critical information about open recalls, accidents the vehicle has been in-volved in and other things that make or break the deal.
The specifics of what may appear on the report will vary by VIN lookup service, but the basics are:
If you are buying or interested in a used car, you should obtain a complete copy of the vehicle history report. You will save yourself a lot of headaches down the road.
Even if you are the person selling the vehicle, it makes sense to get a copy of your history report. You can avoid any surprises during the sale and be prepared to answer questions about open recalls, accidents or title history. By having all the facts at your fingertips, you ensure a smooth sale without any problems.
Texas is the state with the most floods so if a car you are interested in comes from Texas, be sure to do a VIN number check first. Louisiana and Florida are not far behind. There are 325, 510 flooded cars that are back on the roads. Be sure your new/used car is not one of them.
More than 50 million vehicles are subject to a recall every year. Many of them go un-repaired. 1 in 6 cars on the road today have an open recall that has not fixed yet.
More than six million vehicle accidents occur each year in the United States. Many minor accidents are unreported.