Buying a car or motorcycle needs a thorough check, and more so if it’s a second-hand vehicle. Nowadays, there are handful of sellers who are doing many wicked things to tamper their vehicles just to make sure they sell.
Knowing that these are used automobiles, there is a possibility that many of them have a history of accident, engine damage, scratches or worst, they were stolen.
Many car or motorcycle buyers are not aware of that and because of the excitement of owning the car or motorbike, they could ignore these precautionary measures and close the deal.
So this article will answer how to perform an accurate car VIN check. Also applies to motorbike riders, since process of VIN number searching is the same.
What is a Car VIN Check/Search?
Now we will begin with the word VIN. It is the Vehicle Identification Number, a unique number provided by the manufacturer for every vehicle that was produced.
It is a requirement for the registration of the car. This VIN can be found in different parts of the car.
The purpose of this is to provide a record of its history, which will help identify it, its owners and everything you want to know about it.
This will make identifying the real condition of a car prior to buying it, a great help for the buyers. A car VIN tells every bit of information about the car or motorbike.
Purposes of requiring a VIN for its car manufactured and imported to the US
- Ownership – This is to allow the Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) to identify the true ownership of the car and to help authorities identify a stolen car.
- Tracking – It is easier for the car manufacturer to keep track of the car for recall purposes and for upgrading its system.
- Identifying Parts – This will also help identify the right parts and services.
- Accuracy – It helps bring accuracy in choosing the best parts for the car.
- History – The report will include any incidents the car was involved in the past.
How can we find the VIN of a car/motorcycle?
Printed in the car itself, the common location is in the driver’s side dashboard or on the door jamb of the driver’s side. There are also some other possible locations of the VIN in a car, such as the steering column, engine block or the radiator.
How do we understand the VIN of a car/motocycle?
Here is how you read it:
VIN Digit / Function
1 Country – digit 1 denotes the country it was built in or it came from. With this, it will be easier to trace the owners and the origin of the car.
2 Manufacturer – this also is a good indication if the car’s body was tampered. If the body is of a different make, then it is reflected by the VIN.
3 Type – the type reveals what type of vehicle it is.
8 Check Digit
9 Year – here, the digit tells when the car was manufactured.
10 Assembly Plant – the 10th digit points to the assembly plant where it came from
12-17 Production Number
What do bad sales bring to the buyer?
- The unsuspecting buyer may be able to buy a stolen vehicle. It is not an easy situation considering that you already have spent money for the purchase. They will have problems with the authorities and legality.
- The buyer may be able to buy a car with a body full of scratch and dents, caused by previous accidents and covered by paint.
- The car bought may have an engine defect and the parts may be no longer original. They may have changed the original parts with replacement parts.
- They may have bought a tampered car/motorcycle, which means that readings in the gauge were tampered. Like the odometer, which when tampered, will alter the reading.
What are the things that can be avoided if you use VIN of the car?
- Buying a stolen car – This can be avoided with the VIN. Some sellers make money out of stolen cars/motorbikes. They buy stolen cars from one place and sell them in another place.
- Buying a defective car – Many sellers will not tell the buyer about the real status of the engine and other parts of the car. So, just few weeks after the purchase, you will observe symptoms of a damage engine and parts.
- Buying a car whose body has been rebuild and repainted – This is a common situation where after an accident, the car will be brought to a shop for body repair and repainting, and then the car will be disposed of. But a car that undergoes a body repair from an ordinary shop cannot be compared with the computerized machines in the factory. There are changes that cannot be seen by our naked eyes.
- Parts – Some parts of the car may not be the exact replacements because the parts they used were merely compatibles. When the original parts were replaced, the function and the durability have changed. Imagine you bought a Japanese car and later you noticed the parts inside were for another Japanese car.
How does the VIN car search affect the sale?
After a VIN number search, the deal is affected depending on the result of the check. If the result finds any tampering, it’s up for the buyer to bargain for a lower price or to decline and cancel the deal. A car VIN search will bring a bigger effect on the sale as it involves many things.
It brings out the history of the car, the owners, incidents that involved the car, and the status of the engine, its parts and the functions. All of these are revealed in the report that have a big impact on the deal.
How does the VIN verification of a car contribute to the society?
In general, the VIN has a lot to contribute to the society. First it helps curve criminality. Because of this VIN check, it is now easy to find out if the car you want to buy is a stolen car. It makes selling stolen cars an impossible task.
It also helps the private sector because it helps people find out if the cars they want to buy are in mint condition or have an accident history. It can also help them check the real functionality of the car, creating an environment of healthy competition among sellers.
Is VIN searching available for everyone and everywhere?
Yes, the VIN searching or checking is available for everyone, by law. All you have to do is search on the internet for the websites of the search platforms. There are several of them and once you have chosen one, just enter the VIN of the car. The fees will vary from site to site and the kind of search you are making.
The third world countries are usually a good market for second-hand cars. Because owing a car is becoming a necessity nowadays, people living in these countries are buying second-hand cars for their daily use.
Others who are financially solvent usually opt for the brand-new cars. But a big number is still hooked up to the second-hand market. Some cars are already junk from the country of origin.
But when they reach the third world countries, they are refurbished, overhauled and repainted to look like new cars.
Also, odometers are often tampered to paint a low mileage and some right hand cars are converted to left hand cars.
Some countries in South East Asia are the place where you can find these second hand vehicles from makers such as BMW, Ford, Toyota, Audi. They all have their second-hand vehicles here. There is a great need of VIN verification here, considering the huge market of second-hand car buyers in these countries.
Buying a car/motorcycle, whether a brand-new or a used one, should be thought of properly. Do not ignore warnings from friends and follow the standard procedure. Do not be lured by advertising and marketing strategies. Keep in mind that after the purchase, you cannot return the car to the seller. It will be all yours and you would not want to spend your hard-earned for repairing of the car.
Imagine if you have bought a stolen car or a car with a damaged engine. Maybe you will be able to buy a car that was involved in a car accident few years ago. Isn’t it frustrating? It will put you in a very bad situation. Aside from the legalities and the additional expenses, there will also be the physical and mental stress.
Are people aware of the VIN?
In many developed and advanced countries, people may be aware of the VIN car number searching process. It is because the government will require a VIN during registration as a must. In these countries, they have a centralized data base system that contains every detail of a car.
Whereas in some third world countries, there is no centralized system. Thus, people from these countries are not fully aware of this factor.
Is it mandatory for all car manufacturers to provide the VIN in their products?
Yes, they should put one. It is required by the Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, United States (eg: Florida is common) and other western countries for every vehicle that is delivered to them.
It is a very important requirement in the car registration. Besides, it will be lot easier for them to recall their vehicles in case they need to upgrade or to correct faults.
What are the basic steps to be followed when buying a new or second hand cars/motorcycles?
- First, you need to search online for cars for sale. There are so many of the seller in the web offering different kinds of cars, new and used.
- Once you have made a choice, make a call and inquire from their agents of the make and price of the vehicle.
- After talking with the agent, you should schedule a visit to their showroom. You can personally check and see the physical appearance of the vehicle. If possible, bring with you a friend or someone who is familiar with the nuts and bolts of the automotive industry. You can also bring someone who understands car engines and mechanism well.
- Once you have made your choice, try to locate the VIN of the car and have it checked for verification. This will reveal everything you need to know about the car.
- After you have received the report generated by the VIN search, you can either bargain for more or back out from the deal. You have every reason to do that.
The Car VIN check/search is a welcoming development not only in the US but all over the world. It is a good development that produces good results. It helps the government curve criminality by clearing up the market for tampered and stolen vehicles. It also helps the mass make a good buy and ensure good value for their money.
What are the disadvantages of having a car VIN check/search?
There are actually no disadvantages to having a car VIN check/search. Everything it brings is advantageous to everyone involved.
In this note, it is advised that having a car VIN check before any car purchase is encouraged. Anyway, it won’t take long to undergo the process. It is not expensive and the process is pretty simple. You only have to locate the VIN from the vehicle and once you have chosen a website, you just have to fill up the form with the VIN and other necessary details.
This will be an effort worth making. The result will be a good buy for you. A successful buy that is away from any hassles and irregularities. A decision that paid off and an assurance that the new investment will last long and is not a liability. Again, there is no regulation that makes it compulsory, but it’s only a matter of choice.
Whether to go through a car VIN number check/search or to just rely on your instinct and pay the price right away is a tough decision to make. But it is tougher if you wrongly made a decision.