MINI vin lookup, vehicle identification, 10 reasons to decode a vin

A Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is the car’s identification which consists of unique alphanumeric characters. You can use this number to figure out everything about a specific vehicle. An accurate analogy of a VIN number would a birth certificate - only that it is for vehicles.

With this number, you will be able to verify whether the vehicle is authentic. It also allows you to find some important information about the vehicle and its manufacturer.

This was introduced in the year 1981. Most of the automobiles we see on the road today have seventeen characters of the VIN. Some countries have a VIN designation of fewer than seventeen characters.

The VIN comprises of numbers and letters. Each one signifies a specific detail concerning the vehicle. This includes the country where it was manufactured, the model of the car e.g. Taurus, the make of the vehicle e.g. Ford, the restraint system, the year of manufacture and the engine type and so much more.

VIN numbers may look almost similar for cars with a common origin. However, the numerical sequence is unique for every specific model. For instance, in the seventeen-character VIN, the last six characters are unique for each model.

Where to find a VIN

The VIN of a vehicle is a very small rectangular metallic plate fixed at the driver’s side, near the bottom side of the windshield. It can also be located on the major components of the car such as the chassis, transmission and engine block.

Importance of VIN Number

A VIN number plays a very important role in vehicles. A vehicle without this number can be seen as a child without a birth certificate. This is how important it is. There is no way you can identify a car or heavy machinery without having a VIN number, since the core reason for a VIN number is to help identify the vehicles.

It will also enable you to know other basic information such insurance coverage, registration, parking tickets etc.

Learning about reading a VIN number is a handy skill. Each vehicle has a VIN number decoding solution. It goes a long way in enabling you to identify the details of the vehicles, compatible parts and the VIN number specs for efficient and effective use.

There are several options you can use to check for VIN number. For instance, you can use a VIN number decoder to assist you in cracking the puzzle.

Here are Top 10 Reasons for Decoding a VIN

1. To Help Track and Find your Stolen Car

As mentioned above, every vehicle has a unique and the one and only VIN number. On the unfortunate event that your vehicle is stolen, your VIN number will immensely assist the authorities in tracking and recovering it. Even if the number plates were removed and replaced, the VIN number can never be removed.

2. It helps you when shopping for used vehicles.

It is no secret that used cars can have some hidden issues. It is, therefore, important to get a VIN number report of a used car before making a decision to purchase it. The VIN report will provide you with the full details of vehicle history, and give you some other important information which might be hidden, such as mileage readings, emissions tests, ownership transfers, accident history and much more. Remember that you should get full details of used cars before purchasing it. Otherwise, you may land yourself in an ocean of troubles.

3. To know the Origins of the Vehicle.

Ussualy first character of the VIN number signifies the geographical origin of the vehicles. Note that the place where the car was made may be different from the manufacture’s location.

Here is how to read the location where the vehicle was made:

  • A – H signifies that it is made from Africa
  • J – R ( with an exceptional of O and Q) shows that it is from Asia
  • S – Z indicates it is from Europe
  • 1 – 5 means that it is from North America
  • 6 or 7 shows that the vehicle is from Australia or New Zealand
  • 8 or 9 designates that the vehicle is from South America

4. To know the country where your car was manufactured.

You may want to know where your car was manufactured for your own reasons. If you desire to do so, it is possible. The second number or letter combined with the first number or letter shows the country where your vehicle was made. Note that not all the GM vehicles are in made in America the same way not all Japanese vehicles are made from Japan and so on. There are over eighty countries that manufacture cars, hence over six hundred VIN country codes.

5. It helps you to know the manufacturer of your car

The second and the third digits will tell you the manufacturer of the car, e.g. T- Toyota, J- Jeep, 4- Buick. The third character shows you the exact division of the vehicle manufacturer.

6. To know the model of your car

The fourth and the ninth digits are the Vehicle Descriptor Section (VDS). It is used to find out the body style and model of the vehicle.

7. To know whether your vehicle is original

The ninth number in VIN is the check digit that helps you to know if the VIN is a fake one or not. This is possible as the check digit usually uses a very complex calculation and therefore it is impossible to fake it.

8. To know the exact year when the car was manufactured.

The tenth number or letter is used to indicate the year when the vehicle was manufactured. For instance, the seventeen characters VIN began with A for vehicles manufactured in 1980 and it repeated the sequence again in 2010 with letter A.

9. To know the history of the vehicle.

You can enter the vehicle VIN on online sites so as to know some specific information that is not related to the VIN number such as insurance coverage.

10. It helps in repurchasing the replacement parts of your car.

When you are going to purchase a car part, you should have your VIN number. The vehicle parts are usually related to certain VINs. If you only use the make or model, you may not be able to get a fitting part.

As you have seen, it is very important to know how to decode a VIN number. You should first know what your vehicle VIN number is and then proceed to decode it. Apart from the two parts of the vehicle, you can find a VIN number of your car on the registration or title of the vehicle or on the insurance.

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