Whenever a vehicle is manufactured, it gets a unique identifier known as a vehicle identification number (VIN). It is different for each vehicle and is not subject to change after a vehicle is manufactured.
Each character in VIN represents important details about the vehicle. These include manufacturer, year, engine size, and model. So, with access to appropriate information, you can find interesting details about a vehicle.
In this post, you will learn how to decode a VIN in 2021. Fortunately, there are online VIN decoders that make it a lot easier to do this. Read on to find out.
- 1 Where to find the VIN
- 2 Using VinPit to decode a VIN
- 3 What is a VIN
- 4 What else can you learn from VIN?
- 5 Conclusion
Where to find the VIN
Finding the VIN is easy since it is usually displayed in various places. These include:
- On the driver’s side where the windshield and dashboard meet
- On the driver’s side where the door latches
- Stamped on the engine
Using VinPit to decode a VIN
With Vinpit, you get one of the most reliable VIN decoders available today. The platform provides decoders for various manufacturers and is among the best BMW VIN decoder available.
The process of decoding a VIN with VinPit is straightforward. Here are the simple steps involved:
Step 1: Armed with the VIN you want to decode, visit the official VinPit website. Choose the VIN decoder option and provide the VIN in the search bar then hit the Search button.
Step 2: Give the platform a few seconds to decode the VIN. After a while, you get details about the vehicle from the manufacturer to model and year of manufacture.
What is a VIN
As indicated VIN is a unique vehicle identifier. It consists of 17 alphanumeric digits. It can be broadly down into 3 sections i.e.
- World manufacturer identifier
- Vehicle descriptor section
- Vehicle identifier section
World Manufacturer Identifier
The first 3 characters of VIN constitute the world manufacturer identifier. The first character represents the nation where the vehicle was built. Below are some examples of what the first character signifies:
- 1, 4, 5 – the United States
- 2 – Canada
- J – Japan
- K – South Korea
- W – Germany
The next two characters indicate the name of the manufacturer and the region it was produced. The second character represents the automaker and sometimes is the first letter of the manufacturer. For instance, S for Subaru.
Vehicle descriptor section
The characters starting from the 4th to the 9th character account for this section. Below are what each character represents:
- 4 – Gross vehicle weight rating/ brake system/body style
- 5-6 – Chassis, Series
- 7 – Restraint system
- 8 – Engine type
- 9 – Security code
Vehicle identifier section
The last 8 characters constitute this section.
- 10 – Indicates the vehicle’s model year
- 11 – Denotes the plant that built the vehicle
- 12 -17 – Is the unique serial number of the vehicle
What else can you learn from VIN?
You can discover the history of a vehicle by decoding VIN. So, decoding a VIN is handy when buying a used car. Navigating the used vehicle market can be difficult since there are many pitfalls to look out for.
With a VIN decoder, you can get a vehicle history report. The report allows you to avoid scams by providing you comprehensive details about the car. The vehicle history report provides the following details.
1. Ownership history
With a VIN report, you will get to know details about the previous owners of the vehicle. You get to know how long each has been with the vehicle. So, doing a VIN check is in your best interest.
2. Establish if the vehicle title has been cleansed
In the US, different states have various licensing rules for rebuilt or salvaged vehicles. However, some dodgy vehicle sellers move cars with a salvage title to states that provide favorable registration laws.
When a new title is issued without branding, this is known as cleansing the title. Thus, a vehicle history report makes it easy to distinguish salvage vehicles and vehicles that have clean histories.
3. Mileage verification
Although it is illegal to interfere with the odometer reading of a vehicle, some unscrupulous dealers roll it back. If the mileage seems too good to be true, it should trigger you to establish if someone tampered with it.
Whenever a vehicle is registered or goes for maintenance, its mileage is recorded. Thus, a vehicle history report through VIN check lets you know if someone interfered with the odometer.
4. Vehicle damage
Getting a vehicle history report offers details about previous accidents and damages to the vehicle. As well, you get to establish professional maintenance done to the vehicle.
Decoding VIN is a remarkable way of learning more about a vehicle. It is particularly helpful when purchasing a used vehicle. When you run a VIN through a VIN decoder, you get important details about the car.
Running a VIN check dramatically decreases the likelihood of being scammed.