You may have heard that no two human fingerprints are the same, but you may not know that the sames applies to car VINs. A car VIN is a vehicle identification number. The VIN is a 17-character long series of numbers and letters that is unique to every vehicle. Every car is given one that sticks with it through its life. This unique serial number is used for a variety of reasons and can come in handy; understanding a car VIN can help you!
Toyota of Orlando’s car VIN tips
Before you can understand a vehicle identification number, you have to find it! Fortunately, there are only two places that VINs are typically found. The first, and most common, place is on the dashboard in the corner. More easily seen from the outside, you can find it in the lower corner of the windshield on the driver’s side. If you cannot find it there, check the driver’s side door jamb of the used car. It is located below the inner door latch. The VIN should also be listed on the car’s title, as well as the insurance information.
Once you’ve spotted the VIN, you can start to decode the 17 characters.
- The first three digits are information about the Orlando used car’s manufacturer. The first number represents the place of final assembly, the second is the first letter of the manufacturer’s name, and the third is the vehicle’s type.
- The fourth through eighth characters are responsible for describing the car. These numbers and letters describe things like model and body style. They also include more descriptive information like engine size and transmission type.
- The ninth character is a special one that is used to detect invalid VINs. It is determined using a formula created and used by the Department of Transportation. If this character is incorrect, you could be in major trouble.
- The tenth character identifies the model year and allows you to gauge Orlando used car’s age.
- The eleventh character indicates which manufacturing plant the vehicle came from.
- The remaining six characters are a unique serial number for the used car in Orlando.
If you do not see 17 characters, make sure to double check that you did not miscount. If you are still short, the car is more than likely a model older than 1981. If the vehicle identification number is more than 17 characters, you are looking at a fake and should alert the authorities.
Shop for an Orlando used car safely!
How can all of this information help you? Checking a car’s VIN is a great way to ensure you’re buying a reliable ride while used car shopping in Orlando. Since the VIN is unique to every car, you’re able to run a VIN check and find out information about the car’s history you may not get from a private seller. Information like:
- Auto service records
- Accident history
- Auto repair records
- Number of owners
Buying a used car in Orlando is safer once you run a VIN check! For more questions, give us a call at (888) 725-3520!