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How to Evaluate a Used Car from Its VIN and Records


If you want to buy your own vehicle, but don’t have enough money to buy a new one, then a used car is a great choice for you. However, the seller can easily deceive you and hide a lot of important information about the car. For example, not to mention some legal problems or the fact of a serious accident. In addition, if you do not carefully inspect the machine, then in the future it may have technical problems. Therefore, before purchasing, it is simply necessary to find out the history of the car and a lot of other data about it.

Previously, such a procedure could take a lot of time because each time it was necessary to personally meet with the owner and inspect the vehicle. Today this problem has disappeared because there are many services on the Internet called VIN decoders. They are designed to generate a report that will include a huge amount of data that can help you choose a high-quality copy of the car. Therefore, before buying, you should check VIN with decoder.

VIN is a unique number that every vehicle has today. With it, you can learn a lot of important details about the car. For example, the year of manufacture, equipment, specifications, geographic region of manufacture, and much more. This code is assigned in accordance with ISO standards. It consists of 17 elements, which can be both numbers and letters. During the entire period of operation, VIN never changes and remains the same as it was made at the factory. It is worth saying that the letters O and I are not used in this code. This rule was established in order not to confuse these designations with the numbers 1 and 0.

Where to find the VIN in the car:

The location of the VIN code depends on the country where the vehicle was produced. Most vehicles made for the United States of America have the VIN located just below the windshield. Also, this identification number is located on the body in a hard-to-reach place in order to protect it against offenders. The VIN code can be stamped on a metal plate – a nameplate located in the engine compartment, on the front of the engine, on the threshold or on the driver’s door pillar. In expensive vehicles, a table containing the VIN code may be located on the instrument panel.

Manufacturers duplicate the code in different places so that the buyer can easily check the VIN decoder and minimize the risk of acquiring a stolen car. You should also be aware that the identification number is almost always located in hard-to-reach places in order to reduce the possibility of forgery. Therefore, if you are choosing a car for yourself, carefully inspect all the places where the VIN is applied and compare the identity of the codes. Pay special attention to the areas of the body where the nameplate is attached – the number plate on the rivets is very difficult to replace without traces, so there may be welds, scratches, dents and other damage or traces of fresh paint. If you understand that everything is in order with the cipher, you can proceed to check VIN with an efficient decoder.

How VIN stands for:

  •       The first three characters encode information about the vehicle manufacturer: geographical area, country and manufacturing company.
  •       The following six characters contain a description of the vehicle: model, body type, equipment, permissible maximum weight and other vehicle data. The ninth position of the number sometimes contains a check character, with which you can determine whether the identification number has been changed.
  •       The last eight characters contain the distinctive features of the vehicle, including the year of its manufacture and the specific manufacturer.

What you can learn thanks to VIN check with decoder:

  •       Data from customs. For example, the country of export, date of registration, mileage and cost
  •       Information about participation in an accident – for some cars even photos from the scene of the accident are available
  •       Collateral history
  •       Restrictions on registration actions.
  •       Information about the theft and search of the vehicle
  •       Operating information. Was the car used by a taxi service or was it leased?
  •       Real mileage
  •       Number of owners.
  •       Equipment
  •       General information – brand, model, year of manufacture, specifications.

Spending a few minutes with a VIN check with a quality decoder will save you several days of time compared to independent trips to various authorities and learn the true history of the car. This will allow you to make the right choice, as well as bargain with the seller if you find any minor problems that the real owner did not mention.

What to look for when VIN check with decoder:

All the information listed above is of great importance when buying a car. If you saw that the vehicle was in an accident, then this may mean that there are hidden problems with it. Moreover, such an instance may be unsafe for operation, for example, if the body geometry is damaged.

If you find out that the chosen option has legal problems, in most cases, such a car should be abandoned. For example, a ban on registration actions will prevent you from registering a car, and this will cause additional problems. What’s even worse is the fact that the vehicle was stolen. In the case of buying such a car, after a while it will simply be confiscated from you by the relevant authorities.

Also always pay attention to the actual mileage. If you find out that the owner has changed the odometer reading, you can safely try to lower the price. In addition, a negative factor is too many owners of the car. This fact most often indicates the presence of malfunctions that adversely affect the operation of the vehicle. We should not forget that the car could be owned by a legal entity. This often means that it may have been used as a taxi or leased. Such instances usually have a huge package of faults that you yourself will have to fix.

Checking the VIN with a decoder will help you avoid a huge number of problems when making a transaction related to a used car. Turning to such services for help, you maximize the chance to choose a vehicle that will serve you faithfully for many years. Therefore, be sure to use the VIN decoder if you want your purchase to be really profitable.