Since the dawn of motoring, the different vehicle makes and models have emerged and distributed globally. Besides, there has been a steady increase in cars from separate manufacturers, thanks to technology. Regardless of these increases, cars have identification serial numbers that make them fall into individual categories. And these identifications are referred to as Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).
What Is A VIN Number?
A vehicle identification number (VIN) is a 17-digit alphanumeric character consisting of both numbers and alphabets. These characters are often assigned to individual vehicles by the manufacturers, revealing the specifics of each automobile. Some aspects include airbag type, engine size, vehicle key safety, model year, country of origin, trim level, and plate name. Generally, the VIN is the key to safety, where anyone can enter the number in a search tool such as car history API to learn about the history of the vehicle.
What Does VIN Entail?
VIN data is organized into categories, and a search of any vehicle identification number provides more information about the car. Usually, the first group of the three numbers and alphabets in a VIN reference the world manufacturer identifier (WMI). The first digit or letter indicates the country of origin; the second represents the manufacturer; the third digit is merged with the first two letters or numbers to show the vehicle’s manufacturing division or type.
The second group includes six digits which stand for the vehicle descriptor. The four numbers in the group describe the car. It carries information such as car model, restraint system, engine code, body type, and transmission type. The last number in the group is the check digit that confirms or detects invalid VINs.
The final group consists of eight elements which are the vehicle’s identifier section. The tenth digit indicates the model year with letters B to Y corresponding between 1981 to 2000. The VIN doesn’t use letters I, O, Q, U, or Z. Between 2001 and 2009, the letters were replaced with numbers 1 to 9, but alphabets started over again from A in 2010 and will continue until 2030.
How To Find VIN Number in A Car
Unlike in the past, modern cars have VINs repeated in various sections, and they’re easier to spot. This is usually referred to as “Visible VIN,” seen outside the vehicle below the windscreen on the passenger side. It allows for quick roadside checks by the police, although it is important to ensure the VIN is found at different vehicle locations. Common areas to find the VIN are on the metal plate riveted to the chassis and another implanted on the car’s metalwork.
Importance Of VIN Numbers
VINs are critical in the auto industry. It enables vehicle owners, the government, and other relevant authorities to conduct a quick search and learn more about the vehicle. Hence, VINs help prevent guessing of vehicle features and specs, provide proof of year make, car model, and identify open recalls. Besides, VIN decoding is time-efficient, and the numbers offer a great source of vehicle history.
In summary, a vehicle identification number is an essential tool, helping in providing critical information regarding any vehicle. It can come to the rescue anywhere, anytime, but it is never sensitive to personal data.