Buying a used car is a smart financial move; the availability and access to used vehicles allow individuals to own personal and business cars without putting a dent on their bank account. While purchasing a used car is smart on a financial level, it can be a precarious move because some vehicles come with many issues that can put you in a financial crisis and even send you to jail. It is because of the possibility of the problems that a VIN check is vital before buying a used car.
As this article proceeds, you will learn what a VIN is, and why you should do a VIN check before buying a car.
What Is A VIN?
The term VIN means Vehicle Identification Number; it is a seventeen character code that comprises of alphabets and numbers. The VIN of a car is usually stamped across the chassis of a vehicle. A VIN is known by many as the DNA of a car because of the amount of data it holds. It is the nerve center of a car next to the engine.
Each section of a VIN code holds different information about a vehicle; the first three characters give you the country where it was manufactured. The following six characters provide you with information about the model and the make of the vehicle (this section also lets you know if the car has seat-belts, airbags, and the sort of parts utilized in the car’s production, and so many more). The last eight characters are the unique code every vehicle has.
A VIN check is one of the essential tests an individual must perform when they intend to purchase a used car. Every vehicle has a unique VIN, which means that no two cars have the same VIN. With a VIN, you can check the history record of any vehicle. You can review records like; theft reports, if any, how many owners the car has had in the past, the year the car was manufactured, and so many more.
As aforementioned, before you buy a used car, endeavor to run a VIN check. You can find the VIN of a vehicle by sharing the car’s registration number. Sometimes, a VIN check or report is gotten for free, but it gives you access to essential information about the vehicle, if you need an elaborate report then you have to do a paid VIN check. VIN reports greatly influence the decision to buy a car.
Why You Should Do A VIN Check Before Buying A Car
At this point, you already know some of the importance of a VIN check. In this section, we take a detailed look at seven reasons you should do a VIN check before buying a car.
- SAFETY RECALLS
With a VIN check, you get access to details of any recalls that have been made on the vehicle you intend to purchase. The records of every recall made on a car are stored in a database via the Vin of the car. With a VIN check, you can also find out if the vehicle has been repaired in the past after the recall. Having a test done for recalls lets you know if the car is safe, if any anomaly is found in the car’s safety features, you can make a report to the car dealer and have them fix the issue for you before making any payment.
- STOLEN STATUS
It is a risky move to buy a stolen vehicle, and it can get you in serious trouble with the authorities. If the original owner of a car claims it after a while, you have to give it back to them. This means you would have wasted hard-earned funds in repurchasing the stolen car for the owner, who eventually has to pay nothing to get it back. When you run a VIN check, you can avoid such issues because it gives you information on a vehicle’s stolen status. The criminals are likely to change the car’s number plates, but there is little or nothing they can do about a VIN.
- DETAILS OF DAMAGES AND ACCIDENTS
Before you purchase a used car, you have to take meticulous steps to ensure you find out if the vehicle has been previously involved in an accident or has sustained any damage. The owner of a car makes an insurance claim for it when it gets involved in an accident. In such situations, the VIN of the vehicle is recorded. A VIN check gives you information about the car’s past accident history if it has any. You get to know if the airbags in the vehicle got deployed when the accident occurred or if any structural damages have been sustained by the car. All of this information is revealed during a VIN check.
- DETAILS ON CAR OWNERSHIP
Running a VIN check before purchasing a used car can save you from using a vehicle that has been used by many individuals. The more the vehicle owners, the more the mileage covered, and it can leave the distance left in question. When buying a car that was produced a decade ago, a VIN check is a no-brainer because a vehicle that has been in existence for that long may have been inherited several. However, you may be lucky to find a ten-year-old car with one previous user.
Running a VIN check gives you access to all the critical locations of a used or even new car. You get to know where the car was produced, used, and first sold (in the case of a used car). This gives you first-hand information on how much and how far your intended vehicle has traveled.
A VIN check is one of the most important things to do before buying a car, whether it is brand new or used as the VIN check lets you know what you are about to acquire and if it’s worth it.