What does a VIN number tell you?

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There is a lot you can learn about your vehicle with its VIN.

Think of the VIN as both a vehicle’s fingerprint and its Social Security Number. 

There are things that you can find out about with vehicles from the VIN itself, and you can use the VIN to get data from a variety of sources that contain important data and records about every vehicle. 

What Does a VIN Tell You?

A vehicle identification number is structured in such a way that it contains information about the vehicle it is associated with.

Since 1981, VINs have been standardized so that each one follows the same format. 

Standard VINs are all 17 characters long.

This standardization allows you to quickly determine specs and details about the vehicle. 

The VIN itself contains the following information:

  • Model year, make, and manufacturer.
  • Where the vehicle was assembled and which assembly plant was used. 
  • Engine details.
  • Transmission details. 
  • Body, style, trim, and other features. 
  • Safety features included with the vehicle. 
  • New technology and assistive features. 

For more information, check out our guide on how to read a VIN.

VINVaquero.com’s free VIN decoder can provide you with data such as:

  • Year, make, model, and series details for the vehicle. 
  • The manufacturing plant, city, state, and country where the vehicle was assembled.
  • Body style, trim, and vehicle features.
  • Details about the engine and transmission.
  • Safety features and assistive technology

What Can You Use a VIN to Find Out?

Since the VIN is also like a vehicle’s Social Security Number, and each vehicle’s VIN is unique, it can also be used to find additional information associated with it. 

The VIN is something that almost every agency and organization that deals with vehicles is required to store as a data point when they record new information about a specific vehicle. 

This means that the VIN is the key to all the different data sources that may have something important to share about a particular vehicle. 

The vehicle’s VIN can be used to check things like:

  • Ownership history. 
  • Title status. 
  • Repair and maintenance records, depending on the source. 
  • Accident history. 
  • Mileage. 
  • Active and past recalls.
  • Estimated value for private sales or trade-ins.
  • Checking if the vehicle has been reported as stolen. 
  • Checking if the vehicle has ever been listed as salvage or a total loss. 

All of this information can be crucial to making a decision to purchase a used vehicle. 

And if you’re selling your car, finding some of these things out can help you get the best price for it. 

All you need to run the various VIN reports available to you is the VIN number.

Your most comprehensive option would be ordering a vehicle history report, but you can also run a simple VIN check to check for stolen vehicles.

And, rest assured, giving out your VIN is completely safe. Your information will not be compromised if you look up your VIN or give it to someone else.