If you’ve been to online auto auction websites like Salvagebid, you might remember seeing a 17-digit code in a vehicle description. This is a VIN – a unique set of characters that can tell you a lot about the vehicle’s history.
Vehicle manufacturers assign VIN codes to the vehicles they produce where each digit out of the 17 has a specific purpose. In this post, you’ll know what VIN represents and how to interpret it.
What is a VIN?
Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN) is a code assigned to a vehicle after it’s manufactured. The VIN code is usually displayed on a metal plate stuck to a vehicle’s dashboard. In some cases you can find it elsewhere, like the vehicle’s frame, door jamb, and even the engine’s firewall.
The numbers you see on a vehicle’s VIN indicate its year, make, model, manufacture location, and other information. VIN records can be used to find out if the vehicle was involved in a theft, collision, or other accidents. That’s pretty useful if you’re about to buy a salvage car as some issues and history can’t be identified just by looking at the vehicle.
Decoding a VIN
A vehicle’s VIN code consists of three primary sections listed below.
- World Manufacturer Identifier.
These are the first 3 characters that indicate the country where the vehicle was produced, and the company that manufactured the vehicle.
- Vehicle Descriptor Section (VDS)
Characters 4-9 identify the type of a vehicle, its engine, and sometimes its body style and model. The 9th character is a check digit used for error detection.
- Vehicle Identifier Section (VIS)
Characters 10-17 are used by the manufacturers to identify the vehicle’s production year and manufacturing plant. The rest of the digits compose a unique serial number assigned to a vehicle by its manufacturer.
Though a VIN may seem a random set of numbers, it’s actually a unique code assigned to a particular vehicle. If you’re going to buy a salvage car on Salvagebid, make sure to run a VIN check to see everything the vehicle has been through. So, be attentive, and buy safely on Salvagebid!