Buying a used car, you are taking a certain risk. There is a chance to encounter an unscrupulous seller who will try to hide the real information about the car in order to inflate the price. As a result, the new car owner runs the risk of encountering problems that will begin to be revealed only during the using of the car. In order not to find yourself in such a situation and get as much information as possible, you can check VIN number of a car. It will allow you to find out the real data about the car and compare them with the information provided by the seller. As a result, you will be able to identify fraud, if it is present, and make an informed purchase decision.

What is a VIN code?

A VIN code is a vehicle identification number. It consists of 17 unique digits that allow you to find out information about the year of manufacture, about manufacturer itself, and get a number of other data. The code is actively used by car manufacturers around the world, which allows verification regardless of where the car was made.

Why do I need to check?

Before to verify the VIN number of the car, it is necessary to understand why such a check should not be neglected. The procedure will allow you to:

  • suspect the fact of twisting the mileage;
  • find out if the car was used in a taxi;
  • specify the number of previous owners;
  • to establish whether the car was involved in an accident;
  • to find out if the car was stolen and if the VIN number was broken.

When you try to check a car with a VIN number, you will receive a full report on the history of the car, you will be able to find out how reliable the data that the seller indicated in the ad is. As a result, it will be possible to reduce the risk of encountering fraudsters and protect yourself from illegal actions.

Where can I find the VIN code in the car?

Before asking myself how do I check my VIN number, it is important to understand where this number is exactly located. The VIN number is applied during the production process. It is placed on the integral parts of the body, chassis. The code does not change during the entire period of using. It is not subject to adjustment, which makes it easy to track the history.

Usually the number is duplicated in several places at once. However, the exact location may vary. It can be found on:

  1. Steering wheel. This placement is often found on older cars. It can be found on the steering column.
  2. Control panels. The code can be easily seen through the windshield. Usually the information is placed in the lower left corner. To see the VIN code, you need to look at the junction of the dashboard and windshield. However, a lot depends on the year of manufacture. If this is a rare car that was produced before 1969, you will not be able to find information on the control panel.
  3. The doors. Usually the information is placed on the door jamb on the driver's side. The plate may contain not only information about the VIN code, but also information about the permissible load, year of manufacture, month of production, tires.
  4. The engine compartment. There are several places here where information is usually posted. Most often, information is published on the front of the engine block. Sometimes it is in the upper part of the radiator. However, do not confuse the engine number and the VIN code. These are different combinations that differ from each other.
  5. The rear wheel. The identification information is placed in the niche intended for its placement, at the top directly above the tire.

All codes published in different places are identical. You can use any of them to check the VIN number. If the information cannot be found, the documents for the vehicle must also contain the information of interest.

Verification methods

There are 2 main ways on how to check a car by VIN number. Namely, to use:

  • the main service center of the Ministry of Internal Affairs;
  • the services of private organizations with access to databases. For example, the carVertical system provides such an opportunity. Keep in mind that third-party companies may charge fees. However, they will provide as much information as possible.

To check your car VIN number, an electronic signature or registration on the site may be required. The information retrieval procedure itself is quite simple. However, it may differ slightly depending on the method of verification.

Through official bodies

You can check the car through the service center of the Ministry of Internal Affairs if the user has an electronic signature. It will be required during the registration process in the system. If there is no signature, you will be able to log in to the official portal via Bank ID and Mobile ID. Without additional charges, the system allows you to find out the following information:

  • the year of manufacture of the car;
  • Model name;
  • fuel type;
  • vehicle weight;
  • the number of seats together with the driver's license;
  • information about recent operations with the car.

Other data is provided for a fee. However, the payment for using the system is minimal. By depositing funds, you will be able to get information about the car's participation in an accident and the number of owners.

Through third-party systems

Third-party systems allow you to perform a complete check of the car online. To search for information, it is enough to enter the code in the appropriate form on the website of the company providing such services. Basic information is also provided absolutely free of charge. But additional information needs to be paid for. Moreover, the cost depends on the number of necessary reports and the internal pricing policy of the system.

Stages of verification

To request verification, the user will have to:

  1. Choose the appropriate method to get the information.
  2. Go to the website of the system and clarify the terms of its use. This must be done before checking the history of the car by VIN.
  3. Specify the VIN code of the car and the address where the information will be sent. Some systems can display information online.
  4. Confirm the use of the service and wait for the request to be processed. The procedure usually takes a few seconds.
  5. Get information and study it. Several reports can be provided at once.

Thus, such a check allows you to establish the history of the vehicle. With its help, you will learn all the nuances in advance, establish whether the seller is honest with you. It can be conducted through public or private databases. The information will be provided almost immediately. However, sometimes a fee is charged.