The Vehicle Identification Number (or VIN number) is a unique 17-digit number assigned to a vehicle by the manufacturer.
Often the VIN number is described as a vehicle’s fingerprint as it provides key information about the vehicle, including its serial number, model year and country of origin.
Most vehicles will have their VIN number printed at the bottom of the windscreen on the driver’s side.
You can also locate your car’s VIN number on the inside frame of the driver’s side door or listed on the vehicle’s V5 registration certificate issued by the DVLA.
If you’re purchasing a new vehicle you should always check the VIN number first, as this will help to identify any potential issues recorded against it.
For example, a VIN number check can confirm if the car has been recalled by the manufacturer, involved in an accident or written-off.
You should also check the VIN number on the car, against the V5 registration certificate and ensure they match up.
If the numbers are different, this can often be an indication of vehicle cloning or theft.
At Creditplus, we understand the importance of buying with confidence.
So, when you purchase a car with us, we provide a VIN check as part of our free HPI Service.
The HPI check also examines the vehicles MOT history, plate changes, finance history, V5 registration certificate and more, to give you that extra peace of mind.
There is sometimes confusion around the VIN number and chassis number of a vehicle, but they are in fact the same.
The VIN number is often referred to as the chassis number, as it is usually located on the chassis of the vehicle.
However, the engine number is comprised of different digits to reflect the engine size and power output.
If the engine is altered or replaced the engine number can be changed without affecting the VIN/chassis number.
Most vehicles will keep the same VIN and registration throughout their lifetime, however there are a few exceptions.
For example, if you rebuild or significantly change your vehicle, it will need to be assessed by the DVLA.
If your vehicle passes the assessment, you’ll receive an authorisation letter from the DVLA confirming the new VIN number.
Once the DVLA receives confirmation the vehicle has been stamped with the new VIN, you’ll need to register the vehicle against the new VIN number.
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