VIN stands for vehicle identification number and every vehicle manufacturer in the world assigns a unique VIN for every individual vehicle they produce.

In the European Union, the VIN includes the world manufacturer identifier (the unique sequence of numbers assigned to each vehicle manufacturer) along with a sequence of numbers that corresponds to the characteristics and identification of the particular vehicle. The VIN of a vehicle is usually stamped into its chassis, to help keep it from being tampered with. However, it can be lost if you modify or rebuild your vehicle.

You may need to register for a new VIN if you build a kit car, rebuild your car, or radically alter your vehicle. It can then be obtained after an assessment by the DVLA.

If you have proof of the vehicle’s original VIN, you may be able to keep the original VIN but otherwise you will be issued a replacement identification number. Following this, you would need to register your vehicle using the new number.

When buying a new car it is important to check the VIN against the log book and ensure that they match up. If not, the car is probably what is called a clone. A clone is a stolen car which has had its number plates changed to match a stolen logbook that relates to a car which has a clear history.

You should never buy a car if the VIN does not match the logbook, and it is advisable that you contact the police. When doing a car history check, it is always helpful to use a service which also uses the VIN alongside the number plates to gather details from.

To check a VIN you will need to consult your owners manual to find out exactly where on the chassis it is located.

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