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All about Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

Buying a car is still a deal of magnanimous proportion in India. People tend to make a careful choice in bringing this dream come into reality. But one should be acquainted with the nitty gritty of car purchase. Not only purchase there are numerous formalities one should take care during sale of their old cars. One of the important factor during purchase or sale is checking of the Vehicle Identification Number or VIN. A vehicle identification number (VIN) is a unique code, including a serial number, used by the automotive industry to identify individual motor vehicles, towed vehicles, motorcycles, scooters and mopeds. A VIN is composed of 17 characters (digits and capital letters) that act as a unique identifier for the vehicle. A VIN displays the car's unique features, specifications and manufacturer.

Maruti Suzuki Ignis

Vehicle Identification Number

The VIN can be used to track recalls, registrations, warranty claims, thefts and insurance coverage. It might be very common for people to overlook this minute detail but if you look closely the VIN can be found by looking at the dashboard on the driver's side of the vehicle. VINs may be optically read with barcode scanners or digital cameras, or digitally read via OBD-II in newer vehicles. There are smartphone applications that can pass the VIN to websites to decode the VIN.

Knowing the history of a used car before deciding to buy one can save you a lot of money. By ordering a vehicle history report (VHR), one can remove most of the guesswork to determine if a used car has been involved in accidents or had major repairs that may not make it worth your investment.

The easiest way to check this is by using the VIN which gives all the details about past ownership, odometer reading and more. Some VIN number checks may also include additional information, such as when a vehicle was serviced or if it was ever sold at auction. To run a VIN lookup, one needs the car's vehicle identification number followed by obtaining a basic free VHR through government-run public services or purchase a more detailed VHR through a private service.

In India all such details are available at the public site called Vahan. Each state in India has its own designated site for following up on vehicle history using VIN by entering the car registration number and chassis number. In case Vahan website is not working, an alternate method to check vehicle details including Hypothecation/loan status is by SMS. 

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