Used Car VIN 101

You may have heard the term car VIN thrown around, but do you know what it really is? This handy number has a lot of duties and they can all help you when it comes to used car shopping in Orlando. Our used car dealership is breaking down VIN or vehicle identification numbers, and giving you tips for finding a reliable pre-owned ride!

What is a VIN?

Used car shopping

A vehicle identification number is a 17-character code that is unique to every car. No two cars have the same VIN. This is because they are composed of numbers and letters that are unique to the specific car, including a six digit serial number. In fact, you can find out a lot about a car by decoding its VIN. But, before you can decode it – you have to find it! Typically, you can find the VIN on a car in two different places: the dashboard and the door jamb. If you’re looking from the outside, look toward the bottom corner of the windshield on the driver’s side. In the dashboard is the used car’s VIN. You can also check the driver’s side door jamb underneath the inner door latch.

Orlando pre-owned cars

Now that you’ve found it, Toyota of Clermont can help you decipher it!

  • Characters one through three indicate manufacturer information.
  • The fourth through eighth characters describe the specifics of the car.
  • Character number nine is a special one. This one is given by the Department of Transportation, and is created by a special formula used by DOT. This number is used to determine if a VIN is fake.
  • The tenth and eleventh characters indicate what model year the car is and what manufacturing plant it came from.
  • The last six characters are the serial number specific to that car.

If the vehicle you’re looking at does not have a 17-character long VIN, you may want to turn your Orlando used car searches elsewhere. A VIN that is less than 17 characters could be because it was manufactured prior to the 1980’s. If the VIN is more than 17 characters, this could be a fake. You should not purchase this car.

Used cars in Orlando are reliable!

One of the most helpful parts about car VINs are the fact that you can track the car’s history. Since it is a number specific to that Orlando pre-owned car, information can be linked to the car and seen in a vehicle history report. By running a VIN check, you can obtain information like:

  • Accident damage
  • Auto service records
  • Number of previous owners
  • Warranties
  • Recalls

The VIN is also used in cases with the authorities. Running a VIN check also pulls up any information about theft, hit and runs, or other situations needing the authorities.

If you want to buy a pre-owned vehicle that you know won’t give you any trouble down the road, visit Toyota of Clermont! Our dealership puts every car through a thorough and extensive safety inspection, and you can even get a FREE vehicle history report. For peace of mind while car shopping, stop by our used car dealership in Orlando. We’re located at 16851 State Road 50!