The VIN Number Explained

A Vehicle Identification Number, or VIN, is an important part of a car that most owners probably pay little attention to. The VIN was originally developed by manufacturers, but in 1981 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration standardized the current 17-character format. By checking the VIN, used car buyers can learn valuable information about the vehicle they plan to purchase. A VIN check reveals important information about the vehicle's status, including whether it is stolen, was reconstructed, was written off as a wreck for salvage or served as a fleet vehicle. Check a car's VIN before purchase to avoid making a costly mistake.