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VIN Number Glossary


Tip #7 - Steps to take before buying a used car:

Whether you buy a used car from a dealer, a co-worker, or a neighbor, follow these tips. Examine the car yourself using an inspection checklist. You can find a checklist in many books and websites that deal with buying a used car. Test drive the car under varied road conditions - on hills, highways, and in stop-and-go traffic. Ask for the car's maintenance record. If the owner doesn't have copies, contact the dealership or repair shop where most of the work was done. They may share their files with you. Talk to the previous owner, especially if the present owner is unfamiliar with the car's history. Have the car inspected by a mechanic you hire.

Tip #4 - Maintain Complete Vehicle Maintenance Records

Documenting the work that has done on your car is extremely important. You should never leave the car dealer without a detailed statement of what was done to your car. This written proof is integral towards keeping a well documented history of your car for future reference. Therefore, always insist on receiving a copy of the work orders for your records. Having these records on hand will make selling or trading in your car much easier later on.


VIN Glossary

Get a free VIN Check or check out our VIN Glossary below.

Body Type:

Indicates the general configuration or shape of a auto distinguished by such characteristics as the number of doors, windows, cargo-carrying features (fastback, sedan, hatchback)


Indicates a name that a manufacturer applies to a group or family of autos within a make which have a degree of commonality in construction (such as body, chassis, cab type).


Indicates a name that a manufacturer applies to a group of the same type, make, line, series and body type.


Indicates a name that a manufacturer applies to a group of autos or engines.

Model Year:

Indicates the year used to designate a discrete auto model, irrespective of the calendar year in which the auto was actually produced -so long as the actual period is less than two (2) calendar years.


Plant where manufacturer affixes the Vehicle Identification Number.


Indicates a name that a manufacturer applies to a subdivision of a "line" denoting price, size, weight identification and that is used by manufacturer for marketing purposes.

Vin Numbers

A unique 17 digit identifying number assigned to every vehicle when manufactured. Much like a drivers license number. All factory information, records and history of a vehicle is associated to this number for the life of the vehicle.

Free VIN Check

A free service provided by Experian for car shoppers. It is a search of all records associated with a VIN number. A check provides a easy to read summary of the results of the VIN search. A complete detailed report is available for a small fee.



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