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What is the VIN ? (Vehicle Identification Number)

What is a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)?



VIN is the short form for vehicle identification numbers, VIN refers to a distinctive set of numbers and characters assigned to each car at the time it is manufactured. It is a linear sequence of 17 characters without spaces. Each segment of the VIN code contains specific information about the car, such as when or where it was made and who made it.

The VIN code can be used to track recalls, registrations, warranty claims, thefts, and insurance coverage. Also, Vehicle Identification Number or VIN is now the key to the process of finding or verifying information and other matters like claims settlements by insurance companies, mortgage hypothecation, or police case details. It can also be used to trace the history of a particular vehicle, ie. if there are security issues or glitches with that model.


These are the frequently asked questions about:

  1. What do the numbers and letters in a VIN mean?

  2. Where can I find the VIN?

  3. What if the VIN is less than 17 characters long?

  4. How does VIN decoding improve fleet management efficiency?

  5. How can VIN data enhance compliance with automotive regulations?

  6. How accurate is VIN decoding for modified or custom vehicles?

  7. How is Mobito making the user experience better?


1. What do the numbers and letters in a VIN mean?

A Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) consists of 17 characters, each with specific information about the vehicle. Here's a breakdown:


  • Characters 1-3 (World Manufacturer Identifier - WMI): These identify the vehicle's manufacturer and country of origin.

  • Characters 4-8 (Vehicle Descriptor Section - VDS): These provide model-specific information like the model line, engine type, and body style.

  • Character 9 (Check Digit): Used to validate the VIN.

  • Character 10 (Model Year): Indicates the model year of the vehicle.

  • Character 11 (Plant Code): Identifies where the vehicle was manufactured.

  • Characters 12-17 (Sequential Number): A unique number that differentiates each vehicle made by the manufacturer.



 

2. Where Can I Find the VIN?



  1. Driver’s side interior part of the dashboard. The number on the label is easily visible from the outside through the windshield.

  2. Under the hood and in front of the engine block on most gasoline cars.

  3. In old cars, you can VIN at front-end of the frame

  4. The vehicle certification sticker attached to the driver's side door pillar contains the vehicle identification number (VIN).





3. What if the VIN is less than 17 characters long?

Double-check to make sure you have the correct VIN and that you copied it correctly. If the VIN is less than 17 characters, that is likely because the vehicle was designed before 1981.

Before 1981, VINs were between 11 and 17 characters long. Universal Vin Decoder can only understand vehicles with a 17-digit VIN code. Therefore, information on vehicles manufactured before 1981 is limited.


4. How does VIN decoding improve fleet management efficiency?

VIN decoding streamlines fleet management by providing precise vehicle information, which helps in organizing and managing the fleet more effectively. With accurate VIN data, managers can ensure that maintenance schedules are adhered to based on the specific needs of each vehicle model, track warranty status, manage vehicle recalls, and align parts ordering with actual specifications. This results in optimized operations, reduced downtime, increased cost efficiency, and aids in predicting maintenance needs


5. How can VIN data enhance compliance with automotive regulations?

VIN data is instrumental in ensuring compliance with various automotive regulations. By identifying the exact specifications and the manufacturing details of a vehicle, fleet managers can verify that their vehicles meet safety standards, emission norms, and other regulatory requirements specific to different regions. This is especially critical when managing a diverse fleet spread across multiple regulatory environments.


6. How accurate is VIN decoding for modified or custom vehicles?

VIN decoding for modified or custom vehicles can be challenging as modifications may alter the vehicle's original specifications. Standard VIN decoding tools might not recognize aftermarket changes or customizations. 


7. How is Mobito making the user experience better?

At MOBITO we built a universal VIN decoder open-source NPM library to simplify VIN decoding and the identification of key vehicle specs for fleet owners and fleet service providers.

The Universal Vin Decoder provides utility functions for validating and parsing Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN):

  1. Decode VINs from more than 1,500 manufacturers

  2. Extract region, country, car model's year, and manufacturer

  3. Validate provided VIN

At Mobito we use this VIN information as part of the onboarding process of new fleets to the MOBITO Connected Fleet API: the data feed connecting fleet owners to their own vehicles through OEM integrations and vehicles’ embedded connectivity. Are you looking for additional ways to leverage vehicle data in your own applications? Reach out to us to discuss more click here







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