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Use the VIN when car shopping

(iStock/MCCAIG)

When buying a used car, it’s important to know the vehicle’s history. The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) can provide a blueprint to everything you want to know.

 

The VIN is a unique combination of 17 letters and numbers that’s given to a specific vehicle when it’s built. This same VIN stays with the car throughout its lifespan. Think of it like a Social Security Number for cars.

 

This VIN can be a huge asset to used-car buyers. Through the VIN, potential buyers can run a full history of the car through AutoCheck, Carfax and the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System. It will pull up how many owners that car has had, how often it was serviced – and for what – and any major damages the vehicle has suffered.

 

The VIN will also give you the car’s make, model and year.

 

Next time you’re looking for used cars, take note of the VIN and do some initial research on the vehicle.