The Importance of Understanding Your Vehicles VIN

When buying a used car you’ll no doubt obtain quotes for Wisconsin auto insurance coverage for the car you choose, and your insurer will want to find out about the car’s history. Possibly the most reliable source of information on a vehicle’s identity and past damage is the VIN or vehicle identification number. Are you curious about just what a VIN number is?


All VINs after 1981 are composed of seventeen characters containing both numbers and letters, with each character having a particular meaning. The letter ‘O’ or ‘I’ are never used so as not to be confused with the numbers ‘1’ and ‘0’. 

•The first character shows the country where the vehicle was produced. 
•The second and third characters describe the manufacturer. 
•The fourth character through to the eighth identifies the make, model, and engine size. 
•The ninth character is a manufacturer authorization security code. 
•The tenth character indicates the model year the vehicle was built. 
•The eleventh character describes the plant where the vehicle was assembled. 
•The final six characters are the vehicles official serial number. 

While a vehicles VIN contains a lot of information that may be helpful for estimating the potential Wisconsin auto insurance rates it’s also helpful in identifying past damages that aren’t immediately apparent. It pays to know as much as you can about a used vehicle before purchasing.

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