By using the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), or chassis number as it is commonly called, My Car Check can help you to confirm if your potential dream car is stolen.
Remember, an innocent purchaser has no right to a stolen vehicle. When identified it will be returned to the legal owner.
While vehicle number plates can and do change legitimately (e.g. cherished transfers or private plates), a number plate change can be a sign of skulduggery, such as vehicle cloning.
Crosschecking the number plate (the vehicle registration mark or VRM) against the VIN is a therefore highly recommended.
The easiest VIN to find is usually the 'Visi-VIN', located on the passenger side of the windscreen at the bottom (underneath where the old tax disc would go). Other locations include the engine bay, either stamped into the metalwork or on a riveted plate.
By looking at the VIN you are checking the actual metal and not just plastic number plates, which car thieves can change in minutes to disguise a stolen vehicle.
Apart from very extreme examples, the VIN will never change on ANY vehicle. It is therefore wise to ensure that it matches the V5C Logbook offered with the vehicle.
Due to DVLA rules, My Car Check can't provide VINs to customers. However, in order to validate the VIN please visit the link provided in your Car Check email. If you require any assistance please contact us.
What is the VIN and why is it so important?
The VIN is a vehicle's TRUE identity. The standard adopted by most manufacturers is 17 digits long, a mix of letters and numbers (never I or i, O or o, Q or q, as these can be confused with 1s and 0s). To the trained eye, the VIN will reveal the make, model, production year and where the vehicle was built.
Although UK stolen vehicle statistics have been falling recently (to less than 100,000 a year according to 2014 figures), theft of motor vehicles is still a lucrative trade. Many are 'stolen to order' and much of the activity is conducted by Organised Criminal Gangs (OCGs).
My Car Check works with UK police forces and IAATI Worldwide. We even had a representative at the Global Vehicle Crime conference at Interpol HQ in Lyon, France, to talk about the 7.2 million vehicles stolen worldwide.
If you have concerns over a VIN being legitimate, you believe you are being presented with a stolen vehicle, or you have any queries about our stolen car checks, please contact My Car Check on 0330 331 0030.
We can help you to avoid making an expensive mistake and if appropriate we will also liaise with the relevant police authorities.