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Unlocking the Power of the VIN Number

We live in a world with increasing amounts of data at our fingertips

Whether we are tracking our heart rate on our new Apple Watch or checking our energy consumption through our Nest Thermostat, we are able to discover new insights about ourselves and our behavior in life.


That said, one of the devices that we most frequently use still contains hidden information. Often, that hidden information is used against us and can potentially cost us thousands of dollars.

What we are talking about here is information about a car that you want to purchase. Specifically, we’re discussing used cars that you may discover at a dealership or even a vehicle that you may consider buying from a friend or acquaintance.

In these circumstances, it is often the case that the seller of the vehicle has much more inside information than you. They can then use this information to their advantage. For instance, they can cover up a potential accident involving the vehicle or can even roll back miles on the vehicle’s odometer. Walking up to the car, it is extremely difficult or essentially possible to get a sense of the vehicle’s background.

Having said this, you can turn the odds into your favor. By finding the vehicle’s vehicle identification number (“VIN”) and using a service like carvertical.com/vin-decoder to search the vehicle’s history, you can be much more confident when purchasing a used vehicle—regardless of the seller.

VIN Numbers

So what is as VIN number exactly? Simply put, it is your vehicle’s DNA. From the moment that your vehicle was manufactured, it was given a unique identifying number. Depending on the car, the VIN number may be located in different areas. For instance, it is often found on the dashboard (beneath the driver’s side corner of your windshield), but it can also be found on the driver’s side door (underneath the latch).

Once you find a vehicle’s VIN number, you’re led to the most important question: what can I do with it? By locating the vehicle’s VIN number, you can find a wealth of history on the vehicle’s history.

One of the best ways to find a vehicle’s history is by visiting an online VIN number check service like carVertical. Upon inputting the vehicle’s VIN number on carVertical, you can find information like whether the vehicle has been registered in databases of stolen cars, whether the vehicle has been in any accidents or has suffered any damage, or whether there are any manufacturing faults with the vehicle. As for carVertical itself, it provides some additional, unique information, like whether the car’s odometer has been artificially rewound. The company also recently announced a partnership with GPSWOX that will design and implant OBD tracker devices. Implanted into any vehicle, the tracker will act as a virtual odometer by checking parameters like GPS coordinates, battery level, or engine status.

carVertical is just one service in the marketplace. Having said this, armed with a vehicle’s VIN number, you can be more confident that the vehicle you are purchasing is truly what the seller is representing. When you are approaching the seller of a vehicle, you can make it known that you completed some research on the vehicle and, if applicable, know about some of its checkered history. Putting this information on the table, you may be in a better negotiating position to get a discount on the vehicle—or pass it up entirely. While the ultimate choice is yours, it never hurts to prepare, and researching a vehicle’s VIN number will prepare you for whatever comes your way.

Skepticism Is Your New Friend

While we would all like to believe that what we see in our daily lives, it pays to be skeptical when purchasing a used car. Like other areas of our life, the data is out there on nearly every vehicle. You just simply need to put in some time to find that data and exploit it to your advantage.

Using a service like carVertical can help you save both time and money in the future. Even if you are purchasing a used vehicle from a trusted friend, we recommend that you at least leverage the power of the VIN number. You may discover something that you may not have expected. And let’s be honest: it is better to discover this hidden information before you spend thousands of dollars on a used car.

Ultimately, the choice is yours. But it pays to be skeptical.