A 13-digit Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) may come as a surprise to car owners who have only ever purchased vehicles with standard 17-character VINs. A VIN is assigned to every vehicle during manufacture, and the length was standardized in 1981, so all vehicles manufactured after that have VINs that are 17 characters long.
How then can car owners, buyers, and enthusiasts easily decode their 13-digit VIN? In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about a 13-digit VIN check.
What exactly is a VIN Number?
The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is a string of letters and numbers that serves as an identifier and can be used to gain access to a vehicle’s specifications, records, and history. The standard length of a VIN is 17 characters and can be used to provide information such as accident records, damage records, title history, open recalls, lien and loan records, and more.
Understanding the 13-Digit VIN: A Comprehensive Guide
A 13-digit VIN is a unique serial number, or an identifier, that shows that your vehicle is a classic car. Before the 1981 standardization of the VIN, the length of Vehicle Identification Numbers assigned to cars was dependent on their manufacturers. Some VINs were five characters long, others seven, some thirteen, and there are some classic vehicles with VINs that are 17 characters long. There has to be some form of uniformity, and the standard 17-character VIN was accepted.
Although the 17-character VIN is the new standard, 13-digit VINs on classic vehicles are still valid. What this means is that buyers and owners of classic and antique vehicles can uncover the histories and records of their vehicles and generate history reports with a 13 digit VIN decoder.
Why a 13-Digit VIN Check is Important for Used Car Buyers
Before a used vehicle is purchased, it is recommended to perform a VIN check to determine the overall condition, performance, and reliability. Whether it is a 17 digit VIN or a 13-digit VIN, it is necessary to have an overview of your vehicle to avoid purchasing damaged vehicles. Some of the benefits of performing a free 13-digit VIN decoder include:
Easy identification of vehicle specifications
With a 13-digit VIN decoder, U.S car owners, buyers, and sellers can gain access to a classic vehicle’s full specifications. This information can help verify the authenticity of a vehicle’s mechanical systems. It also comes in handy during car repairs and replacements, as it provides information about the right vehicle parts to purchase.
Identification of classic vehicles in poor condition
Classic vehicles are just what they are: old cars. This means that they may be in really bad condition upon purchase. With a classic vehicle history report, you can take a look at the accident records, damage records, salvage or rebuilt titles, and other information that directly influences the condition of a vehicle and its reliability.
Confirmation of authenticity
Another benefit of performing a 13-digit VIN number check is those car buyers are given the opportunity to confirm if they’ve got an authentic and original vehicle or a fake by looking through the car’s history. For classic vehicles, the more authentic they are, the more valuable they become. So it’s best to know if what you’re paying for is authentic with a 13-digit VIN lookup.
These are just some of the benefits of a 13-digit VIN number lookup.
Where to Get a Reliable 13-Digit VIN Check and History Report
Are you looking for a free 13-digit VIN check? Be aware that a free classic car VIN check may not provide accurate vehicle information for car buyers. There are a number of vehicle history report providers in the automotive industry; however, only a few of these companies provide reliable Classis car VIN check services to their customers. For example, Carfax doesn’t provide classic car checks, but with Classic Decoder, anyone can get accurate classic VIN information – make and model information, country of origin, equipment, engine size, trim level, packages, records, and get a comprehensive and detailed report.
To get a reliable 13-digit VIN number decoder and generate a report with your car’s VIN, you can easily make use of the 13-digit VIN search tool provided by Classic Decoder. The Classic Decoder VIN check tool accurately decodes classic VINs and provides an opportunity for car buyers, sellers, enthusiasts, and owners to get full access to vehicle specifications and records. Get a free VIN decode today.
How to Perform a 13-Digit VIN Check: A Step-by-Step Guide
To understand how to check a 13-digit VIN number, you have to know where to look. Not all providers of vehicle history reports are able to decode classic VINs and generate classic vehicle history reports. Fortunately, Classic Decoder provides a 13-digit VIN check tool that can accurately decode the VIN of any classic vehicle and provide accurate specifications, records, and histories.
To perform a 13-digit VIN check with the classic VIN number check tool, simply follow these steps:
- Locate your car’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). The VIN of a classic car can be found on the dashboard of the vehicle, the driver’s side door, under the steering column, inside the driver’s side wheel well, on the certificate of title, registration documents, etc.
- Navigate to the VIN Decoder page and fill out the provided form.
- Click On The “Decode VIN” button and view your automobile records.
Decoding a 13-digit classic car VIN: What does each character mean?
The characters on a 13-digit VIN all have different pieces of important information encoded in them. These details are accessed by VIN check tools to decode vehicle specifications and provide useful information to car buyers, sellers, and owners. Let’s have a look at what each character represents in a 13-digit VIN:
- The first character in the number sequence indicates the manufacturer of the vehicle and could be either a letter or number. For example, G may be used to represent General Motors, 1 for Chevrolet, etc.
- The second and third characters in a 13-digit VIN represent the vehicle’s series.
- The fourth and fifth characters represent the vehicle’s body style.
- The sixth character shows the vehicle’s year of manufacture or vehicle model year.
- The seventh character provides the final assembly plant information.
- The final six characters in the VIN are the production sequence number, which can be used by the manufacturer to track the order in which the vehicles were produced.
Tips for Using a 13-Digit VIN Decoder to Avoid Car Scams
Every car buyer or enthusiast has to carry out a VIN check and generate a 13-digit VIN history report before committing to a classic car purchase. When it comes to a classic car purchase, there is a good chance that you may be scammed or tricked into purchasing an unoriginal, damaged, or defective vehicle. Often, you may not know so much about the vehicle and may be tempted to believe whatever the dealer or seller tells you.
However, with a classic vehicle history report generated after a classic car VIN lookup, you can uncover your vehicle’s history, get a detailed report, and make the best decisions. To do so, we would recommend the following tips:
- Verify your vehicle’s VIN before purchase. With a VIN check tool, you can check the authenticity of the VIN of the car you are interested in. If the VIN of your vehicle was forged, you should receive an error message and may be asked to provide a valid VIN.
- Closely monitor your vehicle’s accident and damage history. They are good indicators of a mechanical defect that may just be a drive-away.
- Make sure your vehicle has no liens or loan records before purchase. If the previous owner of a vehicle fails to pay off his loans before the sale is completed, you may be required to pay off his debt.
- Keep an eye out for titles that may be on your vehicle. If you find salvage titles, junk titles, rebuilt titles, etc., make sure to have the vehicle repaired if you can; otherwise, the best course of action would be to walk away from that deal and save repair costs.
Decode your classic Chevy, Chrysler, and more, today!