The acronym VIN actually stands for Vehicle Identification Number. They are actually utilized so as to identify motor vehicles. Each one is unique so it stands as the vehicle’s identity. At present, the usual VIN is made up of some 17 characters. What is quite fascinating is that they do not include the letters I, O, and Q.

The VIN is usually found at the upper left side of your vehicle’s dashboard. If you found it, you would see all 17 characters on it. The first character represents the nation of origin of your vehicle, although it could also stand for the final point of assembly. For example, J is for Japan, W is for Germany, 1 is for the US, and 2 is for Canada.

The next character is actually the code of the manufacturer. A is for Audi, B is for BMW, L is for Lincoln, and N is for Nissan. These are just a few. Of course, there are various characters for each one. The characters number four to eight are actually information or codes about the vehicle’s series, body type, restraint system, and engine code.

As per the ninth character, it is the so-called check digit. It could be a number from 0 to 9 or it could also be the letter X. This is called such for officers and experts in this field could actually know if you have tampered with your vehicle through this character.

The 10th character’s position actually indicates the model year. A is for 1980, B is for 1981, C is for 1982, D is for 1983, E is for 1984, F is for 1985, G is for 1986, H is for 1987, J is for 1988, K is for 1989, L is for 1990, M is for 1991, N is for 1992, P is for 1993, R is for 1994, S is for 1995, T is for 1996, V is for 1997, W is for 1998, X is for 1999, Y is for 2000, 1 is for 2001, 2 is for 2002, 3 is for 2003, 4 is for 2004, 5 is for 2005, 6 is for 2006, 7 is for 2007, 8 is for 2008, and 9 is for 2009.

The 11th character shows the place where the vehicle is assembled. If you see the number 9 in that position, it would mean that the vehicle has been assembled in Detroit, Michigan. The characters from the 12th to the 17th positions are the production sequence numbers.

It is important for you to be able to understand the VIN.

After all, it contains various pieces of information about your vehicle. It is also your vehicle’s unique identifier. Jaguar Parts and Jaguar Auto Parts are also unique when it comes to producing and dealing their Jaguar 420 parts and other Jaguar parts. In their comprehensive line up, they do also have brakes, service tools, and climate control parts.

Old cars don’t die, they just get resold. If you’re buying a used car, whether from a dealer or someone who put an ad in the paper, you’ll want to know as much about it as you can. Even without anyone trying to deceive you, the vehicle may have problems you can’t see from a simple visual inspection or even a short test drive.

A vehicle history report prepared by a third party is one way to know what you’re getting. Combining information from state DMVs and RMVs as well as police reports and other sources, a vehicle history report can give you a comprehensive overview of where the car’s been.

Here are some things to look for-or look out for-when you get a report on a vehicle. None of these things is necessarily a reason not to buy a car, but you shouldn’t make a decision without asking about anything you see on a vehicle history:

* Many owners. The more garages a car’s been in, the less likely it’s been lovingly cared for all its life. Not everyone is as assiduous about car care as you are. Rental cars and former taxis, for example, will often have undergone a lot of abuse, although they tend to be quite inexpensive.

* Location, location, location. Some parts of the country are more car-friendly than others. Winter storms (with their accompanying salted roads) can be rough on cars, as obviously can floods, excessive heat or even sea air. Cars that have been where these are common may have hidden damage.

* Name and description. Be sure the car in the report is the same as the car you’re looking at. Carefully reviewing the vehicle description is one way to avoid various types of vehicle fraud, like VIN cloning. A cloned vehicle involves using a vehicle identification number (VIN) from a legally owned, non-stolen vehicle to mask the identity of a similar make/ model stolen vehicle. Carfax reports include detailed descriptions of the vehicle, so you can make sure the car you’re reading about is the same as the one you’re looking at.

* Suspicious markings. Keep an eye out for records of body work that might indicate a prior unreported incident.

Vehicle history reports from Carfax are the most comprehensive available. The company’s database contains more than four billion records from thousands of public and private sources, including all Departments of Motor Vehicles (DMVs) in the United States and Canada and thousands of vehicle inspection stations, auto auctions, fleet management and rental agencies, automobile manufacturers, and fire and police departments.

When you’re going in for your next car purchase keep your eyes peeled for the following scams.

1. The VIN# Window Etching Scam – Some dealers will charge you $300-$900 for window VIN# etching and tell you that you have to pay the money to get the loan because the bank insists on it. Don’t go for it.

Some dealers might tell you that the etching is free but will add on the etch money to your monthly payments to make up for it. Anytime a dealer says something is free, get it in writing and check your monthly fee. The best way to avoid this scam is to force the dealer to put it in writing if they say that the etching is free or simply etch the car yourself.

You can get an etch-it-yourself kit from for $30 or just don’t buy the car. Remember a lender doesn’t require that you purchase any extras on a car. All the lender cares about is that you can make your regular payments on time.

2. The Financing Scam – You trade in your old car in and the finance manager signs you up at the agreed interest rate and gives you the car. After a week or two passes and he/she calls saying that you didn’t qualify for the interest rates that they gave you when the deal was made.

Every new purchase has a clause in the contract that usually states that the deal is “subject to loan approval.” This gives the finance manager an opening to get more money out of you. All that this clause means in the contract is that the deal is not finished yet even if you already have possession of the car and have signed the contract. The dealer can then charge you $1000 more in finance fees and up your monthly payments by $50. This scam is generally pulled on people with bad credit because it is more believable.

You can avoid this scam by not financing the car with the dealer if you know that you have bad credit. You are better off going to a credit union and financing the car yourself. When you buy a new car the deal should be made on the price of the car, not on the monthly payments.

3. The Credit Score Scam – This is desperation in action. This is when the finance manager tells you that your credit score is lower than it really is so that they can get you for higher interest rates. This scam is pulled on everyone; good or bad credit. This scam is easy to avoid. Just get your own copy of your credit report from, and bring it with you.

It’s pretty hard to lie to you about your credit score if you have your own copy of it. If your paper and theirs doesn’t say the same thing, you might want to shop elsewhere because that dealership is sleazy. Don’t hesitate to let them know it too because it’ll be nice to watch them try to back out of that one.

4. The Forced Warranty Scam – This is when the finance manager tells you that you are not eligible for the loan by the bank unless you pay an extra $2000 for a 2-3 year extended warranty. It’s hard to believe they even try this. Why would the bank trust you to pay a $22,000 loan for the car, but they will not trust you to pay for a $20,000 loan?? That’s just insane.

You can avoid this scam by forcing them to put it in writing that you “have” to pay the extended warranty in order to get the loan. Just let them know you’d like to check with the contract your local State’s Attorney’s office for validity and they’ll drop the extended warranty in a heartbeat.

5. The Dealer Preparation Scam – Unfortunately, this is legal and very much common practice. I still refer to it as a scam because it is just another way to get more money from you for nothing. The dealer will tell you that you have to pay an extra $500 to cover the labor costs of the dealership’s 5-point inspection.

This alleged check up that you are paying so much money for, is for the dealership to remove plastic from the seats, vacuum the car, maybe, and make sure all of the fuses and fluids are ready to go. When factories deliver the new cars to the dealerships the cost of delivery and preparation is already covered, so basically you are paying the dealership for work that they haven’t really done.

You can avoid this scam by simply asking the dealership to add an extra $500 credit to the deal to make sure you do not have to pay the money. If they refuse, the choice is yours. If you think it’s fine buy the car, if not; try another dealer that will remove the dealer preparation costs.

If you can avoid these 5 car dealership scams when buying your next new car, you’ll be way ahead of the game.