There are several factors that car insurance providers take into consideration when computing the rates for the premiums they charge. Some of these factors involve essential details about the car being enrolled for insurance. One vehicle related detail or factor that many usually disregard or ignore is the vehicle identification number or the VIN. This typically long series of numbers and letters are hardly given due notice but it is something most car insurance companies usually ask for.

Asking for an auto insurance quote usually necessitates the vehicle identification number. This number can be found on the car or on documents for maintenance and insurance. This number can be found on the car’s dashboard (near the driver’s seat), windshield, windows, on one of the wheels, or on the car’s engine.

The typical vehicle identification number is a combination of 17 numbers and letters. It may also be referred to as the manufacturer serial number. These alphanumeric series is not just any random combination. Every digit has a meaning that the manufacturer assigned. The full long series of numbers supplies specific information about the vehicle. It should be noted though that the regular VIN does not make use of the letters O, Q, and I to avoid confusion. O, for instance, may be mistaken for “zero” similar to how I can be wrongly read as “one” when used alongside other numbers and letters.

The first three digits or characters of a vehicle identification number usually stand for the manufacturer identity. The next five (4th to 8th characters) characters serve as a description of the vehicle. The 9th character is usually used to ascertain the accuracy of the VIN. The final eight set of numbers and letters, on the other hand, is a unique number for a vehicle and it is used to distinguish it from other cars from the same manufacturer.

Considering the details that are embedded on the vehicle identification number, insurance providers are able to come up with a quote without having to ask redundant questions. The VIN typically provides information on a vehicle’s model, body type, make, and even the presence of anti-theft and safety devices or features. Likewise, the VIN can be useful in determining if a particular vehicle is part of an ongoing or previous recall.

If it’s more convenient to individually obtain the information contained in a VIN, there is actually no need to take yourself to the hassle of locating the VIN on the vehicle. There is no compelling reason to thoroughly learn about the VIN but it is a convenient detail worth knowing—and there are some insurance companies that would compulsorily ask for it.

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