A vehicle identification number, or VIN, can be used to determine key features and specifications of a particular vehicle. These include the maker of the vehicle, the country where it was manufactured, the vehicle's engine size and type, the year it was released and other relevant information.
In the United States, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration mandated that the automotive industry use a standardized VIN for the purpose of identifying all motor vehicles involved in transportation on public highways. The VIN is a unique string that contains 17 alphanumeric characters, which is typically marked on a metal plate of a vehicle's dashboard.
An interested buyer can also check the background of a particular vehicle by requesting for a comprehensive report using its VIN. Vehicle owners can also use their VINs when buying motor replacement components.