Fleet News

Survey casts doubts over VIN number effectiveness

DOUBTS have been cast over the usefulness of VIN numbers after a survey discovered that 28% of dealers never check them when buying a car. The survey, by vehicle registration checking agency HPI, found that 25% of dealers always checked VIN numbers and 25% admitted to doing so 'usually'. However, 28% never did, a worrying prospect for fleets.

Those dealers who do check numbers were then asked whether they would take the number from the vehicle itself or the registration document only. Some 40% checked the document.

HPI-Equifax marketing director Nicki Websper commented: 'Checking a registration document is self-defeating. They are easy to forge, whereas a VIN number stamped into bodywork is much harder to tamper with. Thankfully, 41% or respondents check both vehicle and documents and 18% check the vehicle only.' Praising the efficiency of HPI's GoldCheck, Websper pointed out that it required a dealer to check both VIN and vehicle registration mark, so they can be checked against the company's register and automatically cross-referred to verify they match - an important safeguard against 'ringing'.

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