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Check Car's History using VIN

9 years ago

VIN stands for Vehicle Identification Number.  A VIN is a 17 digit alpha-numeric number that uniquely identifies your vehicle.

Most vehicles require a VIN. It's the manufacturer's or importer's responsibility to ensure a new vehicle has a VIN. Some vehicles already have VINs assigned and attached overseas before they get to New Zealand. Otherwise, an entry certifier will issue and attach a New Zealand VIN at entry inspection.

MotorWeb¿s Vehicle Information Report (VIR) can be generated using a VIN or plate. If a vehicle is recently imported or is deregistered (e.g. written off) it may not have any plates, therefore you will have to use the VIN number to check the history.

Remember, just because a vehicle is recently imported, doesn¿t mean it can¿t have any money owing.  In some cases, the overseas seller will register a security as a safeguard, should they not receive payment from the importer.

VIN locations


  • viewed through the nearside base of the front windscreen

  • stamped into the vehicle structure (often the firewall) during manufacture

  • stamped on a metal plate and fixed onto the vehicle body

  • etched onto the rear window of the vehicle

Checking the VIN and Plate


We recommend checking that the VIN matches the plate.  To do this, simply purchase a Vehicle Information Report (VIR) using the cars plate and cross-reference the VIN from the report against the physical VIN on the vehicle.

Interpreting a VIN


The VIN on your car will either be a factory issued or issued by the NZTA.

Used import. NZTA assigned VIN prior to 29 November 2009:

NZTA assigned VIN pre 2009

Used import. NZTA assigned VIN from 29 November 2009:

NZTA issued VIN post 2009

Factory issued VIN for a truck:

Factory VIN issued for a truck

Factory issued VIN for a car:

Factory VIN issued for a car


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