Buying a used car as opposed to a new one from a dealership is a popular option for many people in Dubai and the UAE as a whole these days and it’s surely a cost-effective mode of motoring. However, there are some things to look out for when buying a second-hand vehicle, and one of them is to conduct a vehicle identification number and chassis check.

Read on to find out how you can check VIN in Dubai and the UAE when purchasing a used vehicle in the UAE.

What Is A VIN (Vehicle Identification Number)?

The Vehicle Identification Number system was implemented in 1989 and all vehicles manufactured from that year onwards will bear one. The VIN is a serial number comprised of 17 numbers, letters and special characters and helps to provide key details about the vehicle such as its make, model, date and place of manufacture.

Where Can I Find Out The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) In Dubai?

The VIN may be displayed in full and/or abbreviated to create a unique a Chassis number made up of the last 6 characters of the VIN. This is mentioned not only in the vehicle’s registration document, but also on several key points on the vehicle itself. These include:

  • On the underside of the car’s bonnet/hood
  • On the driver’s side doorjamb
  • On the front of the vehicle frame
  • Etched on the windscreen on the driver’s side
  • On the vehicle’s dashboard

Why Is The Vehicle Identification Number So Important?

It is highly recommended to check VIN or chassis number as a vital step when buying a used vehicle in Dubai and the UAE for several reasons. The key check, and the first thing you should do when viewing and considering a vehicle for purchase, is to ensure that the numbers shown both on the paperwork and on the vehicle itself, match 100%. If they don’t, this is a red flag. Let’s explore the insights the VIN and chassis number can give:

    The VIN and chassis number are shown in several locations on the vehicle, so should match everywhere. Any discrepancy means the vehicle has been tampered with in some way and could be an indication of fraudulent or criminal activity.
    The VIN is an alphanumerical combination that is assigned to the vehicle by its manufacturer for traceability and future identification purposes. It contains full information about the brand, manufacturer, model, date of manufacture & place of manufacture. It should therefore be a consistently matching number shown everywhere and once entered into a system, should instantly bring up the long version of the information stored in the code.
    A VIN stamped on the vehicle should always match that shown on the corresponding documentation. Any discrepancy between the VIN shown on the vehicle itself to that on the registration certificate is a sure sign that the vehicle has been tampered with in some way. An accident may mean that an area of the vehicle where the VIN/chassis number was displayed may have needed repair or replacement. Notwithstanding, the VIN/chassis number should have been faithfully restored to match others shown, and if this is not the case then this requires further investigation.
    The Police and other authorities (such as the RTA) can verify the VIN/chassis number of a vehicle through their database to check if it has been reported as stolen or the subject of a criminal act. It is commonplace for criminals to deface the details of a VIN plate by scratching it or altering the numbers in some way to deter detection or identification of the vehicle. Any damaged VIN/chassis number should therefore be investigated to find out why it is in that condition.

Where Can I Check VIN ( Vehicle Identification Number) Or Chassis Number in Dubai?

If you’re planning on buying a used vehicle in Dubai, the chassis number and VIN can provide vital information on the recorded mileage, history in the UAE, traffic fines, and vehicle registration. Performing a pre-purchase check, either online or in person, can therefore save time, money, and headaches later. The good news is that a check can be done in several places in Dubai, such as:

Why Isn’t My Vehicle Showing Up In Any Systems Upon Checking?

Only vehicles registered in the UAE will have entries in the various authority databases, therefore, it is recommended to check VIN/chassis number before buying a car to ensure it has been registered properly in the emirates.

About Author

Rachel Al Mughairi

About Author

With over 34 years in the international insurance industry in a variety of senior management roles, and as holder of the Diploma in Insurance from the Chartered Insurance Institute, Rachel surely knows her insurance! With experience in London, continental Europe and the Middle East, Rachel is here to share her knowledge and help you understand more about insurance products in this easy-to-understand series of videos and blogs.