Do I Need to Share My VIN # When Selling A Car?
Written by : Ray Pierce
Last Updated: 12/02/2023

Do I Need to Share My VIN # When Selling A Car?

Person thinking about giving VIN # to company

Yes, you need to share your VIN # when selling a car. The VIN is a unique 17-digit code that identifies your specific vehicle and contains information about its history and specifications. While it may seem like a small detail, sharing your VIN can have important implications for both you and the buyer.

One reason to consider sharing your VIN when selling a car is that it can help build trust with potential buyers. By providing the VIN, you are showing that you have nothing to hide and are willing to be transparent about the vehicle’s history and condition. Additionally, sharing the VIN can help buyers conduct their own research and verify that the car is not stolen or salvaged.

Understanding VIN and Its Importance

When selling your car, you may wonder if you need to share your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) with potential buyers. The answer is yes, you do need to share your VIN. Understanding what a VIN is and why it’s important can help you understand why sharing it is necessary.

What Is a VIN?

A VIN is a unique 17-digit code assigned to every vehicle manufactured after 1981. It serves as a unique identifier for your car and contains important information about the vehicle’s make, model, year, and more. Each digit in the VIN represents a specific piece of information about the car, such as the country of origin, manufacturer, and engine size.

Why VIN Is Crucial for Vehicle History?

Sharing your VIN is important because it allows potential buyers to check the vehicle’s history. By using the VIN, buyers can obtain a detailed report of the car’s past, including any accidents, repairs, or other incidents that may affect its value or safety. This information can help buyers make an informed decision about whether or not to purchase your car.

Protecting Personal Information

When selling a car, you may be required to share your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) with potential buyers. While this information is necessary for completing the sale, it is essential to protect your personal information from identity theft.

Ensuring Privacy and Security

To protect your personal information from these risks, you should take the necessary steps to ensure privacy and security when sharing your VIN. Here are some tips to help you protect your personal information:

  • Only share your VIN with legitimate buyers who have a genuine interest in purchasing your vehicle.
  • Avoid sharing your VIN on public platforms, such as social media or online classifieds, where it can be easily accessed by scammers.
  • Use secure methods of communication, such as encrypted messaging or phone calls, to share your VIN with potential buyers.
  • Consider redacting some digits of your VIN when sharing it with potential buyers to prevent VIN cloning.
  • Always keep a record of the individuals who have accessed your personal information, including your VIN, to help prevent identity theft.

By following these tips, you can protect your personal information from identity theft and VIN cloning when selling your car. Remember to stay vigilant and cautious when sharing your personal information with others.

At Which Point Will Companies Ask for My VIN #?

VIN Number

Most Cash for Car companies only ask for the VIN once you’ve accepted their offer. If you happen to have your VIN handy prior to the offer, it can be useful to give so they have the exact year, make, model, trim and other pertinent info that can help them price your vehicle. This is good to avoid any issues later incase you’re unsure of a specific piece of info, and reduce the chance of a price being updated.

Once you’ve accepted an offer and want to move forward, the VIN # is necessary for the cash for cars company to create an assignment in their system. Without the VIN #, they cannot move forward with the purchase of your car.

Remember, your VIN # is 17 characters long. It’s a combination of numbers and letters and is unique to your car only.

Why Do Some Companies Ask for My License Plate #?

If you’re unable to locate your VIN, the license plate and state can help companies decode the VIN #. This is a fairly new practice that companies have learned and in many cases is easier for customers as they know their plate # and not VIN. Once you provide your license plate # and the state the car is registered in, they can run it through their system to determine what the VIN # is.


So the next time you decide to sell your car to a cash for cars company, it’s a good idea to have the VIN # handy as you’ll eventually need it in order to complete a transaction. If you’re wondering what your car is worth or want more information on the process of selling your car, please give us a call today and we’ll do our best to help.

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Written by : Ray Pierce

Ray Pierce founded Zippy Cash for Cars in 2001 and has been in the automotive industry buying cars ever since. Starting off with 2 employees, Ray is proud to now have over 50 employees buying cars coast to coast.