The vehicle identification number (VIN) is composed of 17 characters (digits and capital letters) that act as a unique identifier for the vehicle. A VIN displays the car's unique features, specifications and manufacturer.
The VIN can be found in a couple of places including on the car's registration label (1), on the compliance plate in the engine bay (2) or on the passenger side windshield (3), or on one of the door posts (where the door latches when it is closed) (4). See the image below:
14 Feb 17
What sort of car upholstery would you prefer? There are often two choices when you buy a new car, but when you're buying used, you're limited by what's on the market. You can check out how the car has a dodgy history with a CarHistory report, but you can't determine the condition of the interior. That's something you'll have to inspect yourself.
There are some advantages and disadvantages to having either a cloth or a leather interior, however. What's the best option for you?
The luxury leather option
If you swim or go to the gym, there's no need to worry about your seats soaking up the water or sweat.
Many luxury cars will only have leather seats, because it's seen as a status symbol1. Leather not only looks great, but it's practical because it's water-resistant. If you swim or go to the gym often, there's no need to worry about your seats soaking up the water or sweat after a workout, and potentially picking up a bad smell or two along the way!
Leather seats also work well with seat warmers and coolers - an effective way of regulating your body temperature because the temperature-controlled surface is closer to your skin2. If you get hot in the summer or cold in the winter, leather seats in a car with heated/cooled seats could be just what the doctor ordered.
Don't disregard cloth just yet
Leather seems great, but with the enhanced status of the car, you may have to pay a premium to own it. Luxury European or American cars can be more expensive than standard Japanese cars, for example3, but offer similar performance in every regard except the upholstery.
Even though leather is water-resistant, you can still sit on cloth seats in your sweaty gym gear or with a wet swimsuit on. The simple solution to that problem is to lay down a towel, or wrap one around your waist before you sit down. While the cloth will likely still feel damp to the touch when you get out of the car, in the hot Australian climate it won't take long to dry out, and you won't have the risk of your seats growing fungus!
Weighing the odds
The advantages of owning a cloth or leather-upholstered car are clear - but before you make a decision, you should decide if spending more for leather seats is worth the potential budget blow-out. If you can't quite justify spending more simply to get a more luxurious interior, then cloth is a great option.
Consider your lifestyle and your budget before deciding on leather or cloth seats, and make sure the car you choose is the most suitable for you! Get in touch with CarHistory today for more information about buying a used vehicle in Australia.
1. Autobytel. Comparison: Leather Car Interior vs. Cloth Car Interior. Accessed February 2017.
2. Your Mechanic. 4 Essential Things to Know About Your Car's Seat Warmers. Accessed February 2017.
3. Autos.com. 5 benefits of Japanese used cars. Accessed February 2017.
CAUTION: Safety and honesty are important to us. Takata airbag recall data was not available to our system at the time this report was requested. Please visit the www.ismyairbagsafe.com.au website to check whether this vehicle may be affected before relying on this report.