3 not so basics to keep in your car

Where Can I Find the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number)?

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:

Look for the VIN in these other locations:

  • Insurance card/Insurance policy
  • Vehicle title and registration certificate


30 Jun 15

They say that prevention is better than cure, so when you head out on the road make sure you've thought ahead so that you're ready to handle anything. The last time, we touched on essentials to keep in your car in the case of an emergency, from a spare tyre to an emergency kit and snacks.

This time however, we're digging a little deeper into the handbook of car enthusiasts and road trip veterans alike to help you wrap your head around some less obvious gear to keep in your vehicle. 

Much like the boy scouts of old, with these handy tools, you can rest assured you'll always be prepared. 

1. Maps (real ones) 

While many of us rely on our in car navigation systems and smartphone mapping apps, have you considered what will happen if you're ever stranded half way through your journey with a flat battery? 

Good old fashioned maps which you can pick up from your local service station, or even a bookstore, provide a handy backup for when your digital navigation fails. Keep one of your local area in your passenger seat back pocket, and consider purchasing one if you're planning a particularly long road trip in unfamiliar territory. 

2. Portable device charger 

Although not a classic car kit inclusion, a back up power source for your mobile device is perhaps more vital than ever. Without realising it, we rely on our phones for a myriad of different functions, including navigation and, most importantly, as a method of contact.

While it's a good idea to keep a car charging cable in your glove compartment, if you wind up with a flat battery, there's not telling how long you could need your phone battery to last until help can arrive. Portable device chargers come either as a regular battery-powered pack, or a solar powered one, and can be an absolute god-send when you need your phone most. 

3. Duct tape

Every car enthusiast or mechanic will already know the wondrous properties of all-purpose duct tape. This is an indispensable tool for fixing a whole raft of easy fixes. If something minor happens on the road like a loose bumper or dislodged wing mirror, duct tape can provide an temporary solution until you get in to see a panel beater. 

One of the best ways to be prepared for a safe journey is to make the right choice of car. With a CarHistory report, you can get a better insight into a used car before you buy, so there are no nasty surprises waiting for you down the road.

View a sample report >