How green is 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


There are so many considerations to keep in mind when buying a used car. Looks are one thing, but when it comes to performance and safety, it's worth taking the time to get to know as much as you can about your new investment.

As much as you may like to consider yourself a car guru who can sense how many times a vehicle's been serviced and whether the oil needs changing by the sound of the ignition, there are many things that are difficult to know unless you take a closer look.

One of these things is the impact a car will have on the environment. We all need to take responsibility for our emissions to support Mother Nature, and cars whose exhausts belch smoke aren't going to have the gentlest carbon tyre-tread.

To figure out whether the vehicle you're going to be driving is going to be as eco-friendly as possible, you can start out by getting a Car History report. We do the research and provide you with the information you need to help make an informed decision on a vehicle you are interested in purchasing.

Contained in a Car History report is a vehicle's air pollution and greenhouse rating.

Greenhouse gas rating 

According to the Climate Change Authority, transport makes up 16 per cent of the country's greenhouse gas emissions, with 10 per cent of total emissions taken up by light vehicles1.

Our cars produce mainly carbon dioxide, in addition to nitrous oxide and methane gas, which all contribute to climate change.

On a Car History report, you'll see the car's greenhouse gas rating out of 10. The higher the rating, less of a strain the car will be putting on the environment. Don't forget you can also download a sample Car History report to see what one looks like.

Air pollution rating 

Cars emit air pollutants such as nitrogen oxides, benzene and other matter into the atmosphere. These sorts of emissions are detrimental to air quality and can contribute to poor health, so it's important to choose a vehicle with a good air pollution rating. 

Vehicles that emit fewer harmful pollutants receive a higher air pollution rating score. 

To give you an idea, an average passenger car with a petrol engine that meets the current emission standards would score a 5 out of 10, according to the Green Vehicle Guide. 

In order to keep your car as environmentally friendly as possible, it's also important to keep it well serviced to ensure it isn't creating more emissions than necessary.

1Climate Change Authority, Opportunities to reduce light vehicle emissions in Australia. Accessed May 14, 2015.

View a sample report >