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:
19 Aug 15
Getting your first car is as much a right of passage as moving out from home or graduating from high school. It's a time for new responsibilities, but also a symbol of freedom.
You can choose to go where you want, when you want, not hindered by bus timetables or having to get the occasional lift from your mates or your parents.
A brave new world for young drivers
In fact, if you're one of the young Aussies with a drivers licence, you may be part of a dying breed - it appears that people under the age of 25 are less interested in getting their licence today than in previous years, according to research from Monash University.
"In recent decades, young adults in many developed nations have become increasingly less likely to acquire a driving licence," says the report.1
In analysing data from the state of Victoria, Dr Alexa Delbosc told ABC news that for under 25s, the licencing rate had dropped from 77 per cent to 66 percent from 2001 to 2015.
"We were definitely surprised when we first started to notice this trend but we found it's not just Australia, it's happening in the US, Canada, the UK, and a lot of Europe as well," said Dr Delbosc, as reported by ABC Perth.2
School's not out yet
So you've got your licence in hand, now all you've got to do is take care of the ride. You're going to want to do a little old fashioned research before buying your first car, and we don't just mean scouring the web for a cheap deal, either.
If it's your first car as a young driver, there's a strong chance you'll be inclined to buy a used vehicle - US car resource company Edmunds reports that drivers aged 18-34 made up just over 10 per cent of new car registrations in 20113.
You're going to want to take the vehicle you're interested in for a test drive or two, as well as finding out as much about it as possible. The simplest way to do this is too get a comprehensive CarHistory report.
Not only will you be able to see a price comparison for a particular vehicle model, you'll also find any evidence of odometer windbacks and finance owing on the car which could lead to it being repossessed.
1Delbosca, Curriea, Causes of Youth Licensing Decline: A Synthesis of Evidence. Accessed June, 2015.
2ABC News, Young people less interested than their parents in learning to drive. Accessed June, 2015.3Edmunds, Who's Not Buying New Cars? Accessed June, 2015.