There some danger to giving out a VIN number?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Imported, Nov 17, 2010.

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  1. Imported

    Imported Lifer

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    I've been looking at Miatas for a while now to turn into a track car.. Saw a good deal on one with low mileage, etc. However the seller insists I see it in person and will not provide me with the VIN number to run an AutoCheck. Since the car is a few hours away, I'm not wasting my time with that and am looking elsewhere. That said.. there something I don't know about when you give out a VIN? Every other seller I've been in contact with has provided them readily.
     
    #1 Imported, Nov 17, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 4, 2013
  2. woodie1

    woodie1 Diamond Member

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    Any seller who won't provide a VIN would be suspect in my book. I guess a scammer could use the VIN to advertise said car as his own in hopes of getting someone to wire him money for a car he doesn't have.
     
  3. jlee

    jlee Lifer

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    Yep - but a scammer could also walk into a random parking lot, take pictures, and write down the VIN from the windshield/dash spot and do the same thing.

    If he won't give you the VIN, tell him you'll buy from someone who's not sketchy.
     
  4. razor2025

    razor2025 Diamond Member

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    Anyone who doesn't give out VIN to potential buyer is either..

    1) There's something wrong with the car and it'll show up on Carfax, hence reluctance to give out.

    2) Clueless idiot who doesn't know anything about selling car.

    I'd avoid either of those. But #2 might be a nice gamble.
     
  5. Bignate603

    Bignate603 Lifer

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    Go see car, copy down VIN. If he freaks out about that you don't want to deal with him.
     
  6. soccerballtux

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    He could just be clueless. Don't listen to everything you hear on the internet. If I had, I wouldn't have gotten the amazing deal car that I got now. 2006 scion tc with a 2008 engine that had 12k on it for $7k. Rebuilt title had people fussing like nobody's business. It was going to cost me almost twice that to get a clean title with 7x the miles. Best deal of my life.

    long/short: If it weren't so far away I'd def go check it out.
     
  7. thescreensavers

    thescreensavers Diamond Member

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    Since they are 3 hours away, Vin Number or bust.

    I agree with everyone in this thread, either something will show up or he has no idea..
     
  8. IcePickFreak

    IcePickFreak Platinum Member

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    Yeah chances are there's something not so desireable on a carfax type report. The car may be in great condition regardless so he wants you to see it before you write it off. Being that he's a few hours away though it's a gamble to even go check it out. Ask if why he doesn't want to give it out and explain that you're a few hours away so your not going to come see it with no background on it. If he doesn't want to cooperate just move on.
     
  9. Imported

    Imported Lifer

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    I tried explaining. Didn't budge so I'm moving on. Who knew trying to find a decent condition '94 or '95 Miata could be so much work.
     
  10. Squisher

    Squisher Lifer

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    I would say there is a 80% chance the guy is wearing a virtual tinfoil hat and worried about giving out any information over the internets or over the phone. 20% are scammers trying to hide something.

    Remember you're only a couple steps away from taking out a mortgage in his name and having carnal knowledge of his wife if he gives you the VIN.
     
  11. Strk

    Strk Lifer

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    That kind of reminds me of people who blur our license plate numbers in pictures.
     
  12. HarryLui

    HarryLui Golden Member

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    Listing out all that mods you have with your car and putting out your location is way more dangerous than given out the VIN number.
     
  13. Imported

    Imported Lifer

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    I used to do that.. now I don't care. There's plenty of photos of my car from autocrossing out there now. :hmm:
     
  14. jlee

    jlee Lifer

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    Yeah, me too....now they're even in my sig. :p
     
  15. kornphlake

    kornphlake Golden Member

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    A guy I work with is selling a car and someone called last week asking for his VIN number. My co-worker literally put the guy on hold and came to ask me if there was any danger in giving out a VIN. I suggested it was no more dangerous than parking the car in public where anybody could copy the VIN off the dash. It was a little strange that the buyer claimed he needed the VIN to send to the bank as part of the credit application, neither of us had applied for an auto loan on a vehicle sold by a private party so we weren't sure if this was part of the application or not. Even days later he's concerned that somehow this guy is going to forge a bill of sale and request a replacement title from the state then steal it from his driveway.
     
  16. jlee

    jlee Lifer

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    The VIN may have been for an NADA/etc check on the vehicle's book value..? I dunno.
     
  17. alkemyst

    alkemyst No Lifer

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    The main danger of a VIN number is you can usually get the key made at any dealership for cars made in the last decade.

    They are not supposed to do this without proof of ownership, however; some chick on the news batted nearly 100% from getting keys made without even presenting an ID from several dealers.

    Someone selling a car would need to make an exception though in this risk.
     
  18. jlee

    jlee Lifer

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    Good point - but again, someone could walk through a parking lot and do the same thing.
     
  19. alkemyst

    alkemyst No Lifer

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    The main difference is in a parking lot that is transient. At someone's home you know where it's going to be and that several other's are also looking.

    It's a rarity, but it has happened.

    Also most older cars without keyless can be opened with generic keys anyway.
     
  20. halik

    halik Lifer

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    Well if you get the keys made, then you'd have to actually find the car from the craigslist ad. Might as well do that to the M5 that always parks in the same spot on the street/parking lot etc.
     
  21. exar333

    exar333 Diamond Member

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    This. A couple cars back, my bank wanted the VIN before formally approving the credit application. Plus, your insurance company usually needs the VIN as well, if you want to get the car listed under you before you take delivery.
     
  22. alkemyst

    alkemyst No Lifer

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    right....however, much of the time it's after the buyer has looked at the car at least in person.

    I am saying it's a long shot still, no need to go through all the permutations. The topic was 'danger in giving out a VIN'.

    Getting keys made is probably the #1 reason most are hesitant.
     
  23. CraigRT

    CraigRT Lifer

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    What could the danger be? Do you park your car outside ever?

    People can just walk up and record it, unless you are worried about it and cover it up on your dash..
     
  24. Zenmervolt

    Zenmervolt Supermoderator<br>The Garage<br>Elite member
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    Which is why you always meet buyers at a neutral location.

    ZV
     
  25. JCH13

    JCH13 Diamond Member

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    Tell me about it... [thread derail] though I finally found a Miata that I'm very excited about, picking it up this Sunday and selling my old one.[/thread derail] Good luck in your search! Tell sellers you do not really care if there's a rebuilt/salvage title, if it's for auto-x no big deal. If it's a flood title though... x.x
     
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