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If you are in the market for a used car, you should seriously consider getting a vehicle history report before making your purchase. There are two main sources for car history reports: Carfax.com and Autocheck.com. You will need to know the car's vehicle identification number, or VIN as it is more often called.
The VIN is to a car what a social security number is to a person. It allows all transactions relevant to the car to be tracked (including the names of owners, dates of sales, and whether the vehicle has ever been registered as a salvage vehicle—one that has been in a major accident).
The VIN is listed on the car's registration paperwork. It is also located on a small metal plate attached to the dashboard. Look for it on the driver's side where the dashboard meets the windshield.