The Hidden Dangers of Re-Vinning: Know Before You Buy Your Next Vehicle
If you discovered that you own a re-vinned vehicle, chances are, you found out after the fact. As auto theft continues to rise in Canada, thieves are finding crafty ways to disguise their criminal activity. Before you purchase your next vehicle, learn more about re-vinning, the legal ramifications, and the effects a re-vinned car has on your insurance.
The excitement of purchasing a vehicle often overshadows the potential risks involved, especially in the context of car insurance. One such risk is the alarming practice of re-vinning vehicles. Understand the concept of re-vinning, it’s legal implications, and its significant impact on car insurance policies.
What does re-VIN mean?
Re-vinning a vehicle is an illegal practice where thieves alter the original vehicle identification number (VIN) of a stolen car. This deceptive act makes the vehicle appear legitimate, posing a severe risk to unsuspecting buyers and their car insurance coverage.
The Growing Trend of Re-Vinning:
In many cases, thieves traffic stolen vehicles overseas. However, some stolen cars remain within domestic borders and go to the unsuspecting public for sale. To cover up the theft, criminals resort to re-vinning, replacing the original VIN with a new one that may belong to a different vehicle or made up entirely.
The risks to buyers and their car insurance
Even if you unknowingly purchase a re-vinned vehicle, you may face significant challenges, particularly with insurance companies. Such vehicles may be denied coverage, leading to financial losses. Law enforcement may also seize the vehicle as it constitutes stolen property. It’s important to be aware of these risks, as purchasing a stolen vehicle could leave you without a car and at a financial loss.
What you can do to protect yourself against re-vinned vehicles
There are several measures buyers can take to protect themselves from falling victim to re-vinned vehicles:
Identify who you’re buying from: When purchasing a vehicle, gather as much information as possible about the seller, including their contact details and identification. For dealership purchases, verify the dealership and salesperson’s license status through relevant industry authorities.
Request a vehicle history report: Utilize services like CarFax to obtain a comprehensive report on the vehicle’s history. This report can reveal inconsistencies and provide valuable information about past ownership and potential red flags.
Obtain a UVIP: Ensure the seller provides a Used Vehicle Information Package (UVIP) or acquire one yourself. This package contains essential details about the vehicle, including registration history, lien information, retail sales tax, and bill of sale information. Verifying this information can help confirm the legitimacy of the car.
Install a TAG® Tracking System: Installed at the expense of the vehicle owner, a TAG® tracking system installs multiple wireless devices throughout your vehicle that allow it to be tracked anywhere in North America. If your vehicle is stolen, TAG® offers 24/7 support to recover the vehicle before it is re-vinned. Additionally, small RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) devices are installed on parts thieves commonly steal. This marks the part as stolen property, making it difficult to buy and sell on the black market. To learn more about the TAG® Tracking System and request a free quote, see here.
Seek professional inspection: Prior to finalizing the purchase, have the vehicle inspected by a trusted mechanic. Their expertise can identify any signs of tampering, hidden damage, or mismatched VINs, providing peace of mind during the purchasing process.
Exercise caution: Remain vigilant during the negotiation and transaction process. If the price seems too good to be true or the seller exhibits suspicious behaviour, it is crucial to exercise caution. If possible, arrange to meet in a safe location, such as a police station parking lot and bring a family member or friend for an additional precaution to mitigate potential risks.
How re-vinned vehicles affect your insurance
When it comes to re-vinned vehicles, insurance coverage becomes a complex issue. In most cases, insurance companies will refuse coverage for stolen or re-vinned vehicles. As a result, this leaves the buyer bearing full responsibility for any damages, liabilities, or legal expenses that may arise. It is critical to ensure that the vehicle you purchase has a legitimate and traceable history to maintain insurance coverage.
The potential dangers of re-vinned vehicles cannot be understated. As an unsuspecting buyer, you may unsuspectedly drive a stolen vehicle, facing legal repercussions and insurance complications. By following the suggested protective measures outlined in this article, you can safeguard yourself against the risks associated with re-vinned vehicles. Remember, doing your due diligence and taking necessary precautions is essential to ensuring a safe and legitimate vehicle purchase.