Asking for a VIN to complete estimate?


Is it normal to be asked to provide a VIN # to get an estimate over the phone if you have already given them the make, model, and year?


Ot might be necessary for them to make sure they have identified the correct parts for your specific car, parts sometime change during the model year and there can be price differences. Is their a reason you do not want to give them the number?


I think it is. For one thing they may want to do a CarFax on the vehicle.


No, it is not normal but in a few cases it is necessary. It is also possible your call was handled by a simple clerk who was instructed to get the VIN from every customer. Or thinks that is what he must do.

Is there a reason you don’t want to give your VIN?


Is this a car dealer service department?


It may be company policy to do this. There are often mid-year production changes and the VIN is often necessary to sort it out.

Techs working at a dealership also need the VIN info on the repair order when trying to get a part from their parts dept. for this very reason.

Sometimes the parts manual updates occur long after the production line change is made and this is when the fun starts…


I’ve bought parts for 2 or 3 cars that had more than one possiblity, depending on when it was built within the model year. The only way to sort it out is to check the VIN to ensure that the correct parts are used. It’s not like they asked for your social security number. There’s no problem handing the VIN out.


It’s not like they asked for your social security number. There’s no problem handing the VIN out.

I agree that there is no reason to keep your VIN a secret, anyone on the street can walk up to your car and read it anyway. BTW, I think half the world has my SS number too.


A GM service department uses the VIN to retrieve the vehicle’s specs and history (repairs, recalls) from their database. Less chance of ordering a wrong part this way.

Ed B.


Its a better cross check vs using a persons state year/make/model as sometimes people forget little details like 2005.5 vs 2005 etc.


Unless you have something to hide, it’perfectly legal to ask/give the VIN. Prospective buyer wants to check & verify the car’s history like accidents, clear title, maintenance, problem, recall, service bulletin, etc…


I’d have no problem giving out the VIN to the repair shop. You’d be amazed with what people will think is true about what they drive that turns out to be totally ridiculous. I’ve seen classified ads selling Honda Cavaliers, Dodge F150’s, and even a Pontiac S2000 once. Getting the vin means you know for sure what kind of car is going to be coming through the garage door.