Is it safe to give VIN and personal info to car salesman?


While I was car shopping last week, I tried to negotiate with a car salesman for a price quote I received from another dealer, the car salesman told me that price quote is so low that he will give me $100 cash if I can buy the car at that price. He simply didn’t believe me. So I went to that other dealer, bought the car at that low price, and then informed that car salesman that I didn’t lie about the quote. He told me he will give me the $100 if I bring in the car and all paperworks including the bill of sale and registration for his review. He said it is for his market research. Should I give my car info (such as VIN) and personal info (name, address, phone number) to a car salesman for $100? Would it be possible to fake an accident/repair record in car history with knowledge of car VIN detail and owner’s personal info?


There shouldn’t be any problem if he only reviews it. That is, he looks at the bill of sale and the registration, sees the VINs match, sees the price is what you said, and then gives you $100. There’s no need for him to write anything down or copy anything, but just to compare numbers on two pieces of paper.

That is not your personal information.  It is right there in plain sight visible from outside your car through the windscreen.  There is little anyone could gain from that information and it is already public any time you park you can in public.


gee, and people wonder why car salesmen have such a sleazy reputation!

why is this such a stomach turner, filled with paranoia, and un-ease when dealing with car price negotiations? although i am not comfortable with “bottom line pricing” even that is twiddled with in the trade in negotiation.

where do you find honesty?

why does car sales attract such greasy individuals? $$?


he will give me $100 cash if I can buy the car at that price

So the question becomes, how do you satisfy that proposal? Simple, I’d let him LOOK at the bill of sale only and compare the VIN on the bill of sale to the car. This is all the proof needed to show you bought the car and for the price agreed upon. No personal information other than name, if they must write a check. Cash would be better. Do not let him leave with your documents or copy any information off of them. Most likely, they will add your name to their list of customers and sell that info to their affiliates for marketing purposes. I, personally, like to avoid such disclosures.


Don’t let him make xerox copies of the papers.


I think the only real danger of giving out your VIN is that with some cars you can go to a dealership and make a new key based on only the VIN. So if he wants to make a copy of the document, offer to give him one with the VIN redacted after he verifies that the VIN matches the one on your car.


I recommend a really long article on entitled “Confessions of a Car Salesman.” which can be found at

I agree with the author of the article with his philosophy that BS rolls downhill. Most car salespeople are decent human beings who are trying to support their families. For the most part they get pressure from their managers to make sales at all cost that have wide profit margins. If they don’t, they find themselves among the ranks of the unemployed. If one gives you a decent price, he might find that his boss has decided not to pay him any commission on the sale.

The University that I attend has renamed it’s college of business using the name of the owner of several local car dealerships. I guess he gave enough money to the school that they have renamed it in his honor. After shopping at one of his dealerships, I shudder to think that the local university is sharing his reputation. I hear it is a pretty good business school, but still, to think that this jerk’s name is on the diplomas really bothers me. They could have named the college of business after someone who has honor!


i think the only logical reason that he wants your VIN is to contact the regional manager, to complain about some perceived minimum price that local dealers are supposed to maintain, since (in his opinion) the other dealer went below some arbitrary price level. will he actually give you the 100? not sure, but maybe this is the gimmick to keep other dealers honoring the regional price. i am not a salesman, but i have heard over the years about these cooperative price agreements that a region tries to keep no no one will severely undercut the price. (sounds sort of unamerican to me though!)


That would be price fixing and it is illegal. If they engage in it and are caught, an enterprising lawyer could create a class action suit and collect a sterling sum by showing that the conspiracy exists. Do you think it would take much to pay off a couple salesmen to roll over on their bosses? I don’t.


It sounds like he is wanting to make sure your car is the same thing by using your VIN Number on his lot and that you actually bought the car by seeing your registration for your car.

As an example you can get a 2001 Ford Expedition XLT alot cheaper than you can get a 2001 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer Edition. So he wants to make sure he is comparing apples to apples as your VIN number he will probably pull a Carfax to see what it shows,


Did he set the conditions initially or change the rules as things moved along? I predict that he will give you more hoops to jump through if you continue with him and so far you are playing his game by not insisting that he keep his initial promise as stated. You will not see the money as you have no contract in writing. Forget him and his store and next time get such a promise in writing.