Is there a risk making your car's VIN number public?

gr1nch

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Apologies, this one turned out longer than I'd expected, as the concept came up that VINs could also help thieves steal our beloved cars to order...

Yesterday my M-B dealer sent me the VIN of my car which is being built in a week or so (hooray!). I was about to upload the VIN into that Ukrainian website to see what output came back, but it occured to me this is very specific, private data about my car, that I'd be giving to a third party, who has no enforceable obligation to me to keep it private.

Is there any damage that could be done with a full set of info about a car (e.g. number plate, VIN, name of owner, etc) by a request to the DVLA, M-B, etc? Or increase the chance your car is targeted and stolen*?

* On that thought, conceivably, there could be a "dark" website that advertises all cars with known VINs and, say area/address,. So steal to order with an Autotrader-like interface. Thieves would then "bid" to steal the car through that website and receivers would simply choose one, place the order and wait for the car to be "delivered". It would make the bad guys lives easier, if a car's full detailed spec by VIN and its address by any means possible, e.g. Registration + VIN lookup (?), social networks, online address books, etc. So to minimise risk, I'm thinking of not making my VIN public knowledge.
 
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gr1nch

gr1nch

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VINs are visible in the windscreen.
Thanks, I didn't know that. Well, at least a bad guy would need to be there in person to log it.
Wind up thread?
Not intended. But why would you even think that?

I'm new to M-B and usage of VINs generally, so my knowledge of them is low. Technically a website based on VIN & address lookups with stock photos is easily doable and I'd be surprised if websites like that doen't exist already.
 

Pontoneer

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Apologies, this one turned out longer than I'd expected, as the concept came up that VINs could also help thieves steal our beloved cars to order...

Yesterday my M-B dealer sent me the VIN of my car which is being built in a week or so (hooray!). I was about to upload the VIN into that Ukrainian website to see what output came back, but it occured to me this is very specific, private data about my car, that I'd be giving to a third party, who has no enforceable obligation to me to keep it private.

Is there any damage that could be done with a full set of info about a car (e.g. number plate, VIN, name of owner, etc) by a request to the DVLA, M-B, etc? Or increase the chance your car is targeted and stolen*?

* On that thought, conceivably, there could be a "dark" website that advertises all cars with known VINs and, say area/address,. So steal to order with an Autotrader-like interface. Thieves would then "bid" to steal the car through that website and receivers would simply choose one, place the order and wait for the car to be "delivered". It would make the bad guys lives easier, if a car's full detailed spec by VIN and its address by any means possible, e.g. Registration + VIN lookup (?), social networks, online address books, etc. So to minimise risk, I'm thinking of not making my VIN public knowledge.
You don't input any personal details to that site , and don't have to register to use it .

If you are worried then use the official Mercedes EPC , which you do register and pay for but I'm sure will be much more secure .
 

renault12ts

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2005 W215 CL500.
Thanks, I didn't know that. Well, at least a bad guy would need to be there in person to log it.

Not intended. But why would you even think that?

I'm new to M-B and usage of VINs generally, so my knowledge of them is low. Technically a website based on VIN & address lookups with stock photos is easily doable and I'd be surprised if websites like that doen't exist already.
All cars have visible VIN (or 99% ).
 

PobodY

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Thankfully , only on newer cars . It struck me as a daft idea as soon as it started .

Mine are all stamped into the chassis and on plates hidden out of sight .
This was to make it easier to check for stolen/cloned vehicles? - Similarly I'd prefer to keep mine out of obvious sight; inside the engine bay or in the door arch.

Having said that, it's nice to be able to make sense of the VIN. - For my Nissan I can't get much more than it exists.
 

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