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Author Topic: Car color determines insurance rate?
vampyrviolia
Happy Holly Days


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I'm pretty sure it's a UL and i'm damn sure I've seen a topic on this before, I just can't seem to find it.

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Troberg
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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My insurance company have different rates for metallic and non-metallic paint, but apart from that there is no difference.

My guess is that metallic is more prone to be stolen and is more expensive to fix.

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RichardM
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As some one who gets to do more auto body repair than most people (rallying is like that), metallic paints are harder to match on repair. Hence more expensive to repair. Rule of thumb - never paint a race or rally car a color that you can't buy in a spray can at the local parts store.
Richard

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robbiev - singin' off key
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Color chow

I used to work for State Farm. We did not ask the color of the car for a quote. The only times the quotes weren't exactly right (barring a data input error) was when a customer gave us the wrong model information, such as "G" instead of "GL" or "LX" instead of "GT" etc.

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Technetium99
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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Your insurance company does not have to ask what color your car is. The VIN number tells them what color the factory painted it. The agent is supposed to ask you if the vehicle has been modified, and that includes painting it a different color. So if you have painted your car a color other than the original and have not informed your agent, your insurance could at least theoretically be canceled.

As for higher rates for different colors, the agents I have asked about this have said, that it also depends on your age and marital status. So for an unmarried male between 18 and 24 having a red or yellow car will raise their rates, but for a married couple in their forties, it would not.

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robbiev - singin' off key
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quote:
Originally posted by Technetium99:
The VIN number tells them what color the factory painted it.

Can you provide a cite for this? I can't find anything that indicates the VIN tell the original color.

--------------------
Every time I see a good looking woman, I think, "0oooh. There's another one I'll never have!"

Corvette. The louder you scream, the faster I'll go.

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skeptic
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Where is the VIN on a car. I assume it is told to you when you buy, but is it obvious under the lid where a car thief could removed the number and replace it with a legit copy off another vehicle.

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BeachLife
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quote:
Originally posted by robbiev427:
quote:
Originally posted by Technetium99:
The VIN number tells them what color the factory painted it.

Can you provide a cite for this? I can't find anything that indicates the VIN tell the original color.
Tips to understanding your vehicles serial (VIN) number

It does not include color.

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Doug4.7
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quote:
Originally posted by robbiev427:
quote:
Originally posted by Technetium99:
The VIN number tells them what color the factory painted it.

Can you provide a cite for this? I can't find anything that indicates the VIN tell the original color.
I would need to make a copy of the report I have on my vehicles, but on each one of them, there is a part of the VIN that denotes origional color code. When I go to the dealership to get one of those little touchup paints, they ask me for the VIN. Go to a store that sells camper shells for trucks. They took down my VIN (they even showed me their book where the "codes" were listed) so that my camper shell would match my truck (and it does).

Only the last 5-6 digits (at least on all my cars/trucks) are the "serial #" of the vehicle. All of the rest denote manufacturer, model year, engine size, trim level, color, etc.

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jimmy101
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by skeptic:
Where is the VIN on a car. I assume it is told to you when you buy, but is it obvious under the lid where a car thief could removed the number and replace it with a legit copy off another vehicle.

Most cars have a copy of the vin on a tag on the dashboard visible from outside the car. The vin usually also occurs in several other places. On some cars expensive and/or high demand parts may also have the vin stamped on them to reduce there attractiveness to thiefs.
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GenYus
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quote:
Originally posted by Doug4.7:
quote:
Originally posted by robbiev427:
quote:
Originally posted by Technetium99:
The VIN number tells them what color the factory painted it.

Can you provide a cite for this? I can't find anything that indicates the VIN tell the original color.
I would need to make a copy of the report I have on my vehicles, but on each one of them, there is a part of the VIN that denotes origional color code. When I go to the dealership to get one of those little touchup paints, they ask me for the VIN. Go to a store that sells camper shells for trucks. They took down my VIN (they even showed me their book where the "codes" were listed) so that my camper shell would match my truck (and it does).

Only the last 5-6 digits (at least on all my cars/trucks) are the "serial #" of the vehicle. All of the rest denote manufacturer, model year, engine size, trim level, color, etc.

Are you sure it was the VIN and not a production / body / factory code sticker? Because most cars have two sets of numbers. One is the VIN and has model year, model, make, engine, and body type information. I have never seen a VIN that included detailed information like body color, just type (extended cab, crew cab, etc). The other number is the factory options numbers that detail interior color, exterior color, and what options and trim the vehicle will get while being built.

Another possibility is that the dealership and/or camper shell manufacturer has a database where they input the VIN and the database tells them what color it was painted.

IMS, the standard VIN allows 4 characters to denote all the specific information about that vehicle. With these numbers being already used for engine type and size, model of car, body type, and restraint type, there isn't much room left for body color.

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rover
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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quote:
Originally posted by skeptic:
Where is the VIN on a car. I assume it is told to you when you buy, but is it obvious under the lid where a car thief could removed the number and replace it with a legit copy off another vehicle.

the vin number appears in many places. The easiest to find is on the dashboard on the driver's side. it is also usually by the inside of the driver's door.

The VIN is also placed in several "secret" places just in case a thier changes the visible VINs. I do not know the "secret" places, but I know they exist and are not known by the general public.

many years ago while prosecuting in the Philadelphia DA's office - when we had a car case, special members of the Philly Police dept would testify as to the identiy of a car where the known vins had been changed. They would inspect the car looking for the "secret vin" placements to see if the visible vins had been changed.

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BeachLife
The Bills of St. Mary's


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quote:
Originally posted by GenYus:
quote:
Originally posted by Doug4.7:
quote:
Originally posted by robbiev427:
quote:
Originally posted by Technetium99:
The VIN number tells them what color the factory painted it.

Can you provide a cite for this? I can't find anything that indicates the VIN tell the original color.
I would need to make a copy of the report I have on my vehicles, but on each one of them, there is a part of the VIN that denotes origional color code. When I go to the dealership to get one of those little touchup paints, they ask me for the VIN. Go to a store that sells camper shells for trucks. They took down my VIN (they even showed me their book where the "codes" were listed) so that my camper shell would match my truck (and it does).

Only the last 5-6 digits (at least on all my cars/trucks) are the "serial #" of the vehicle. All of the rest denote manufacturer, model year, engine size, trim level, color, etc.

Are you sure it was the VIN and not a production / body / factory code sticker? Because most cars have two sets of numbers. One is the VIN and has model year, model, make, engine, and body type information. I have never seen a VIN that included detailed information like body color, just type (extended cab, crew cab, etc). The other number is the factory options numbers that detail interior color, exterior color, and what options and trim the vehicle will get while being built.

Another possibility is that the dealership and/or camper shell manufacturer has a database where they input the VIN and the database tells them what color it was painted.

IMS, the standard VIN allows 4 characters to denote all the specific information about that vehicle. With these numbers being already used for engine type and size, model of car, body type, and restraint type, there isn't much room left for body color.

Color is not included. From my link above:


quote:
1st character- Identifies the country in which the vehicle was manufactured. For example: U.S.A.(1or4), Canada(2), Mexico(3), Japan(J), Korea(K), England(S), Germany(W), Italy(Z)

2nd character- Identifies the manufacturer. For example; Audi(A), BMW(B), Buick(4), Cadillac(6), Chevrolet(1), Chrysler(C), Dodge(B), Ford(F), GM Canada(7), General Motors(G), Honda(H), Jaquar(A), Lincoln(L), Mercedes Benz(D), Mercury(M), Nissan(N), Oldsmobile(3), Pontiac(2or5), Plymouth(P), Saturn(8), Toyota(T), VW(V), Volvo(V).

3rd character- Identifies vehicle type or manufacturing division.

4th to 8th characters- Identifies vehicle features such as body style, engine type, model, series, etc.

9th character- Identifies VIN accuracy as check digit.

10th character- Identifies the model year. For example: 1988(J), 1989(K), 1990(L), 1991(M), 1992(N), 1993(P), 1994(R), 1995(S), 1996(T), 1997(V), 1998(W), 1999(X), 2000(Y)------2001(1), 2002(2), 2003(3)

11th character- Identifies the assembly plant for the vehicle.

12th to 17th characters- Identifies the sequence of the vehicle for production as it rolled of the manufacturers assembly line.

I think you are dead-on regarding the manufacturer's database. It would make perfect sense to keep that information internally. Though I suppose the insurance companys might be able to get the color from the manufacturer.

Regardless the insurance industry is heavily regulated and restricted as to what they can legally 'rate' on. I doubt color is included in that.

In addition, there several on-line free quote engines available, non of which request VIN or color. It would become obvious if the quote changed when they got the VIN number.

--------------------
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Confessions of a Dragon's scribe
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Steph
I Saw Three Shipments


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I was thinking.. Maybe the they ask for the VIN to correctly note the year and make of the car, for color selection purposes ei..for different color availability limited to that year...? I agree that the VIN does not tell the color of your vehicle, but anytime I have ever went for a new part on my car, they asked the for the VIN to be sure that the color I told them was the color I truly needed. Maybe they just use it to cross reference the color for that certain year. My hypothesis... [Smile]
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BeachLife
The Bills of St. Mary's


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Are you sure they weren't looking at the Trim tag? That does include color information and would easier to use than the VIN number.

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skeptic
Deck the Malls


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Another thought just occured to me.
Wouldn't colour matter with regard to accidents happening in the later part of the day before it becomes sensible to have your lights on. I have often been surprised to see a dark car appear on the road. A white car would stand out more and be less likely to be in a crash.

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I like free speech. It lets me know who the idiots are.

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robbiev - singin' off key
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by BeachLife:
quote:
Originally posted by robbiev427:
quote:
Originally posted by Technetium99:
The VIN number tells them what color the factory painted it.

Can you provide a cite for this? I can't find anything that indicates the VIN tell the original color.
Tips to understanding your vehicles serial (VIN) number

It does not include color.

Thanks. That was my point, but I was asking, rather than telling, so it wouldn't come off snarky.

--------------------
Every time I see a good looking woman, I think, "0oooh. There's another one I'll never have!"

Corvette. The louder you scream, the faster I'll go.

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Technetium99
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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quote:
Originally posted by BeachLife:
quote:
Originally posted by robbiev427:
quote:
Originally posted by Technetium99:
The VIN number tells them what color the factory painted it.

Can you provide a cite for this? I can't find anything that indicates the VIN tell the original color.
Tips to understanding your vehicles serial (VIN) number

It does not include color.

Okay, if it does not include color, then why, when I purchased my van, did the insurance agent know exactly what color it was? And what color and material the interior was? She (the agent) has never seen this van, and actually has never been within two hundred miles of the van. The only, repeat, the only, information we gave her was the VIN. And yet somehow our insurance cards say exactly what two-tone color combination it is, and the interior color.

Now how exactly could that happen if the VIN does not include a color code?

Now comes the answer that you don't want to hear. Those internet "VIN decoders" are just someone elses guesses as to what information the VIN includes. The actual info on the VIN is one of the closest guarded secrets of the automotive industry. Carfax does not decode the entire VIN, only the portion that is known to the public.

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Casey, making hot chocolate
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by rover:
the vin number appears in many places. The easiest to find is on the dashboard on the driver's side. it is also usually by the inside of the driver's door.

Right after I got my car, I went on a VIN hunt. Quit looking after I found 16. Both doorframes, under the hood in 5 places, trunklid, a few places under the seats and on them... [Eek!]

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GenYus
Away in a Manager's Special


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quote:
Originally posted by Technetium99:
quote:
Originally posted by BeachLife:
quote:
Originally posted by robbiev427:
quote:
Originally posted by Technetium99:
The VIN number tells them what color the factory painted it.

Can you provide a cite for this? I can't find anything that indicates the VIN tell the original color.
Tips to understanding your vehicles serial (VIN) number

It does not include color.

Okay, if it does not include color, then why, when I purchased my van, did the insurance agent know exactly what color it was? And what color and material the interior was? She (the agent) has never seen this van, and actually has never been within two hundred miles of the van. The only, repeat, the only, information we gave her was the VIN. And yet somehow our insurance cards say exactly what two-tone color combination it is, and the interior color.

Now how exactly could that happen if the VIN does not include a color code?

Now comes the answer that you don't want to hear. Those internet "VIN decoders" are just someone elses guesses as to what information the VIN includes. The actual info on the VIN is one of the closest guarded secrets of the automotive industry. Carfax does not decode the entire VIN, only the portion that is known to the public.

Maybe she has access to the database that we had previously discussed where she can enter your VIN and have the manufacturer tell her what colors it was orignally painted?

Except for the 4th through 8th digit, the VIN is fixed by US DOT regulations. Only the 4th through 8th characters are up to the manufactuerer. Also, those VIN decoders linked to match exactly to the factory service manuals that I have (these are the manuals that GM sends to GM dealers so that the dealers can work on the GM cars). So unless this secret is so closely guarded that GM hides it from the mechanics working on the car, I am going to have to ask where you get this "closely guarded" information.

ETA: Even though this information is so closely guarded that no one has been able to post it online, your insurence agent has access to this secret?

--------------------
IIRC, it wasn't the shoe bomber's loud prayers that sparked the takedown by the other passengers; it was that he was trying to light his shoe on fire. Very, very different. Canuckistan

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Squishy0405
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I spoke to my hubby about this. He said false. It goes by which car is stolen the most, and sometimes certain colors of that particular car is stolen more often so in that sense yes, but it only pertains to full coverage and is not absolute. (I just typed it, don't yell at me!)

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BeachLife
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I checked the VINs on both of my cars and they exactly matched the information that the online decoders told me. Why would anyone leave color, of all things, off of these decoders? What would be gained and by who?

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Dark Blue
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quote:
The actual info on the VIN is one of the closest guarded secrets of the automotive industry. Carfax does not decode the entire VIN, only the portion that is known to the public.
This is perhaps the type of claim that you may want to provide cites for when posting on this MB. People here are somewhat skeptical by nature.

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Minstrel gone caroling
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When I worked for an insurance agency, we did not ask for vehicle color when providing quotes. These were quotes for people who maybe didn't have their VIN handy, or were considering buying a certain make of car and just wanted to know what the insurance rate would be. Given the ridiculous amount of detail we had to ask in order to provide an accurate quote, I would hazard a guess that if color would have made a difference in quote price, we would have had to ask.

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Delta-V
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quote:
Originally posted by BeachLife:
I checked the VINs on both of my cars and they exactly matched the information that the online decoders told me. Why would anyone leave color, of all things, off of these decoders? What would be gained and by who?

Online decoders only decode the first part of the VIN. That includes Manufacturer, Model, Year, and usually any major option - Body style (coupe, convertible), engine, transmisison.

However, each manufacturer maintains a database by serial number, the last 6 digits of the VIN. Free online VIN decoders won't have that information, since it would require having a database of a few hundred million vehicles (not to mention that the manufacturers probably charge for their database). But any dealer can look up a VIN and tell you not only what color it is, but exactly what options you have on it (CD or cassette? Sunroof? cloth or leather?). If you don't believe me, just call any dealer and order some touch-up paint, and give them the VIN. (They might ask for a paint code - if they do, just say that sticker is damaged and illlegible).

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ratface
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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quote:
Originally posted by Technetium99:
quote:
Originally posted by BeachLife:
quote:
Originally posted by robbiev427:
quote:
Originally posted by Technetium99:
The VIN number tells them what color the factory painted it.

Can you provide a cite for this? I can't find anything that indicates the VIN tell the original color.
Tips to understanding your vehicles serial (VIN) number

It does not include color.

Okay, if it does not include color, then why, when I purchased my van, did the insurance agent know exactly what color it was? And what color and material the interior was? She (the agent) has never seen this van, and actually has never been within two hundred miles of the van. The only, repeat, the only, information we gave her was the VIN. And yet somehow our insurance cards say exactly what two-tone color combination it is, and the interior color.

Now how exactly could that happen if the VIN does not include a color code?

Now comes the answer that you don't want to hear. Those internet "VIN decoders" are just someone elses guesses as to what information the VIN includes. The actual info on the VIN is one of the closest guarded secrets of the automotive industry. Carfax does not decode the entire VIN, only the portion that is known to the public.

Sounds like your insurer was somehow able to access the manufacturers database to look up the vehicle information for that VIN. They didn't get this information from the coded information in the VIN itself. Your insurer wouldn't happen to be General Motors would it? That's the only insurance company I would expect to do this.

Another possibility is that they matched the VIN up with the DMV. I know in some jurisdictions insurers and vehicle licensing exchange information to make sure that every registered vehicle has insurance.

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Andrew of Ware, England
A-Ware in a Manger


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The colour of the car does not appear to be important in the UK. I'm just insuring my car and getting quotes. No-one yet has, so far, asked for the colour of they car. They did, however, ask for the registration number and, no doubt, there is a database they can look up. My log book has the colour of the car on it.

However, if the colour was important then I am sure they would have asked me - they did not ask about whether the colour had changed. The VIN number was not asked for eighter, so asking my number is probably just so that it can be put on the insurance certificate.

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Andrew, Ware, England

Posts: 1709 | From: Ware, England | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
lazerus the duck
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by Andrew of Ware, England:
The colour of the car does not appear to be important in the UK. I'm just insuring my car and getting quotes. No-one yet has, so far, asked for the colour of they car. They did, however, ask for the registration number and, no doubt, there is a database they can look up. My log book has the colour of the car on it.

However, if the colour was important then I am sure they would have asked me - they did not ask about whether the colour had changed. The VIN number was not asked for eighter, so asking my number is probably just so that it can be put on the insurance certificate.

Have worked on telephone insurance for my sins and no the reg doesn't give the colour, it's not important.
P.s. A lot of other details are, the worst person to come on the phone is "it's green and a volkswagon how much?" thanks to a certain annoying advert in the UK.

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All the world's a face, And all the men and women merely acne.

Posts: 673 | From: Glasgow, Scotland | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Kid Kilowatt
Deck the Malls


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Somehow this thing isn't dying. I can't say for sure that the VIN does not include color, but nothing in my experience says that it does. But as for the question posed in the OP, as an insurance agent licensed in 45 states, I can say with certainty that color does NOT affect your car insurance rates. It does not affect the chances of the vehicle being in an accident, being stolen, vandalized, or striking a deer. You will not be canceled if you do not tell your company that you got a new paint job. If you DO call your company to tell them this, the person on the phone will thank you, hang up, and wonder what the hell that was all about. As Robbie said, the only time a quote will change with the VIN is if I had it as an EX and it's an LX, or something like that.

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The book says, "We might be through with the past, but the past ain't through with us."
- Magnolia

Posts: 252 | From: East Greenwich, RI, what! | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Troberg
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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I don't know about other nations, but in Sweden, if you just have the registration number or VIN and access to the vehicle register (which, among others, insurance companies have), you can get full information on the car, including:

* Owner
* Make and model
* Colour (although not type of colour, like metallic)
* Tire size
* Mileage at last annual inspection
* If it's insured
* Number of previous owners
* Date bought by current owner

and a bunch of other information.

Remember, the VIN does not have to contain the colour, just give a unique identification that can be used to find the car info elsewhere.

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/Troberg

Posts: 4360 | From: Borlänge, Sweden | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
MED06
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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A little off-topic, but I can't be bothered to start a new post, I heard that Traffic Wardens play a little game between themselves to make their job a bit 'more interesting'.
If they issued a ticket to a red car, they then had to find a black one, and play a game of snooker, repeating the process to determnine a winner.
Has anyone else heard this, as it wouldn't completely surprise me, I have seen disabled people's cars clamped, near hospitals! the NSFBSKrds!

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"...excuse me while I interrupt myself..." - Murray Walker

Posts: 16 | From: United Kingdom | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Ean
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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quote:
Originally posted by MED06:
A little off-topic, but I can't be bothered to start a new post, I heard that Traffic Wardens play a little game between themselves to make their job a bit 'more interesting'.
If they issued a ticket to a red car, they then had to find a black one, and play a game of snooker, repeating the process to determnine a winner.
Has anyone else heard this, as it wouldn't completely surprise me, I have seen disabled people's cars clamped, near hospitals! the NSFBSKrds!

I've heard this about Traffic Police looking for people to pull over.

It's probably why everyone's buying silver cars these days - don't you believe any of that 'higher resale value' nonsense [Wink] .

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"Any more of this nonsense and we'll have a short, sharp visit from the Smack Fairy!"

"Music will get you through times of no love better than love will get you through times of no music"
- GiNGER - Something To Believe In

Posts: 178 | From: Shropshire, England | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
OTL
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by MED06:
Has anyone else heard this, as it wouldn't completely surprise me, I have seen disabled people's cars clamped, near hospitals! the NSFBSKrds!

Were those cars in violation of some parking regulation? If so, they should be clamped, disabled or not, hospital or not. The police shouldn't be made to be the bad guys in that case.

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"I've allowed my love of gravy to distract from my prescriptivist linguistic crusade!"
-T-Rex, Dinosaur Comics

Posts: 726 | From: New Jersey | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
   

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