VIN Etching Prevents Car Theft

April 2, 2008
Special Feature

Etching your car's vehicle identification number (VIN) onto the car windows is such an effective theft deterrent that many insurance companies will offer you a discount on your auto insurance if you have it done. That's because thieves like cars with untraceable parts.

14%Percentage of US auto thefts where an arrest is made.(FBI)

Etching your car’s vehicle identification number (VIN) onto the car windows is such an effective theft deterrent that many insurance companies will offer you a discount on your auto insurance if you have it done. That’s because thieves like cars with untraceable parts.

If your car windows have the car’s VIN numbers etched on, the crooks have to replace them, which eats into their profits. And that makes your car less attractive to auto snatchers.

If you’re buying a new car, the salesperson may pitch you to have the dealership do the job for you—and charge as much as much as $200 for it. You should also check the invoice; some dealers include a fee for etching as if it were standard. You can do the job yourself for a lot less. To get an etching kit, go to Google and plug in “VIN etching kits” as a search term. Most kits run about $20 and come with a warning decal to let potential thieves know that your car’s windows have been etched.

Also take a look at the Most Stolen Cars in America.

“If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough.”—Mario Andretti