VIN etching involves permanently engraving federally assigned vehicle identification numbers (VINs) into the windshield and all windows of a vehicle. The following five benefits are among the many potential benefits small businesses enjoy by doing so.
1) Inexpensive. Etching windows with VINs is a cost effective way to protect your business vehicles. You have several options available for VIN etching. Low cost methods include DIY VIN etching kits (found in the range of $20 – $30) and some dealership etching specials. Some organizations, such as AAA, offer sponsored VIN etching at a reduced cost to members. Some law enforcement agencies offer free VIN etching from time to time. Vehicle dealerships, generally provide the most costly option (upwards of $200 or more), however, so keep that in mind when deciding.
2) Generates Quicker Vehicle Recovery Times. VIN numbers in windows leads to positive identification of stolen vehicles and, in many cases, greatly increased recovery speeds and rates. A Comal County Sheriff’s Office flyer indicates that the odds of recovery increase by 85 percent for vehicles that have VIN etching.
3) Recommended by Law Enforcement and Insurance Companies. Law enforcement agencies recommend VIN etching as a practical matter of making the vehicle less profitable target for professional thieves. Insurance companies believe in the power of VIN etching so much that many of them offer discounts to car or fleet owners who have their vehicles etched.NASDAQ.com reports that some states actually require auto insurers to offer discounts on vehicles with VIN etching.
4) Deters Vehicle Theft – According to the Comal County Sheriff’s Office, VIN etching reduces vehicle theft rates 65 percent compared to vehicles that have no VINs etched into the windows. Professional car thieves understand that the costs involved in replacing all windows before the car can be sold is prohibitive making vehicles with this type of etching unattractive targets.
5) Simple Process that Doesn’t Detract from Vehicle Appearance. VIN etching is unobtrusive and only noticeable to those who know what to look for. It doesn’t take anything away from the functionality of the windows and adds an immeasurable benefit to small businesses and individuals interested in reducing their risks of vehicle thefts. The process itself should take no longer than 10 to 15 minutes of time, making it a fast solution for all the benefits it provides as well.
Some small business owners may hesitate over low-tech solutions such as this, but the numbers are impressive for preventing and deterring theft as well as aiding in the recovery of stolen vehicles. Businesses that own small fleets of vehicles can gain more peace of mind knowing that their vehicles and the cargo they carry enjoy a significant reduction of risk once they complete the VIN etching process.
While VIN etching reduces the risks of auto theft, you need to protect your business vehicle with commercial auto insurance to protect against theft, collision, liability, and more.