Vehicles manufactured after 1981 are required to have a vehicle identification number, or VIN, which serves several purposes. The VIN is a unique number that identifies the vehicle and several major parts (engine and transmission, for example). VINs help law enforcement locate stolen cars, simplify the recall resolution process and help consumers make car purchasing decisions. The VIN also makes finding service records a simpler process when car owners work with reputable repair shops.
Go to a MINI Cooper vehicle-service location in your area. Ask the representative to run the vehicle identification number and provide a printout of the vehicle's service history. You can obtain the information as long as the vehicle was serviced at a MINI facility.
Go to the CARFax website and enter the MINI's VIN in the "Start Your Search" text box. Click the "Get the CARFAX" button. On the following page, enter your contact and billing information. One CARFax report costs £22.70 as of late 2010.
Go to a VIN history report website -- Is it a Lemon, or The Unofficial DMV Guide, for example -- enter the VIN and run the report. Expect to pay a fee between £18 and £32. Print and review the information.