A VIN, or Vehicle Identification Number, is a 17-character alphanumeric code that tells key information about a vehicle. These digits are important for car insurance, registration, and warranty claims. Several different types of businesses and government agencies use VINs. For example, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offers a VIN lookup tool that can show your vehicle’s recall history. Each VIN has three sections, the first being the world manufacturer identifier (WMI).
- The first digits of the VIN number are used to identify the country of the vehicle’s origin.
- The second digit of the VIN number is used to indicate the vehicle’s manufacturer. A manufacturer may sometimes use a third character as the code for its division.
- Another section of the VIN is the Vehicle Description Section. This contains characters that provide information about the type of vehicle, such as the body style and model year. Additional characters can describe the vehicle’s engine, restraint system, and platform.
- Finally, the last six digits of the VIN are used to indicate the vehicle’s production serial number. While they were not part of the serial number fifty years ago, they are a significant part of the vehicle identification system today.
How to Find Your Car’s VIN Number?
The Vehicle Identification Number is a key part of the automobile manufacturing process. Many automakers have been using the number on their cars since the 1950s. They have come up with many different variations and configurations during this time.
If you’re considering purchasing a used car, you may want to conduct a VIN lookup. You can find out the current odometer reading, the amount of miles the vehicle has covered, the model, manufacturer, and the year of manufacture. These details can help you determine whether the car is in good condition and whether the seller is reliable. You can also use the license plate lookup feature to see comprehensive information about the car based on the plate number. This is an easy, quick, and free way to do research.
Best VIN Lookup Tools
The best method is the online method. Several sites allow you to do a VIN lookup for free. Some of these websites offer different ways to search for cars, depending on the make and model of the vehicle.
- A few sites provide a detailed report, while others gather data from multiple sources. For example, the National Insurance Crime Bureau offers a free VIN lookup tool. The tool allows you to check whether a car has been reported lost, stolen, or totaled.
- Bumper is also considered one of the fastest free VIN check services. Its website and app are able to scan information from salvage auctions, insurance companies, towing companies, and more. Once the VIN of the car is entered, Bumper will send you a report that provides details on the car’s history.
- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, is the federal government agency that is responsible for keeping Americans safe on the road. They also offer a free VIN lookup tool to inform used car buyers of possible problems.
- Carfax is considered the gold standard of car history reports. This company provides a comprehensive report that reveals everything from the make and model to the mileage and ownership of the car. It can help you negotiate the price of a used vehicle and provide peace of mind regarding safety. Carfax also offers a free VIN lookup tool for those who would like to check license plated of cars.
Not all the VIN lookup tools and VIN decoders are the same. You can choose the best one according to your needs. You can use a more sophisticated decoder for a more comprehensive view of the vehicle’s specifications. Some even allow you to submit a pattern to get the exact information you need.