A Vehicle Identification Number, or VIN for short, is a number that is unique to each vehicle. If you look up that number, you can find out a lot, like where the car is registered, what kind of title it has, and if anyone has filed an insurance claim on it after an accident. You can’t change the VIN number. Think of the VIN number like a fingerprint. Your car’s VIN number is only for your car because it was given to it when it was made.
Engineers use the VIN number to find out what kind of car it is and what parts it has so they can fix it quickly. The VIN number is used by law enforcement to track down stolen cars or car parts. Whether you want to buy a new or used car, you need to check the VIN number before making the deal.
Why is it important to check a car’s history before buying?
Most of the time, a free VIN check is enough, but in some cases, you may need to buy a more detailed report before you can move forward with the sale. With a free VIN check DMV report, you can find out the car’s basic history, like if it’s been in any claims or accidents. The car report will also show that the car can be bought legally and is safe to drive.
Best VIN free checkers
If you want to buy a used car, never buy one until you know everything about it. You can find that used car’s information by looking up the car’s VIN or vehicle identification number. You can still get the information for free, even if you’re not working with a dealership that could give you free access to paid VIN check sites. Here is a list of the top free websites that can help you find your car’s VIN and its history.
1. Vehicle History
Vehicle History is a good choice if you want a more in-depth free report on the history of a car. Based on the VIN, this site is one of the best sites for this task. You can easily find out how many times the item has been sold if it is currently being recalled, and when the manufacturer’s warranty expires. It has a full VIN decoding feature, price predictions for the best time to buy a certain make and model, a fuel economy feature, and a cost-to-own analysis. They even try their best to find pictures of the car you’re interested in.
|Free decoding of the VIN.
|No option for a comprehensive report.
|A full record of vehicle sales.
|Includes open recalls.
|It includes vehicle photos, if available.
AutoDNA is one of the biggest sites that use a VIN number to find out about a car’s history and everything else you need to know about it. This site is thought to be one of the most trustworthy VIN check sites because it looks through millions of databases to find the information its users need. AutoDNA can help people not just in the U.S. but also in Europe because it has such a large database. AutoDNA also works with Autocheck, which is a service that is fully built into its site. AutoDNA contains important information in each vehicle history report, and there is also a place to compare cars from different markets. Even though the prices of the different cars are different, they still compete with each other on the market.
|Easy for users to use.
|Country-specific paid data reports.
|Users have few price options.
VINpit is a site for checking VINs that lets you do things like check your VIN, decode your VIN, get free reports, and look up a license plate. VINpit gives you a free report on the history of a car. This report tells you things like where the car was bought, when it was bought or if it was rented, what model it is, and what features it has. You can also buy a detailed report of the car’s odometer readings, the distance it has traveled, and its current market value.
|Genuine odometer reading.
|Divides data into different paid reports based on where it came from.
|Archive of pictures of vehicles in different places.
|Not very old in the business.
EpicVIN is considered to be a very reliable company for checking a car’s VIN number. Like every other VIN checker, it gives you the history of a vehicle and other reports about it. It is also a good way to make sure the VIN of a car is real before buying it. With EpicVIN, you can also look up a car’s history with just the license plate number and the state where the number was given.
|Plans for subscriptions are cheap.
|To get full reports, you have to buy them.
|Before you decide to buy the full report, you get some information.
|Not a lot of free information is available.
Bumper gets accurate information from 22 state-level departments about how the car has been damaged in the past. It also gets information about vehicles from junk yards, insurance companies, salvage auctions, and towing companies. You can find out about a car’s salvage, theft, and accident records through Bumper. It also tells you when the car was sold and registered. It also gives you a quick estimate of how much the car is worth on the market right now and how much it might cost to fix. It gives potential buyers detailed car reports based on the most recent information about used cars.
|Reports have a lot of information.
|No service for free
|Extremely reliable reports.
|You can also search by the license plate.
iSeeCars is another site that lets you learn a lot about cars without having to pay anything. But to use iSeeCars, you have to sign up for an account, which is different from other sites. Even worse, each month, you only get five free reports. But it’s a good choice if you take the time to make an account and don’t plan to use it a lot. After that, you have to sign up for either their iVIN Pro or iVIN Lite subscription plan. You can put an app on your phone that gives you all the information you’d find in a full report on their website. You can also search for used cars on the iSeeCars website, which gives their local market trends even more information. However, you have to pay for a subscription to do that.
|There is a VIN barcode app.
|There are only five free reports a month.
|You get an analysis on buying a car.
|You have to sign up for an account.
|Free car reports with a lot of information.
VINfreecheck lets you check your VIN and license plate for free. Most of its features, including a free VIN report, are free, as the name suggests. VINfreecheck has a VIN decoder that can help you find your VIN number and give you accurate information about your car, such as its engine specs, steering type, trim, transmission, and tank size. Its free VIN report also gives you a free flood check, salvage history, and market value estimate. It lets you check your VIN for free, but it also has a paid service that gives you a lot more information. The premium service gives you information that the free VIN report doesn’t, like the vehicle’s odometer records, its history, and any accidents it’s been in.
|Free basic history.
|The premium package has most of the detailed information.
|Easy for people to use.
|There aren’t enough price plans.
8. NICB’s VINCheck
The NICB has a free VINCheck service. This service helps people find out if a car has been stolen and not found or if it has been reported as a total loss by an insurance company that is a member of the NICB. If you want to find out if a used car is real, the NICB’s VINCheck is the best way to do it. This service is also so easy to use. Enter your VIN to find out more about your car’s history. You can do up to five searches per IP address every 24 hours.
|Complete free service.
|Free records of theft.
|Only five VINs can be run per hour.
|Free records of the total loss.
|Recommends where to go for paid reports.
This site tells you about a car’s service history, its damage history, its mileage, and any current problems. It also lets you look at a car for free and buy a report on it. With a 4.2 rating on Trustpilot and a 5.0 rating on Google Play, Carvertical has a good review history. This is because it gives its users excellent service.
Carvertical also uses a scoring system that gives each car a number between 1 and 10 to show how good it is. This score is based on three main things about the vehicle: damage data, mileage records, and model faults. If you have more than one car to choose from, this scoring system can be very helpful. You could compare the scores of the vehicles to make a fair choice.
|Very expensive single report.
|Sometimes the damage isn’t mentioned.
ClearVin is a free tool for Audi VIN decoders. It works with many different automotive industries, such as state agencies, financial tools, etc., to get good information so it can give its users up-to-date vehicle reports. This website has a lot of information about what insurance you need, what your ownership status is, and how to check your loan. You can also get other information about a car by using its VIN. ClearVin files also have documents about theft, repairs, and recalls. When compared to sites like Bumper and CarVertical, this VIN decoder is slow and doesn’t have up-to-date information.
|Offers a quick and easy history of all vehicles, even trucks.
|Sometimes provide inadequate information.
|Offers a free system for looking up recalls.
|The site takes too long to respond.
|Not updated information.
Autocheck is a reliable site for checking VINs, and its VIN decoder is one of the best. It has shown over the years that it gives its users high-quality services. Its website has a unique feature that lets you quickly judge the condition of a car before you get the full report. It uses a rating system with numbers from 1 to 100 to tell you how good the key is in terms of its condition. In the Autocheck report, you should find information about the vehicle’s mileage, previous owners, brand, emission testing, accident history, theft record, lease, and so on.
To get a full report from Autocheck, you can also pay for a single report instead of signing up for a subscription plan. People who don’t plan to use the site often should choose a single report.
|Multiple and accurate data sources.
|No past maintenance details.
|Expensive single report charges.
|Effective for comparing vehicles.
|Ideal for individual sellers and buyers.
CarFax is the best place for consumers to get information about cars. You can check a car’s service history online for free using this platform. In fact, many car dealers use CarFax to make reports about the cars on their lots that they can show to people who are interested in buying them. Even though the most detailed reports cost money, CarFax’s website has basic VIN reports for used cars that are free of charge. These free reports show information about the owner, their cars, accidents, and how they were used.
|Reports have a lot of information.
|No service for free.
|Extremely reliable reports.
|More expensive reports.
|You can also use a license plate number to find something.
|They purchase cars too.
Cebia is a website that lets its users check the VIN of a car. The main goal of this site based in the Czech Republic is to make car sales safer. It also gives car dealers a unique way to convince potential customers that they are real: they can buy a report certificate. Cebia uses a system that lets it give basic information about a car’s VIN, even if it has been reported as stolen. It also has a database of vehicle history reports with more than a billion entries. This is because it gets information about cars from major manufacturers, dealers, repair shops, leasing companies, and insurance companies.
|Packages with flexible prices.
|Only cars in the Czech Republic and Slovakia can use it.
|Used cars can be bought and sold as well.
|The report on the car’s history is not in English.
Where to find VIN in your car?
Depending on the type of vehicle, the VIN is located in different places. However, it can be found both on the car and on its document.
The common locations of VIN in cars are listed below:
Your VIN may be found on the dashboard of your vehicle, precisely where the dashboard and the edge of the windshield meet on the driver’s side. The VIN will be fastened to a metal plate, and the code will be written in a form that everyone can read.
Doorjamb on the driver’s side
Another area to look for your VIN is near the driver’s side doorjamb. It’s fairly simple to find. You can easily find it by opening the driver’s door, and it’s easy to read.
You can find your VIN on your engine’s firewall or beneath the hood. For security concerns, the VIN is usually inscribed on the engine. You can also find your VIN on your insurance card. It is typically written alongside other information, such as your insurance details. As a result, store your card in a secure location.
How Do I Find My Car Accident History?
There are various ways to discover your car accident history. These include contacting the existing insurance provider for any previous claims, as well as contacting the Crimes and Underwriting Exchange. Aside from that, the third and simplest option to obtain your car accident history is to use the previously mentioned online VIN check services.
Do older vehicles have fewer VINs?
Since VINs were added to the Code of Regulations in 1981, all vehicles created must have a 17-digit VIN in order to be roadworthy and legitimate. Prior to 1981, however, certain automobiles had a VIN of only 14 digits. These are known as older vehicles, and in this day and age, they will not decode effectively with search systems since they do not conform to the 17-digit VIN requirement.
Do VINs have expiration dates?
VINs do not expire. It is natural for your driver’s license and insurance policy to expire. They can be renewed on a yearly basis. VINs, on the other hand, do not expire. It makes no difference whether you bought your car in 2000 or 1990; the VIN remains the same.
How can you tell if a VIN has been tampered with?
Scratched VINs and missing plates indicate tampering. If you detect any changes after a VIN lookup, contact your local vehicle licensing department.
Even though the information is often out of date, it is correct. You’re only getting the information that’s open to the public, so there may be gaps in what you’re seeing. It’s a great free service, but it’s not even close to as good as the paid versions. However, it’s better to use a free VIN checker before you spend money on a paid report from a different site.