Knowing how to read the VIN could help you make an informed decision before you buy. The infographic below provides a simplified look at a sample VIN. Keep in mind that vehicles manufactured before might have fewer characters than today's standard VIN of 17 characters. As shown above, the 10th character of the VIN indicates its model year.
Again, it all comes back to the need for a good diagnostic mechanic to thoroughly look the car over before you buy it! In fact, you may want to run the VIN through all three and see what comes back. All the data you get back on your free VIN report should match up across provider. See what additional steps you must take to protect yourself here. Get answers to your money questions delivered to your inbox daily! Insert details about how the information is going to be processed.
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Modern, digit VINs can be used to access many records relating to a vehicle, including ownership, accident and repair histories. Please note that most vendors do not offer vehicle history reports for model years prior to , when the digit VIN became standard. A simple VIN decode will help you learn an automotive pedigree and some key specifications, but those digits are also useful for less entertaining but more important reasons involving its title, registration and insurance.
Make sure to check the VIN when purchasing replacement parts for your vehicle. Vehicle parts are often specific to certain VINs and may not fit your car if you only go by its year, make and model.
As a senior consumer advice editor, Ron helps shoppers navigate car buying. He has plenty of firsthand knowledge since he buys and sells the cars in the Edmunds long-term test fleet.
Free (VIN) Vehicle Identification Number Decoder + Lookup
Popular searches. My Account. The next six digits to check positions are the vehicle descriptor section.
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The following group of eight elements is the vehicle identifier section. Yes, but it will only give you some basic information on the vehicle, such as the engine size, assembly plant or fuel type.
What's a VIN Number (Vehicle Identification Number)?
If you're looking for a detailed vehicle history report , you'll have to pay for either a Carfax or AutoCheck report. Learn more. If you're interested in buying a vehicle from a franchised dealership, there will usually be a free vehicle history report on its website. The National Motor Vehicle Title Information System web page has a list of third-party companies that provide history reports.
It is a less expensive alternative, but based on our experience, you get what you pay for.
RESEARCH ANY VEHICLE BY VIN NUMBER FOR FREE
Yes, as long as you go to the right page. The VinDecoder. You may have to deal with a few ads that surround the information you get from the VIN decoder, but what you get is accurate and worth a look.
It depends on what information you're looking for. If you're interested to learn about where your vehicle was made and entertaining trivia, try a site such as Decode the VIN. If you're shopping for a used car and want to know more about its history before buying, we recommend running a Carfax report. The reports can reveal if the motor vehicle you're considering has been reported stolen or if it has a salvage title.
A Vehicle Identification Number, or "VIN," is the unique code that is assigned to an individual vehicle by its manufacturer and that distinguishes it from all other vehicles. No two vehicles can have the same VIN.