(Pocket-lint) - Completely understanding a car's functionality should be a priority before buying a used vehicle. This includes gauging the vehicle for its conditions, issues, criminal record, mileage, and insurance, etc. This is why potential buyers tend to run a VIN search to learn everything about the vehicle. In this article, we take on the journey to discuss the following top 10 VIN decoders for running a VIN check:
What is VIN?
Before the 1950s, individual car manufacturers used to have their own systems for the identification of vehicles. However, the high number of variances in the market made it all too easy for scammers to establish false vehicle identities and ownership records. To lower this crime rate, the US government urged auto manufacturers to standardize a workable format for vehicle identification in 1954.
After much deliberation, in 1980 the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) ratified the new international scheme of 17-digit Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN). The VIN number was made up of numbers & letters to represent the identity of the vehicle by title, serial number, model details, type of engine, or manufacturing unit, etc.
The best VIN decoders
There are competitive tools available to perform VIN decoder services. Each promises its own features and authentic reports. The following section will list the top 10 VIN lookup services on the consumer market:
VinPit is a top web-based platform that offers massive data for VIN checks, VIN decoding, license plate lookup, and vehicle history reports. Together, they feature information regarding the ownership, assembly plant, VIN authenticity, safety recalls previous registrations, and more. Moreover, data of accidents, repairs, unreported damages, conditions, and criminal records are also included in the comprehensive report from VinPit.
VinPit is the one-for-all website to make an informed purchase or selling decision. Provided services of the tool work at three different levels. It can deliver authentic data to attract the customer for the dealer. Inspection of hidden issues and frauds is made easy for the buyer. Lastly, it can assist both buyer and dealer by providing updated market value and vehicle inspection.
CARFAX claims to be one of the largest cross-border databases in the world, with over 22 billion records. It contains a good amount of data but only limited to the used cars purchased after 1981 from the US and Canada. Its says that the collected data is from over 100,000 different outlets covering both US and Canadian motor vehicle authorities.
However, CARFAX doesn't provide a detailed report due to its limited access to enlist unreported damages to the car. Also, the data report can be manipulated by customers or dealerships as the report can be edited to list the facts.
Tap Here to obtain crucial information in VIN reports with CARFAX <<
AutoCheck is an automatic automobile history information platform for VIN lookup. It works by Experian with data of more than 500 million vehicles from a National Vehicle Database. It contributes to the selection between two potential vehicles by assigning rank on a 1-100 scale by a side-by-side comparison of their features. The calculation of the ranking is based upon the year of manufacture, mileage, lease and accident history, and type of vehicle.
AutoCheck scores the vehicle from scratch every time VIN lookup is searched. The provided comparison includes ownership history, accidents, rental history, grey market values, recorded mileage, model, engine capacity, CO2 emission, and other specifications of the vehicle. However, it fails to add maintenance and service information of the vehicle.
Click Here to perform a comprehensive VIN lookup on your vehicle with AutoCheck <<
CarVertical is the next to generate a model for VIN lookup based on the blockchain mechanism for the vehicular report. This VIN decoder collects data from numerous global databases in addition to the NMVTIS and real-time data directly from the vehicles market. The numerous databases included but were not limited to national and private registries, fire brigade records, insurance & databases, and car auctions, etc.
The advanced feature of carVertical provides updated tamper-proof basic information regarding vehicle specification. This is enabled due to the blockchain feature that verifies the provided information and ensures the VIN number authentic reports.
Check Here to discover all important details of the vehicle before purchase <<
EpicVin is a trustworthy platform that offers verified real-time information for the VIN decoder. The archive contains 40 million vehicle records, including accident information, title and model, type, and other specifications. Its service provides information from NMVTIS, the largest database in the United States.
EpicVin aims at providing a comprehensive car report without overpricing. The report by year, model, engine brand, manufacturing, history, and other written details are validated by the platform. Once the user gets past the confusing website outlook, various vehicle review records about the purchased or to-be-purchased used car can be accessed online.
Click Here to find out a car's accident history within a few seconds with EpicVin <<
The Bumper is a web-based tool for checking vehicle specs by VIN. It collects and provides accurate information for the vehicular history of damage from 22 state-level departments. It also collects data from numerous other companies such as salvage auctions, towing agencies, scrap yards, and insurance companies.
Similar to other competitors, the data report information ranges to all sorts of vehicular data of title, sale listing, safety recalls, salvage & accident record, market value, etc. It provides the consumer market with its valuable car report by millions of updated used vehicle data.
Tap Here to perform a detailed VIN lookup check to obtain information with efficiency
ClearVin is a competitive VIN decoder paying platform. It has extensive collaborations with multiple automotive organizations to provide its users with reliable vehicle reports. The resources include NMVTIS and a variety of non-listed additional outlets, such as financial institutions, state agencies, and local government offices.
The information regarding ownership status, past possessions, loan check, and insurance details are collected and reported by ClearVin for every VIN check. Repair, recall, and burglary documents are also included in the ClearVin files. Nevertheless, this convenient tool lacks speed and up-to-date data as compared to its competitors.
Cebia is a reliable app to check VIN numbers, especially for pre-owned vehicles. It works by scanning the vehicle for illegal activity and provides standard car model data by using the Autotracer system. Cebia works with trusted partners such as car suppliers, retailers, and importers, as well as warranty providers, insurance, and leasing. Because of this, it has a large archive of more than 1 billion documents on automotive history.
Cebia is one of the best options when looking for VIN search data reports on the vehicle of the Czech Republic and Slovakia. However, Cebia is limited to the aforementioned states only because most of the reported information comes from the local automobile market.
VinFreeCheck delivers free and easy-to-use basic VIN number lookup of the vehicle. It has partnered with leading industry names such as NHTSA and NMVTS to provide advanced information on the vehicle. The reported information is on vehicle brands, designs, models, etc.
The main focus of this tool is to contribute to the decision-making of a vehicle purchase by providing scam, repaired, or flooded reports. The free VIN check covers basic inspection of the vehicle while the premium users have access to the information of mileage, collision, and odometer reading of the vehicle.
AutoDNA, in collaboration with AutoCheck, has an Experian-based car VIN check service. The website examines millions of databases and provides automobile VIN check data from the world's largest vehicle documentation providers. One of the key advantages of using autoDNA is that it provides data on pre-owned vehicles from both the United States and Europe. Hence, allowing the platform to be used to compare cars from various markets.
There are more than 4 trillion statistics for more than half a billion automobiles in the autoDNA database. Each vehicle history report contains vital data. Although the reported data is in different pricey parts, it still has a competitive stance in the market.
Where can you find the vehicle’s Vin number?
VIN numbers can be found out from both the vehicle and documents. For the vehicles, the location of the VIN number depends upon the model or the manufacturing company. The most common location to check VIN number is as follows:
- Dashboard near the windshield of the driver side
- Inside the drivers’ or passengers’ door jamb
- Under the engine hood
- On the steering wheel
- By the glass windows
- Inside of body panels, the frame, and other components
- Documents (title, insurance, manuals, registration cards, etc.)
How to decode the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)?
The 17-character code of the VIN number is grouped by different indicators to represent multiple terms for vehicle identification. The following section contains a character-by-character representation of the number:
- The first three letters of the VIN number represent the manufacturer identification. The first letter states the country of origin, and the second element expresses the vehicle brand. Meanwhile, the third character reveals the type and manufacturing division of the vehicle.
- The second part of the number is grouped by six digits to assert the vehicle description. Number 4-8 describes the information for the model, type, body, transmission type, and engine number. Lastly, the 9th number detects fake VINs.
- The next 10-17 elements are the vehicle identifier section. Number 10 indicates the manufacturing year, 11 states the whereabouts of the assembly plant. Finally, the 12-17 group contains the production order of the vehicle.
Where does the free VIN decoder get information?
Free VIN number check collects and reports vehicular information from multiple resources. One of the most authentic and trusted databases of the US, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The main idea for this government-run organization was to make the roads safer to drive by preventing auto theft and unsafe vehicle reselling.
The government has made it mandatory for a variety of auto industry associations and business classes to send vehicle details to NMVTIS. Because of this, the data archives are rapidly expanding. The NMVTIS is a platform to which all auto manufacturers send their informational data. Moreover, it collects a massive database from state-owned car titling associations, insurance agencies, salvage and scrap yards, and vehicle recyclers.
The VIN lookup tools cooperate with the NMVTIS to provide vehicle data reports. Most of the tools are updated regularly, and every provided report is cross-checked with the available billions of vehicular data on the NMVTIS website. Other resources of the VIN decoder also include direct data extraction from the manufacturer, auction centres, and other departments.
Why should I check the VIN number when buying a car?
Running a VIN number check should be a priority when buying a car as VIN contains the complete detail of the potential vehicle, even the faulty design and other specifications. If not checked, the person might get scammed into buying a stolen, unsafe or hazardous car. Undoubtedly, it might not be your intention, but roads will be unsafe with this new, used vehicle.
Moreover, the dealer can commit fraud easily by changing the odometer reading. Less reading might mean more money. But if a VIN check is done before buying the vehicle, this can be avoided.
How do you use the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s free VIN check?
The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) is a simplified, completely free VIN check that provides basic status information regarding the vehicle. This information falls under the context of the vehicle being stolen, lost, salvaged, or unsafe after the accident. Unfortunately, the number of VIN lookups is limited to five searches a day per IP address. VIN check can be conducted in very easy steps on the NICB website. The steps are as followed:
Step 1: Open the NICB website and paste your VIN on the search bar.
Step 2: Check “I agree to the terms and conditions” and “I’m not a robot” options.
Step 3: Click on the “Search Vin” option. The status reviews of the vehicle will be displayed on the screen.
VIN check provides a potential vehicle owner with a great opportunity to have a full detailed report of their chosen vehicle. This even decreases their chances of getting a fraudulent or faulty vehicle. The article has listed down all the important information for VIN lookup, especially the top ten VIN decoder tools. Comparatively, each has its own benefits, but the VinPit is ruling the market due to its massive data archives report for its users.