Check a VIN for Free
Running a VIN of a car is never truly free. While some sites may offer "free" car histories, they will often ask for a paid membership or personal information that they can in turn sell. Those that truly offer a free decode only offer very basic information in return. Instead, find a reputable site that can run your VIN for a small fee. Here is wikiHow to check a VIN for free.
- Find Your VIN (Vehicle Identification Number). Your VIN a 17-digit (letter and number) code that is located several places on your car: the front of the engine block, the front end of the frame, the driver side door and the driver side interior dash.
- Find a site to run the number. There are a couple types of services that may interest you, such as:
- The NICB Website [nicb.org/theft_and_fraud_awareness/vincheck]
- VIN Decoders (There are a few free VIN decoders online, you can Search for them.)
- Free VIN Check Page (vinchecker.net/vincheck/)
- Free Services with no strings attached: These services generally return more basic data. Useful for identifying the most basic aspects of the vehicle. Since an invalid VIN will be rejected by these services, they also can be valuable, though not foolproof, in alerting you when a vehicle may have had it's VIN tampered with. Ford fleet VIN decoder is a very accurate tool that covers most passenger, light duty and mid duty vehicles.
- Free Trials of paid services. These services would include online VIN decoders like DataOne Software's VIN Decoder API. These free trials provide much more information than a true free service, however you will need to provide a legitimate business use to gain access to the trial. Never the less, these can be a great resource for obtaining a massive amount of information on a vehicle of interest as they are some of the same tools used by car dealers to decode their inventory for online display.
- In addition, there are also a number of companies that sell vehicle history reports including AutoCheck and for the budget conscience EpicVIN
- These "Vehicle history" companies will usually provide a very basic vehicle decode, similar to the "free" sites above, without requiring purchase.
- Run the VIN number using the solution of your choice above. You can always start with the free options and work your way to more advanced paid services if the free ones do not provide the information that you are looking for.