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Best Free VIN Decoder – VIN Number Check & Lookup Services

by Jordan Harris
Best Free VIN Decoder

Do you want to decode your VIN number and you want to find out which is the best free VIN decoder? Well, if that is the case, then you are at the right place because, in this article, there will be a lot to cover on this topic.

Doing good research before you decide to try your luck on some of the VIN decoders is the way to go. Why we are saying this? Well, this is the case because not all of them work. Some VIN decoders simply do not work at all. Or they will give you false information.

So, that’s why proper research is quite an essential thing to do before you decide to learn more about your VIN. Also, another good idea is to check a few websites and then make a conclusion, as one would when doing a lookup on the GM engine serial number or a lookup on the Chevy engine serial number. So, if the information overlaps, it means that it is correct.

You need to ramp up your research skills in order to get the right results. But don’t worry because we are going to dissect everything into tiny bits and elaborate on it for you. First, we are going to learn more about what is a VIN number. Some people simply do not know what is a VIN number.

So, we have to elaborate on this. Then, we will cover where you can find the VIN number (if you need to retrieve the code for radio Honda Accord 2008) and also the reasons why would someone want to check the VIN. Once we clear the basics, we will move on to the best free VIN decoder and elaborate more on this topic. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the topic.

VIN Number

Now before we dive into the best free VIN decoder, let’s first take a look at what is a VIN number. Knowing what is a VIN number is useful since you will be able to learn more about how this VIN looks and whether the number that you found is the VIN or it is something else. So, let’s discuss the basics briefly and learn more about what is a VIN number.

VIN is an abbreviation that stands for Vehicle Identification Number. The VIN is a unique code that each vehicle has.

In other words, this number makes your vehicle unique. Since it is the only vehicle in the world that has this number. So, how this number look like?

Well, the VIN is a 17-character number. Back in the day, VIN numbers were different and each manufacturer determined what its VIN going to look like.

But nowadays things are standardized. So, each VIN number on modern vehicles is 17 characters number.

Inside this number, there is a lot of different information. There is the world manufacturer identifier which is a number that each carmaker has. Then there are the vehicle attributes, the check digit, model year, plant code, manufacturer identifier, as well as sequential number.

Or, you could use the VIN to try and learn how do I find what options my car was ordered with, or how do I know what trim my car is. As you can see, there is a lot of valuable data in this VIN number and each VIN number is different. There are no two same VIN numbers in this world.

And this is really beneficial when it comes to selling the car or buying a car. But more about that, we are going to discuss it later on. Now let’s learn where you can find this number before we cover the best free VIN decoder.

VIN Number Location

We learn that the VIN number consists of 17 characters that are mixed letters and numbers. Now let’s take a look at where you can locate this VIN number before we cover more about the best free VIN decoder. Where is this number located?

Well, the most obvious location of this number is on the title. Presumably, you didn’t lose your title, the number is always listed on the car title. Just lookup for this document and you will find the number.

Another place to look when it comes to the documents is to check the registration papers. Registration papers will also have the VIN number of the car since by registering the car, you connect the license plate to the specific VIN number of your vehicle. This can help if you’re trying to find a license plate number by VIN.

When it comes to the locations on the car, the VIN number can be found in various places. It really depends on the car manufacturer. Some car manufacturers place them in very obvious locations, while some can hide the numbers.

The first place to look is the driver’s side dashboard. Usually, the VIN is stamped on a metal plate that is attached to the dash. Just look at the bottom corner on the driver’s side of the windshield and you should find the VIN.

If you can’t find the VIN on the dash, look at the door jambs on the B-pillars. There should be stickers that often have the VIN number on them.

Another place you want to look is the engine bay. Inside the engine bay, the VIN number can be stamped on the strut towers. Or there can be a sticker on the firewall that has the VIN number. Also, some carmakers can place this number on a sticker in front of the engine.

Reasons Why You Need A VIN Decoder

Now let’s cover more about the reasons why you need the best free VIN decoder before we dive into the list of decoders that are available out there. What is the biggest reason why you need such a decoder?

Well, this decoder is often needed to look up the data of the car. By checking the VIN, you can find very useful information such as the color code (which is handy when you’re trying to find the right car color by VIN), trim level, and engine used in this model. As well as the year of production and the plant where the car was built.

Having this data available is often useful if for example, you own a classic vehicle and you want to restore it to its former glory and you don’t have the spec sheet that comes with the car.

Best Free VIN Decoder

Also, when purchasing a newer vehicle, you can access the data of this car. You can learn about what type of title this car has, how many former owners it had, and whether or not it was involved in a serious crash. As well as learn a lot about its past service history.

This is a very crucial piece of data since without it, you are purchasing a car with your eyes blindfolded. Which is something that we would not recommend.

Checking the VIN and inspecting the VIN on some of the following VIN websites that we are going to cover is the way to go to avoid getting yourself scammed by sketchy sellers who want to rip you off.

This is why a proper investigation is key as we noted at the beginning of this article. You need to keep your eyes open all of the time in order to avoid getting scammed. But what is the best free VIN decoder? More about that, next.

Best Free VIN Decoder

Now let’s dive into the best free VIN decoder websites that are out there. In the following chapters, we are going to cover these websites in-depth and learn more about what they offer, as well as their pros and cons.

Once we clear that out of our way, we will share our honest opinion on certain websites and see if they are any good. So, if you want to learn more about what is the best free VIN decoder, feel free to follow along.

Best Free VIN Decoder #1: I See Cars

Now let’s start with the first on our list of best free VIN decoder websites. And this is I See Cars. This is a free service that gives you the ability to check a ton of crucial information on certain models for zero dollars.

What is good about this website is that it gives you up to five reports per month that are completely free. And once you go over this limit, you will have to subscribe to one of their plans if you want to do more VIN checks.

So, we can say that this is the perfect website for those who are looking to check only one or a few VIN numbers since it is completely free.

What is good about their top plan is that they offer CARFAX integration, so you can get CARFAX reports on the specific model as well.

Another good thing is that there is also a mobile app. With this app, you can scan the VIN directly from the vehicle. So, you don’t have to enter a lot of letters and numbers. The mobile app does everything by itself with the help of your camera and AI. How cool is that?

Overall, this is a service that has a lot of positives and very few negative sides. It is free, just test it out and see if it is worth your money if you want to go for the Pro plan. Now let’s move on to the next best free VIN decoder.

Best Free VIN Decoder #2: Vehicle History

The second best free VIN decoder that we could find is vehiclehistory.com. Vehicle history is one old and reliable VIN decoder that many people are using. So, what do you get for zero dollars?

Well, Vehicle History will give you all of the available free data that they can find. This includes the sales records, recalls for that specific vehicle, as well as VIN decoding that will help you determine what year, and trim, was your car.

Although according to a lot of people, their data is a bit outdated compared to paid services. So, you don’t get all of the information that you need. There could be some things that are missed out from the records.

But that’s how it goes with free services, if free was the way to go, there wouldn’t have been any paid services out there.

The pros of this service are the completely free VIN decoder, sales history, recalls, as well as pictures of the car if available. The cons of this service are the lack of a comprehensive report that you get from paid services, as well as some of the data, which is pretty outdated. So, you will not get the most recent piece of information when it comes to the service and sales history of that car.

Now let’s move to the next best free VIN decoder out there.

Best Free VIN Decoder #3: EpicVIN

Next on our list of the best free VIN decoder is the EpicVIN. So, what is EpicVIN?

Well, EpicVIN is another good service that is out there. On their website, you can not only look for VIN numbers but you can also look for US license plates as well. Which is really good if you don’t have the VIN available to inform yourself about a certain car you want to buy.

Although cars can go through a number of license plates during their life. So, doing a search through a license plate is not always recommended. Granted, there are other details that you can extract from a plate, as we’ve discussed in our guide on whether can someone find your address from a license plate, as well as how to run a license plate, and how to find the license plate number.

Elsewhere, you could even consider a free lookup to find a license plate owner, in addition to trying to find a vehicle owner by for free by the license plate. VIN numbers are much more reliable sources of information.

What is interesting about this VIN decoder is that this service only gives you limited information for free. You don’t get the full picture. This free information will include the last known price for which the car was sold, the odometer reading, and the last state where the car was registered.

In addition to this, you will also get information if the car was in an accident. But once you start using this service, you will start questioning whether or not to purchase one of their plans. Since by doing so, you will get a lot more useful data.

Also, their plans are affordable. So, you might want to get a pro plan if you do a lot of these searches. Now let’s move to the next best free VIN decoder.

Best Free VIN Decoder #4: ClearVIN

ClearVIN is another paid service. This service similar to the previous one that we covered, only gives you a limited amount of data.

The basic information that you get is only the engine used in the vehicle and other not crucial pieces of data.

For a full report, unfortunately, you will have to pay. But as it is known to us, in the full report you get a ton of information.

This extensive report will include the last odometer readings, owner’s history, type of title, insurance records, as well as lien history (handy if you’re trying to figure out how to remove the lien from a title). Basically, all you need to know when it comes to the specific vehicle that you are interested in.

Still, before you decide to splash the cash on this expensive report, it is advised that you check some of the free websites. Since you can get the essential data for free in most cases. Now let’s move on to the next best free VIN decoder.

Best Free VIN Decoder #5: CARFAX

A list of the best VIN decoder would not be complete without CARFAX. You have probably heard of this company if you are looking for these VIN checks.

And honestly, they as a company offer the best results for your money. But also, their reports are hefty in the information that you get. But also in terms of the price that you pay. Considering that a single report can cost up to $40. We can say that they are one of the most expensive services in this area.

So, what will you get for your hard-earned money? Well, this information includes the accident history of the vehicle, the type of title this vehicle has, the complete service history, ownership history, and a lot more.

When it comes to CARFAX it is worth noting that their reports are extremely reliable and correct. As well as their reports are most up-to-date compared to other websites.

The cons are that they are a bit on the expensive side and they don’t offer anything free. You cannot even test the service without paying. So, that is a bummer. But hey, that’s how things go with CARFAX. Now let’s move on to the next best free VIN decoder.

Best Free VIN Decoder #6: NCIB VINCheck

Now let’s cover another good free service when it comes to the best free VIN decoder. And this is the NCIB VINCheck.

Unlike the previous decoder that we covered, this is a completely free service. In fact, this is a service by the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

This VIN checker was designed in order to help with vehicles that have been stolen and help recover them. For more context, do head over to our guide on how to track my car by VIN. Also, it might be handy to check out our guide on VIN etching, to help deter theft.

The website is completely free to use and you can do up to 5 VIN checks every 24 hours. Which in our opinion is excellent.

Another good thing is that you can also look for the VIN with a photo. Just upload the picture of the VIN and the site will do its magic and help you out.

What is good about this website is that you will get free theft records, as well as free total loss records. Which is really nice to have. And on top of all, it is completely free. It will not require that you make a deposit or ask for money in any other way. Now let’s move on to the next best free VIN decoder.

Best Free VIN Decoder #7: Bumper

Another service on our list of best free VIN decoder websites is Bumper. So, what is Bumper exactly?

Well, this is a website that offers you a VIN decoding service, as well as getting other essential data like the make and model, engine and transmission, and color. The latter might be handy if you’re keen on finding the specific GM paint code by using the VIN.

But also a lot more if you pay for the service. You can get the damage history and information from scrap yards. Insurance, towing agencies (for more insight, check out our guide on how to find a towed vehicle by VIN), and salvage auctions.

Overall, Bumper is quite similar to CARFAX. But here you can do a free search and also pay for pro membership and get extensive data and get as many reports as you want.

Bumper’s reports are quite similar to CARFAX and they cost only a fraction of CARFAX. So, if you want to get reports on the cheap, this is the way to go. This tool will save you a ton of money in the long run, especially if you want to make a profit by selling cars. Now let’s move on to the next best free decoder.

Best Free VIN Decoder #8: VINPit

Another on our list of best free VIN decoder sites I the VINPit. So, what is VINPit all about?

Well, VINPit is a really good website when it comes to VIN lookup and VIN decoding. In addition to this, you can also check the vehicle history, as well as the license plate check.

Best Free VIN Decoder

In addition to this, this VIN checker also contains extensive information about the ownership, damage, car title, repairs, as well as repairs that have been done to the vehicle.

We honestly recommend this service because it is completely free and you don’t have to pay a penny in order to get the data that you need. Now let’s conclude this article on the best free VIN decoder.

Best Free VIN Decoder: In Conclusion…

In this article, we covered quite a bit when it comes to the best free VIN check. We covered what is VIN number for people who don’t know and how to find this VIN. As we’ve covered in our other guides before, there are plenty of reasons why you’d want to decode the VIN. For example, if you need to check a car warranty by using the VIN. Or, if you need to find my old car using the VIN.

Then, we covered the best free VIN decoder websites. We covered both free and paid services. While some of them combine both.

Frequently Asked Questions

Now let’s answer some frequently asked questions.

What Is A VIN Number

The VIN number is the Vehicle Identification Number. This is a 17-character mix of letters and numbers. Each car has a unique VIN number. This is basically like a fingerprint for your car. This number includes a lot of information, like the country, factory, trim level, spec, and much more.

Where Is The VIN Number On A Car

The VIN number can be found in different places. The most common places are the front dash, right underneath the windshield. This number can be found on the door jambs, and engine bay as well.

How To Look Up A VIN Number

There are a ton of online websites where you can look up a VIN number for free. We strongly recommend vinpit.com. With this website, you will get the most extensive data for free.

How To Check If A Car Is Stolen For Free

You can try NICB VIN Check, this is a service that gives you the data for these types of vehicles that were stolen. It is a completely free service that anyone can use. Just head up to nicb.org/vincheck and look up the specific VIN.

Is CARFAX Reliable

CARFAX is a really reliable resource, that’s why it is so popular. The only downside is that it is expensive. A single report can cost you up to $40. So, you have to be prepared to pay the price if you want to get the most extensive report out there.

How To Check Car Title Status

You can try to check by visiting some online VIN checkers. There are plenty of them available. Or if you can’t find this data for free, you will have to issue a CARFAX report. This report is more expensive. But it is definitely worth it.

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