Today, there are various free and paid online VIN decoders. So, depending on your needs, you will find a solution that suits your needs. Often, both paid and free VIN decoders share the same sources of information.
However, paid VIN decoders will get as many details about a vehicle as possible. It will provide you with accurate details. These include the actual mileage, possible recalls, the number of owners, insurance claims, and maintenance records among others.
Besides, free VIN decoder sites have their place. These can be useful if you know the purpose and when to use them. Read on to find where you can find a good VIN decoder for free.
When to use a free VIN decoder
There are various scenarios you find using a free VIN decoder useful. The decoder provides data about the vehicle itself such as model year, trim, version, colors, engine option, and so on.
It is very useful when you want to establish the vehicle in front of you. For instance, with VinPit, you get a free decoder that can identify if the vehicle is classic or rare.
What is a VIN decoder?
A VIN decoder is used to extract information in VIN. It is a tool that lets vehicle buyers get access to details about a vehicle using its VIN. After providing the VIN, the decoding process starts providing you statistics and facts associated with the vehicle.
Thus, a VIN decoder makes the process of buying a used vehicle transparent by eliminating doubts about a vehicle.
VinPit – The recommended free VIN decoder
VinPit is a remarkable online VIN decoder that gives you exactly what you need to know about a vehicle. The platform even allows users to refine search by state to make the extraction of information faster.
Also, VinPit provides a way to decode VIN by the vehicle manufacturer. With VinPit, you also get a comprehensive vehicle report.
Where to find the VIN
The VIN is usually indicated in vehicle title, insurance, and registration documents. Most vehicle marketplaces require sellers to provide VIN to make it easy for sellers to perform a VIN lookup quickly.
On a vehicle, the VIN can be found in several places. You can find it on the driver’s side where the windshield meets the dashboard. It is viewable from the outside. Also, it is located on the driver’s side doorpost where it latches.
Other areas include:
- Front of the vehicle frame near the container for the windshield washer fluid.
- Front of the engine block when you open the hood.
Understanding your VIN
Usually, VIN comes in two lengths i.e. 17 characters or 11 characters. Vehicles with VIN consisting of 11 characters are normally from 1981 or older. Regardless, a VIN is a unique identifier of each vehicle on the road today.
Below is a quick look at what each character represents in a VIN.
Why getting a detailed vehicle history is important
Today, you can cross-check the price and condition of a used vehicle online. The seller may have the upper hand, but getting a vehicle history report can level the field. This paves the way to negotiation and a fair price.
Some of the reasons for getting a detailed vehicle report include:
1. Finding concealed damage
In some cases, a damaged vehicle may be difficult to detect. Even experienced professionals may not be able to catch these problems without a thorough inspection.
Fortunately, a vehicle history report can show if the vehicle was involved in an accident. In some cases, you will know if the airbags were deployed. This way, you will know the severity of the damage.
2. Verifying the mileage
The estimated vehicle mileage stands out as one of the most important things in a used vehicle. It provides you an opportunity to establish if the reported miles match the mileage on the odometer.
In case of huge discrepancies, you should have a reason to suspect that someone tampered with the odometer.
3. Service history
A vehicle with good maintenance history can last a long time. Service centers and dealerships report each visit to their establishment for maintenance like oil change, fluid, and brake changes. Also, the report shows vehicle recalls and repairs.
The report helps buyers prove the previous owners properly maintained the vehicle. In case a vehicle has a poor maintenance history, it can be expensive down the road to maintain.
4. Avoid title cleansing
With different rules for reporting and licensing salvaged vehicles, unscrupulous car sellers can take advantage of this. The sellers can move vehicles to states with favorable registration laws.
5. Vehicle owners
If a vehicle has had too many owners, it may have hidden issues. It may be easier to pass a problem to another person than fix it. Also, vehicles with various owners in different states may be suspect.
A good VIN decoder provides details about a vehicle making it easy for a buyer to make informed decisions. With a reliable platform, you will find detailed information about a vehicle.