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If you’re looking for a used car, heed this advice: never buy one until you know the full history. To find that information, all you need to do is look up the vehicle’s vehicle identification number or VIN. If you don’t work with a dealer who could provide free access to paid VIN checking sites, you can still get the information for free.
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But you probably have some questions, such as the following:
- Are There Real Free VIN Checks?
- Which VIN checker is best?
- Is there such a thing as Carfax, but for free?
You’ve come to the right place for answers. Keep reading to learn all about checking a car’s VIN for free.
Why is checking a VIN on a used car important?
When you buy a used car, many things can go wrong. For example, if you buy from a private individual, it could be a scam. Or the vehicle can be stolen. Or it may not have a clean title.
You can find out information about all of these scenarios by doing a VIN check, which reveals vital information about the car you’ll be making.
Where can I find my VIN?
Wondering where to find your VIN? There are a few different places where it is available. It is listed on the title and registration of your vehicle, your insurance card and your insurance policy. You may also find it stamped on your motorcycle’s firewall or on the dashboard near the driver’s side windshield of the car, or on a plate or sticker on the driver’s side door jamb.
What Are The Best Free VIN Checking Sites?
Now that you know where to find your VIN, use the following four resources to get your free check today.
1. National Insurance Crime Bureau
VINCheck from NICB warns you if a car has a record of an insurance theft claim (and it hasn’t been recovered) or if it’s reported as salvaged, meaning the title isn’t clean.
If you want to make an informed decision about purchasing a vehicle, use iSeeCars’ free VIN decoder. The website notes that you get a comprehensive report with up to 200 data, including:
- Prices: This will give you an estimate of the vehicle’s fair value based on the local market.
- Sales history: You will receive information about when the car was previously sold.
- Prerequisite: This report shows the mileage along with the other pros and cons of the vehicle.
- Best time to buy: This analyzes which months you may be able to get a better price.
- Theft data: This shows whether the car has been reported as stolen in the NICB database.
- Recall Control: You’ll get an overview of past recalls and pending recalls that have not been resolved.
- Title/Retention Info: Depending on the state DMV, you can get title and lien information on the vehicle.
- Dealer Scorecard: This evaluates dealer pricing, transparency and responsiveness.
- depreciation: You get an estimate of the depreciation of the car over a period of one year, three years and five years.
- Supply Analysis: This alerts you to the number of similar cars available for sale in the area.
To use the site, all you need to do is add your VIN in the “Enter a VIN” field and click “Analyze”.
Although a comprehensive VIN check of Carfax requires a fee, you can still get free information on some issues related to used cars. These include airbag problems, pending recalls, flood damage and odometer fraud, all of which are valuable safety information. The free used car report also shows the vehicle’s maintenance and owner history and the number of accidents.
4. Vehicle History
The Vehicle History website notes that it uses industry and government sources to give you an overview of specifications, equipment details, current condition and past issues, plus its safety rating, market value and fuel efficiency. You’ll also get auto insurance information, title verification, recall and defect information, and an inspection checklist.
To use the tool to get a free VIN check report, just enter your VIN and press “Search”.
A VIN check is your first line of defense when you buy a vehicle. You can find important information about the vehicle, such as whether the title is clean or whether it has been salvaged, whether it has been in an accident and whether it has been stolen.
It only takes a few minutes of your time, and not only can it be free, but it can also provide you with long-lasting peace of mind. As for buying a car, this is the cheapest insurance you can get.