Free VIN Decoder & Lookup

Use our free VIN check to decode your Vehicle Identification Number

Free VIN Check in 3 Easy Steps

Using our VIN decoder is straightforward. Use these three easy steps below to decode your VIN.

1. Find the VIN

To decode your VIN, you need to find it first. It is usually found on the inside of the driver’s door jamb or the windshield.

2. VIN Lookup

Enter the VIN into the search form above. Hit the button or press enter and wait until your VIN is processed

3. Get VIN Report

Check through the report to ensure you entered the correct VIN. If you need more data, you can get a Vehicle History Report.

What is a VIN Number (Vehicle Identification Number)?

When a car is made, it’s assigned a 17-character code to identify it. It’s both letters and numbers, without any space or q, i, or o, since they are confusing with 0 and 1.

The first three digits are called the World Manufacturer Identifier (WMI), which identifies the manufacturer of the vehicle. After this comes 12 digits which represent the assembly plant – specific codes for different components, like body style and engine type.

Finally, there are two more characters at the end that identify modifications made to individual vehicles by their owners or dealerships. It’s this number you need when you do a VIN lookup.

 

Car Vin Reading

How to Find the Vehicle's VIN Number

Vin Location Car

The VIN number is found either on the outside of the windshield at the bottom, on the driver’s side, or on the driver’s side door pillar. Open the door and look for a label around the area where the door latches to the car. You may also find it on your license plate or in the engine bay, usually in front of the engine.

The motorcycle’s identification number can be found on its steering neck below handlebars; however, you might discover it near or around the motor and the frame – so make certain to check both locations before assuming anything! The semitrailer version has an even more accessible spot: on the front part of the semitrailer on the left side.

If you can’t locate the VIN number on your vehicle, the vehicle’s registration, title or liability insurance documents will provide the VIN number.

Vehicle History Report

A vehicle history report is a document that provides information about a car’s history, including accidents, theft, total loss records, repairs, and other important events. This information can be extremely helpful when you’re considering buying a used vehicle, as it can give you a better idea of the vehicle’s condition and value.

To get a vehicle history report, you’ll need your car’s VIN (vehicle identification number) into our VIN decoder on the top of the page, which can usually be found on the dashboard or doorjamb. You can then purchase a report from our partners that you will find in our free VIN check report

Once you have the report, you can use it to check for things like accident history, ownership history,  depreciation rate and outstanding recalls. You will also find flood damage, junk, salvage title and loss records and more. By doing your homework before you buy, you can help ensure that you’re getting a good deal and a safe purchase.

READ MORE: The Best Vehicle History Report – CarFax vs AutoCheck

Why using a VIN Decoder is important

Using a VIN decoder or a vehicle history report is one of the most important things before buying a used car. There are a few reasons why using a VIN decoder is important. First, it can help you determine if a vehicle has been recalled. Second, it can tell you if the vehicle has been in an accident. Third, it can help you make sure that the vehicle you’re considering purchasing is the right model for you. Fourth, if you choose a vehicle history report it can provide you with important maintenance and repair history information.

There are also other important reasons why your should use a VIN decoder, but these are the most important points for sure. Lets look at some important questions about VIN decoders.

What Vehicles can VIN Decode?

Most vehicles can have their VIN (vehicle identification number) decoded, which can tell you a lot about the car. Many people believe that it’s only car’s VIN number that can be decoded, but there are actually more. Some of the possible vehicle types that can be VIN decoded are:

  • Cars
  • Buses
  • ATV’s
  • Mopeds
  • RVs
  • Commercial Trucks
  • VANs
  • Motorcycles
  • Pickup Trucks

For instance, the VIN can reveal the car’s manufacturer, make, and model, as well as its engine size and specifications. It can also show where the car was made and when it was assembled. decoding a VIN can be helpful if you’re considering buying a used car, as it can give you some insight into its history.

Can you look up vehicle specs by VIN number?

Yes, you can look up a lot of information about a vehicle using the vehicle identification number (VIN). The VIN is a unique identifier for every car, and it can be used to find out things like the model year the car was manufactured, the make and model of the car, and other important information.

How to find your car's VIN number?

You can find your car’s VIN (vehicle identification number) on the driver’s side dashboard. Look for a metal plate with the VIN etched into it; the VIN should be 17 characters long and should contain both numbers and letters. If you can’t find the VIN plate, open the driver’s side door and look for it on the door frame near where the door latches closed.

Is there a free website to check VIN?

There are many free websites to check and do a free VIN lookup, and Mechanicbase is one of them. However, if you want to get extended information about your car like a vehicle history report you may have to pay for it.

What is a VIN number?

There are a few different companies that offer vehicle history reports, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. One of the most popular is CarFax, which offers a comprehensive report that includes information on accidents, title history, odometer readings, and more. Another popular choice is AutoCheck, which specializes in historical data on vehicles.

Vehicle Identification Number Structure

  • 1st Position: Country where the vehicle was built
  • 2-3: Describes the vehicle manufacturer (F = Ford for example)
  • 4-8: Describes the vehicle’s brand, type, and engine size
  • 9: Check Digit/Vehicle Security Code
  • 10: Vehicle Year
  • 11: Assembly Plant
  • 12-17: Production Number

World Manufacturer Identifier (WMI)

The World Manufacturer Identifier (WMI) is a unique code that is assigned to every car manufacturer. The WMI code is the three first characters or digits in the VIN number.

  • 1st: Country – It represented the manufacturer country, for example, 1 is the United States.
  • 2nd: Manufacturer
  • 3rd: Vehicle Type

Here is a diagram of the different WMI codes you may find in a VIN number:

WMIRegionCountry
J-RAsia>J = Japan
KL-KR = South Korea
L = China
MA-ME = India
MF-MK = Indonesia
ML-MR = Thailand
MS = Myanmar
PA-PE = Philippines
PL-PR = Malaysia
RF-RG = Taiwan
S-ZEuropeSA-SM = United Kingdom
SN-ST, W = Germany
SU-SZ = Poland
TA-TH = Switzerland
TJ-TP = Czech Republic
TR-TV = Hungary
TW = Portugal
VA-VE = Austria
VF-VR = France
VS-VW = Spain
VX-V2 = Yugoslavia
XL-XM = The Netherlands
XS-XW = USSR
X3-X0 = Russia
YA-YE = Belgium
YF-YK = Finland
YS-YW = Sweden
ZA-ZR = Italy
1-5North America1, 4, 5 = United States
2 = Canada
3 = Mexico
6-7Oceania6A-6W = Australia
7A-7E = New Zealand
8-0South America8A-8E = Argentina
8F-8J = Chile
8X-82 = Venezuela
9A-9E, 93-99 = Brazil
9F-9J = Colombia
A-HAfricaAA-AH = South Africa

Vehicle Descriptor Section (VDS)

The Vehicle Identifier Section (VDS) is the part of a vehicle’s VIN used in a VIN decoder that captures certain identifying characteristics of the vehicle. The 4th to 8th characters are reserved for descriptive characteristics of the vehicle. Much of the data about the vehicle’s attributes are stored in these characters or numbers and what it contains is up to the vehicle manufacturer to decide.

In the VDS number, there will also be the 9th digit, and this digit is called a check digit. The check digit is a security check by the manufacturer, and it verifies the first eight digits of the VDS number based on mathematical calculations.

Vehicle Identifier Section (VIS)

From the 10th to the 17th digits you will find the VIS number. The 10th character describes which year the vehicle was built. The 11th character describes the Assembly plant. The last 5 characters or digits you will find is the sequential or production number. So even if a VIN number may look like a random code of characters and digits, there is actually a quite easy logic behind all of it.

Is it Safe to Give Out a VIN Number?

The quick answer is yes, it is safe to give out your VIN number. Your VIN number is like your car’s identification number – it uniquely identifies your vehicle and is used by insurance companies, dealerships, and mechanics when ordering parts or researching service records.

That said, while your VIN number can be used to access “sensitive” information about your car (like its service history or recall status), it’s easy to access the VIN number for the public just by searching for the license plate number through a VIN number lookup. 

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