How to Get an Absolutely Free VIN Check

Four Methods:Getting a Complete Vehicle History Report for FreeChecking Vehicle Specifications, Fuel Economy, and Pricing Details OnlyChecking VIN for Theft and Fraud RecordsChecking VINs on Potentially Recalled Vehicles

Vehicle's Identification Number (VIN for short) is a unique serial number that helps identify the vehicle’s type and specifications. Furthermore, the VIN also helps authorities and organizations track a vehicle's past records. Using the free VIN Checks below, you can get information about your vehicle's specifications, title brands, recalls, and even if the vehicle has been reported stolen.

Method 1
Getting a Complete Vehicle History Report for Free

  1. Image titled Check a VIN for Free Step 1
    1
    Write down the VIN. Using a pen and paper, record the VIN that you want to check. You can also use a camera or smartphone to take a picture of your VIN to refer to later.
  2. 2
    Go to VehicleHistory.com. Vehiclehistory.com is the only place you can go and get a full vehicle history report for free. A few websites might have slightly more detailed information on a certain subject—the National Transportation Safety Board might have more detailed information on recalls, for example—but VehicleHistory.com is the best all-around free source for a car’s history.[1]
  3. 3
    Enter the VIN in the search box in the middle of the page. If your car was manufactured after 1980, your VIN should be 17 digits long. It will never contain the letters I, O, or Q, so as to avoid confusion with the numbers 1 and 0.[2]
    • If your car was manufactured prior to 1980, you will not be able to secure a vehicle history report.
  4. 4
    Get your report. Once you’ve entered the VIN, all you have to do is read the report. The reports from VehicleHistory.com are comprehensive, containing the same information a dealer’s vehicle history report contains. This includes information about the make and model, maintenance, theft, accident, recall, and number of owners. [3]

Method 2
Checking Vehicle Specifications, Fuel Economy, and Pricing Details Only

  1. Image titled Get an Absolutely Free VIN Check Step 2
    1
    Go to VinChecker.net. VinChecker.net is another company offering vehicle history reports for sale. They are located at http://vinchecker.net. Once you’re on the site, enter your VIN number into the search box in the center of the page. Press the “Check Your VIN” button.
  2. Image titled Get an Absolutely Free VIN Check Step 3
    2
    View the Vehicle Specifications. Receive information about the vehicle such as options, fuel efficiency, NHTSA and IIHS crash test ratings, and other specifications.
  3. 3
    Don’t expect any further free information. While VinChecker.net does provide comprehensive vehicle history reports, they aren’t free. The only free information available is information about the vehicle’s specifications.[4]

Method 3
Checking VIN for Theft and Fraud Records

  1. Image titled Get an Absolutely Free VIN Check Step 4
    1
    Go to the NICB website. This is a VIN check service provided by the National Insurance Crime Bureau, which can be found at https://www.nicb.org/theft_and_fraud_awareness/vincheck. While their service isn’t comprehensive, they do issue free reports on cars that have current records of theft or have an outstanding title brand.
    • This service will not provide free mechanical history reports or information on the number of owners.
    • The NICB no longer reports if the vehicle has a lien on it (as they did before), so be sure to verify with the DMV that the title belongs to the person selling the vehicle.[5]
  2. Image titled Get an Absolutely Free VIN Check Step 5
    2
    Type in the 17-digit VIN under the Step 1 box. If the vehicle in question was made after 1981 but has fewer or more than 17 numbers and letters in its VIN, it's generally a pretty good sign that the VIN has been faked. Stay away from purchasing this vehicle if possible.
  3. Image titled Get an Absolutely Free VIN Check Step 6
    3
    Agree to terms and conditions, and then enter the verification code. The verification code is a human detection service. After you've correctly entered the verification code, press "Search."
    • The verification code is case-sensitive, so be sure to use CAPS letters where needed.
  4. Image titled Get an Absolutely Free VIN Check Step 7
    4
    Wait as NICB checks your VIN against their databases. If the vehicle in question has an outstanding title brand or was recently reported stolen, read the short vehicle report based on that VIN.
    • If your car has never been reported stolen or is relatively new, then the report will let you know that the vehicle has not been listed in the theft records or total loss records database(s).
    • Remember, these records only show up if an accident or theft was recorded. Even then, it may take up to 6 months to show up in the database. Before you make the actual purchase, you will want to verify the information with the DMV.
    • You are restricted to 5 VIN Check searches from a single IP address per day.

Method 4
Checking VINs on Potentially Recalled Vehicles

  1. Image titled Get an Absolutely Free VIN Check Step 8
    1
    Go to the National Highway Transport Safety Administration's website. Go to http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchSafetyIssues and click the tab that says "Vehicles."[6]
    • Select the proper year, make, and model from the drop down menus. Then press ”Enter.”
  2. Image titled Get an Absolutely Free VIN Check Step 9
    2
    Check for any recalls. If the vehicle has had any recalls, they will be available under the “Recalls” tab. Manufacturers recall cars when a defect is discovered. The defects are replaced or repaired free of charge.
  3. Image titled Get an Absolutely Free VIN Check Step 10
    3
    Subscribe. The NTSB will send email updates regarding future recalls to any affected parties, all you have to do is sign up. You can register at http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/subscriptions/index.cfm page. Since recalled products can be potentially dangerous, it’s always a good idea to register.

Article Info

Categories: Buying and Selling Cars