Easy VIN Lookup
Enter VIN and get specs, accident & salvage records, and more!
Approved NMVTIS Data Provider
Plan to buy a second-hand car? You might need to do a VIN lookup before purchasing, in case the car comes with hidden problems. A VIN lookup provides you with useful information, such as the car’s specifications, ownership history, theft records, accident & salvage records, and more, to help you make a wise decision.
So in this tutorial, we’ll give you some easy and quick ways to do a free VIN lookup.
Table of contents
- Method 1: Get complete VIN info from professional services (hassle-free)
- Method 2: Do a VIN lookup on free tools (free)
- Method 3: Ask your dealer for a VIN lookup report (free)
Method 1: Get complete VIN info from professional services (hassle-free)
If you prefer a thorough check on the candidate vehicles, using an advanced VIN lookup tool can give you the most complete info. This is also the easiest and most efficient way of finding out any hidden issues of a car. Here are some of the best that we trust.
BeenVerified is a powerful VIN lookup tool that dives deep into a car’s past. It’s powered by Bumper, an NMVTIS-approved vehicle history data provider, and has access to multiple data sources like state-level government agencies and auto industry partners. If you’re looking for a relatively comprehensive vehicle report, BeenVerified should be your go-to place. You may find in its reports sale listings, theft & accident records, maintenance & service history, warranties, and more.
- Go to the BeenVerified VIN lookup page.
- Enter the VIN and click SEARCH.
- Wait as it generates the report. Once done, you may get details like the number of previous owners, recalls, salvage records, theft records, and more. Note that you’ll need to purchase a plan to view the full report.
- The platform also supports searching by phone number, name, and email. So if you feel like checking the credibility of the previous owners or your dealer, don’t hesitate to give it a try.
EpicVIN is another vehicle history check service that we like, and it’s also an NMVTIS data provider with access to multiple data sources including government authorities, repair shops, and insurance companies. It stands out because it will offer you some free basic information before you decide to purchase a subscription plan. Besides, it has a high score of 4.1 stars at Trustpilot.com, better than many other competitors.
- Go to EpicVIN.
- Enter the VIN and click on the search button.
- Then EpicVIN will start the search process and generate a report. It will give you some free preliminary information such as the engine size, sale listings, and last odometer reading, but you’ll need to purchase a plan to view the full report.
Method 2: Do a VIN lookup on free tools (free)
1. NICB (theft & salvage records)
NICB VINCheck is a free VIN lookup tool provided by the National Insurance Crime Bureau and is accessible to everyone. It gives you a vehicle’s theft and salvage records quickly and costs no money.
- Go to the NICB VINCheck page.
- Wait for it to be done. You’ll know if the vehicle was ever reported stolen or damaged to a total loss. But remember, the info might not be up to date because it uses data supplied by car insurance companies. And it only allows 5 free checks within a 24-hour period.
2. NHTSA (recalls)
NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) offers a free VIN lookup service to help you learn whether a particular vehicle has any unrepaired safety recalls.
- Go to NHTSA.
- Enter the VIN and click GO.
- It will tell you if a car has any unrepaired safety recalls immediately.
3. Online car appraisers (market value)
There are several online car appraisers, such as Carvana, Carmax, and Edmunds, that allow you to run a simple and free VIN lookup to get the basic specifications of your car before they can evaluate and provide a quote. You can use this process to gather some information you’re curious about. The information may not be extensive, but it may include engine size, drivetrain, and more. Also, they typically allow you to check by license plate.
4. VINCheck.info (sale listings, specs & recalls)
VINCheck.info is a website that offers a free VIN check service. It allows users to research and obtain information about a vehicle by entering its VIN. In its reports, you may find sale listings, market value, basic specs, and recalls related to the specific vehicle.
5. Decode This (basic specs)
If you only need to know the basic info about your car engine, you can try Decode This, a free online tool. Enter a VIN, then it will pull out the basic engine & vehicle specs related to it.
Note that Decode This only provides basic car specs for free. Unlocking the full report might cost dozens of dollars. If you’d like more detailed vehicle info at a lower price, you can try services like BeenVerified.
Method 3: Ask your dealer for a VIN lookup report (free)
Normally, authorized car dealers can have access to a car’s maintenance records, and will even buy VIN lookup service from third-party providers like CARFAX. So if you are buying from a dealer, you may request the VIN lookup report for free. In some cases, your car dealer might not release such a report for privacy concerns. Try requesting it nicely at an offline shop and in person, then you’ll get a better chance.
However, you should be aware that the report provided by the dealer might not cover everything necessary for you to eliminate your worries. That’s when you need a professional VIN lookup tool.
That’s almost all you need to know about how to do a free and easy VIN lookup. Still, we recommend you perform a thorough mechanical inspection on the vehicle, even after everything on the VIN lookup report checks out.