10 Best Free VIN Check Services

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10 Best Free VIN Check Services

That sound-looking used car may have defects or red flags that are not visible to your naked eye. It could be a lemon, have tampered odometers, or have been reported as stolen.

To avoid any surprises after purchase, you should do some digging on the vehicle you are about to get yourself.

However, even a thorough pre-purchase inspection and test drive might not uncover all serious problems with the car.

One way to help mitigate this problem is to use a VIN check tool. With it, you can quickly obtain a vehicle history report that helps you get a comprehensive picture of the car’s condition, such as specifications, accident, sales, auction, title, recall, lien, theft records, and more relevant details.

10 Best Free VIN Check Services for Vehicle History Reports

There are several free VIN check services for looking up a vehicle’s history. However, the search results of some of these services are hardly accurate and really expensive.

Our tech team has reviewed myriads of VIN services and these are the top 10 best free VIN check services in terms of accuracy, simplicity, and versatility.

Table of contents

VinPit - Best for overall

VinPit

VinPit is deservedly at the top of this list. It pulls data from thousands of publicly available databases and even a few private ones to provide a very comprehensive vehicle history report. These sources include NHTSA, NICB, dealerships, towing agencies, salvage auctions, insurance companies, and more.

With this service, you can have access to recall, lien, auction, title, accident, and others that are generally not consulted by many other search engines, helping you check out the vehicle's whole history for free.

Plus, VinPit enables you to run a VIN check from every state and has dedicated decoders for a specific make, e.g. Ford and Volkswagen, and for different auto types, e.g. cars, motorcycles, and RVs, which can help you narrow down the search scope and, by extension, cut down the time needed to dip up results on the used car.

Searching through this platform is simple and straightforward:

  • Go to vinpit.com
  • Feed in the VIN number in the search field
  • Click "Start Search", and they search authority databases for updated information associated with the vehicle
  • Receive a vehicle history report

Pros

  • There is no need to create an account to use this service
  • There are two options available to any user - a VIN lookup or a license plate lookup
  • You can run a VIN check by make, auto type, or state

Cons

  • Not available on Messenger or Facebook
  • Has no phone call support

VINNumberLookup - Best for anonymous VIN searches

VINNumberLookup

VINNumberLookup is arguably one of the best VIN check services available today. It doesn’t keep any records of checks run on its search engines. All your VIN searches remain confidential and anonymous.

The tool is equipped with robust database technology that keeps their information current. All the info you dig up through this free VIN check service, like the last odometer reading and last selling price of the used car, is always up-to-date.

If you don't have the VIN, don't fret. The service provides an added convenience by allowing you to get the same vehicle history report with the aid of a license plate number instead.

To conduct a free VIN lookup at VINNumberLookup, you'll need to:

  • Go to its homepage and locate the search bar
  • Type in the target VIN and click on "Start Search"
  • Expect to receive instant results on the vehicle
  • Download the report if you wish to keep a copy of the full report on your computer

Pros

Cons

  • It has no buyback protection
  • Relatively new in the industry

NICB - Best for optimized VIN search engine

NICB

NICB, short for National Insurance Crime Bureau, is a not-for-profit organization that works to reduce the incidence of insurance fraud and theft. It is one of the most trusted sources for a free vehicle history report.

It provides free VIN check services for its users who can check up to five reports in a day for free. Unlike several others that need typing out, you may just take a photo of the VIN and upload it. That works too!

To search for a vehicle’s history on NICB, do the following:

  • Visit the website’s VIN check page
  • Locate the ‘Look Up a VIN’ search box and enter the vehicle’s VIN there
  • Tick the checkbox to show you agree to the terms and conditions of the site
  • Click on the search VIN to begin the search process

Pros

  • You can upload a photo of the VIN instead of typing it out manually
  • Its search algorithm is efficient and produces results in a few minutes

Cons

  • Each IP address is limited to only five searches within 24 hours

Bumper - Best for buying and selling used vehicles

Bumper

Bumper is another renowned VIN lookup service you can use to check the real worth of your vehicle for free. The platform assists hundreds of thousands of people in getting a car report every week. By compiling data from numerous government agencies, such as NMVTIS and NHTSA, it ensures its users can access accurate, updated vehicle information.

It can be a one-stop shop for all your vehicle needs. Besides VIN search, it also allows you to buy vehicles. The Bumper marketplace is filled with a wide selection of new, pre-owned, and used vehicles of all makes and models. you will find one that fits your needs.

Additionally, it works with Jerry to make it easy for you to compare auto insurance quotes and with Peddle to help you sell your used vehicle for some cash.

Last, by subscribing to its service, you can even unlock the Bumper Connect service to have real-time monitoring of your WIFI-enabled vehicle. This helps you keep track of your vehicle maintenance, odometer readings, and tire pressure via your phone and on the go.

To run a VIN check, you should:

  • Locate the search bar on its home page
  • The platform will need you to enter the VIN and click "Search"
  • Then, you'll get a car report in a few minutes

Pros

  • Can search by VIN, or by license plate number, or by year, make, and model
  • Allows users to buy vehicles of any type, makes, and model, and conditions
  • Helps users to list their cars for sale without paying a dime
  • Has an extensive network of buyers and sellers
  • Allows users to compare insurance quotes from over 50 companies
  • Has exclusive Bumper Connect tool for real-time vehicle monitoring

Cons

  • Need to pay $8.74 per month for an unlimited number of vehicle history reports and comprehensive car history

NHTSA - Best for running multiple VIN checks

NHTSA

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is a US federal agency that oversees motor vehicle safety. It has a page that is dedicated to VIN checks.

Users can use its VIN decoder tool to look up their vehicle history. Its database includes information from car dealers, rental companies, and other sources about vehicles involved in crashes or odometer frauds, stolen cars, etc.

Its report highlights defects, recalls, and every other detail that concerns the user’s safety. The tool is also used by law enforcement agencies to help them identify vehicles for investigative purposes.

To get a free VIN report on NHTSA:

  • Go to the VIN decoder page
  • Put in your full 17-character VIN or partial VIN in the VIN box
  • Enter the model year of the vehicle
  • Click the search button located on the right-hand side of the search bar

Pros

  • Shows all unrepaired vehicles affected by a safety recall in the last 15 years
  • The search algorithm is well optimized

Cons

  • It does not show safety recalls from small vehicle manufacturers and a few ultra-luxury brands

VinCheckFree - Best for detailed maintenance records

VINCheckFree

Exactly what the name says, VinCheckFree is a tool that allows users to run a free VIN check. Whether you want to look up a car, motorcycle, RV, or a truck, the service has you covered. This is made possible by its rich and extensive database, which contains information from government agencies, insurance companies, police departments, and more.

From its vehicle history reports, you can see the vehicle's photo, title, auction, recall, theft, salvage, sales records, and even maintenance history which are all crucial details you need to know before making the purchase.

To get a free VinCheckFree report,

  • First, go to vincheckfree.com
  • From there, you will see the VIN lookup option. Simply enter the VIN number as required and click on "Search". And that's all. The platform will do the rest to provide you with a full car report

Pros

  • Supports VIN check and License plate search
  • Pulls data from NMVTIS and NICB to ensure accuracy
  • No account required

Cons

  • Has only an online tool. No mobile apps.

AutoCheck - Best for free buyback protection

AutoCheck

AutoCheck, much like others on this list, is a free VIN check service. On the platform, you also find listicles of vehicles of different makes and models put for sale. A lookup on AutoCheck gives you a detailed report on the vehicle’s safety ratings, odometer readings, etc. You may also enjoy free buyback protection for registered and qualified vehicles.

Uniquely, AutoCheck has a scoring system where the service assigns an AutoCheck Score to a vehicle according to its vehicle history report, enabling you to see how the car stacks up against similar vehicles.

To get a free vehicle history report:

  • Find the search box here and enter the vehicle’s VIN or license plate
  • Click the "Check VIN" or "Check Plate" buttons

Pros

  • Provides information on whether the previous owner has made an insurance claim on the vehicle
  • Has a scoring system that allows you to compare the histories of multiple cars
  • You can find the history of a car in two ways, VIN lookup or license plate number search

Cons

  • Charges a one-time fee for searches
  • Lack of alternatives for pricing packages
  • Report doesn't contain service or maintenance records

VINCheck.info - Best for comprehensive reports

VINCheck.info

VINCheck.info is another solid free VIN checker you should consider before making that purchase. With this tool, you can find out information about millions of used vehicles quickly and accurately.

It provides a 10-page detailed and comprehensive report with much in-depth info that is less commonly looked into, including the vehicle's market value, current warranty, and safety rating.

To get a free car report:

Pros

  • Helps users know when a vehicle is due for routine maintenance based on past maintenance records
  • Allows users to have a copy of the report by entering their email
  • No registration required

Cons

  • Has no phone call support
  • A bit expensive when it comes to getting a full report

Carfax - Best for cross-border VIN checks

Carfax

Carfax, well known for its detailed vehicle history reports, has been around since 1986. It specializes in providing its users with insights into their potential new purchase’s body type, make, accidents reported, sales records, and more uniquely, maintenance records.

Carfax has buyback guarantees as well. Should you purchase a car based on its vehicle history report and it turns out to have title problems that aren't reflected in that report, Carfax will cover the vehicle cost. From this, you can also tell how confident the service is in its report's comprehensiveness.

Unlike other VIN lookup services in the U.S., Carfax also pulls data from Canada.

To look up a car's history, you only need to:

Pros

  • Has a rich database of relevant public records
  • Has buyback guarantees
  • Report even includes maintenance history

Cons

  • It has a paid plan which is fairly expensive. You can get a report for $39.99, three for $59.99, or $99.9 for six
  • Dealers can alter Carfax reports to make the title appear clean

VehicleHistory - Best for car-buying guidance

VehicleHistory

VehicleHistory offers 100% free vehicle history online checks and is a more budget-friendly alternative to CarFax. Its reports are more structured and accurate and contain valuable information about the vehicle's history, which you can leverage when negotiating prices with the dealership or private seller.

Its team of automobile experts also provides buyer guides to help you better understand the vehicle you intend to buy, including owners' positive and negative reviews for their cars.

To run this VIN check, simply:

  • Enter a vehicle’s VIN here and Click on "Search"
  • That’s all. You should have a detailed report in no time and for free too
  • You're also enabled to check by license plate

Pros

  • Completely free vehicle history report
  • No sign-ups needed
  • It guarantees no spamming

Cons

  • Has no buyback protection

iSeeCars - Best for used car lookups

iSeeCars

iSeeCars has a rich, extensive database of new and used cars of different brands and models. Through this platform, you can compare prices from different sites. The site has a comprehensive list of over 70% of all used cars in the US.

You can also find car-buying guides and advice on the website, and they are all useful for you to find the right car for you. It also gives you insights into the most popular used cars for each state in the US.

To run a VIN check on iSeeCars:

Pros

  • Gives you insights into the fastest-selling used and new cars from the previous month
  • Allows you to filter car preferences based on metrics like power-to-weight ratio, transmission type, colors, and legroom

Cons

  • Does not have comprehensive records of flood-damaged cars

VINCheckPro - Best for car owner reports

VINCheckPro

Like several others on this list, VINCheckPro allows you to review a vehicle’s history for free. However, its unique selling point is allowing users to request car owner reports and personal details. This helps you steer clear of cars whose previous owners are outlaws.

As part of the service, you can also research and compare the products and services you really need when buying a car.

To obtain a free car report:

Pros

  • Quick search powered by its unique AI-powered technology
  • It is simple to use, even for a non-tech-savvy individual

Cons

  • May need to create an account to save reports
  • Lack of pricing transparency

What Can I Find in a Free Vehicle History Report?

Stolen car records

It might seem quite obvious, but it bears mentioning again because, without proper lookup, you may be buying a stolen vehicle without knowing it. A possible consequence is ending up behind bars.

Vehicle title status

It is in your best interest not to get a car whose ownership is in question or has been the subject of a lien, and a vehicle history report helps you figure that out.

Accident records

A vehicle history report shows all minor and major reported accidents the car may have been involved in or if it’s a salvaged vehicle.

Vehicle’s technical specifications

It shows the vehicle’s technical specifications, including its engine capacity, oil capacity, max HP, the year it was manufactured, etc.

Rental record

It should also tell you if the vehicle has been part of a large fleet or used as a rental. This gives you insight into its possible condition at the moment.

Flood damage

Has it ever been damaged by a flood? This report tells you just that. Such cars may have hidden problems that may only surface after purchase.

Top Tips Before Purchasing a Used Vehicle

Have a car expert inspect the vehicle

Before paying or signing those papers for a transfer of ownership, we recommend taking an independent mechanic to the car lot. The mechanic should conduct a comprehensive checkup to see if things are in order.

Weigh the listed price against its age

The right deal is often where there is a balance between price and reliability. A car too old may need too many parts replacement while one too new may be quite expensive. We recommend 3-5-year-old cars.

Check its sales record

You can run a VIN check on the car to get more insights into its sales record. This should help you know if you are paying more than has been paid on it in the past. For instance, a car shouldn’t cost more than it did two years ago.

Factor long-term costs

Before pulling up at the car lot, carry out background research on the car you’re getting and its long-term costs. Factors you should consider include fuel economy, car insurance, and maintenance costs of its make.

Consider private sellers

The claim that dealers offer high-quality used cars for lower prices is an unfounded one. This isn’t always true. If anything, private sellers could be more willing to negotiate, especially if they are trying to sell an older car to move on quickly.

Look at its vehicle history

Asides from sales records, a VIN number lookup can also help you see if the advertised car is a salvaged car or one with a recurrent fault. These cars cost significantly less, and it’s only right you know their condition before negotiating.

FAQs:

1. What is a vehicle history report?

Vehicle history reports provide information about a used or second-hand car. With the report, you can find the vehicle's technical specifications, recall records, sales records, last selling price, accident history, and more. This may influence your decision to buy or how much it is worth.

2. What information can you find on the VIN report?

Typically, a VIN report can provide basic information about your vehicle, including its make and model, year and date of manufacture, engine type/size, country of origin, length of ownership, airbag deployment, and which company manufactured it.

It also gives a comprehensive overview of the vehicle's history, like whether it has been involved in an accident and salvaged, if it's a lemon, if it has been recalled, if it was rebuilt, and what was its selling price.

3. Why should I run a VIN check?

That sleek gray BMW might have unseen flood damage, odometer rollback, or safety issues. But you can't tell by just looking into the car yourself. If you want to find out some hidden secrets of a used or pre-owned vehicle, a VIN check can help. It provides an honest answer on your car's history and helps you make an informed purchase.

Additionally, you might be able to negotiate with the seller to get a better price for the car if the car's defects aren't a dealbreaker.

In addition, a VIN lookup can alert you if the car has been reported stolen, so you won't have to buy one blindly.

4. Is it possible to look up VIN numbers for free?

Yes. The VIN check services listed in this article are all completely free to use, like VINNumberLookup, VinPit, and more. However, if you want to download a copy of the full report, you may need to pay for it.

5. Where can I find the VIN?

The VIN can often be found on the driver's side dashboard or the driver-side doorpost. If you can't find it on the vehicle, ask the dealership about it. If the seller refuses to disclose the information, then this is a red flag.

6. How to decode the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)?

The VIN is a 17-character code that uniquely identifies vehicles. It is used by the automotive industry to identify each vehicle and may be found on a metal plate on the dashboard or under the driver's side of the windshield.

The VINs are composed of these parts:

  • The World Manufacturer Identifier (WMI), the first 3 digits, tells the manufacturer, the vehicle's type, and the country of origin.
  • The Vehicle Descriptor Section (VDS), the 4th to 8th digits, contains details like engine type, model type, body type, and transmission.
  • The Check Digit, the 9th digit, verifies that the VIN is valid.
  • The Vehicle Identification Section (VIS), the 10th to 17th digits, represents the vehicle model year, production plant, and serial number.

Get a comprehensive history of a used car

  • Specifications and equipment details.
  • Accidented or stolen.
  • Known and hidden repairs.
  • Past and present market values.
  • Sales records, title issues, and liens.