My shopping cart
Your cart is currently empty.Continue Shopping
Content Manager at Innova Electronics
Innova diagnostic scanners assist you in understanding your vehicle, finding problems, and providing guidance for repairs. You can access the same advanced technology used by professionals, without the high costs or subscription fees.Learn more about Innova Scanners
A VIN (vehicle identification number) is a sequence of characters that helps identify your specific vehicle. Think of it as your vehicle’s social security number!
Similar to how your social security number can reveal a lot about your background, a VIN provides access to almost all fundamental information known about your vehicle.
By understanding the characters of a VIN, you’ll be able to identify a plethora of information about your vehicle, such as:
As you can see, there are tons of valuable information you can retrieve with just the VIN alone. In fact, you can get access to even more vehicle data if you submit your VIN information and receive a vehicle history report (VHR), such as:
All VIN(s) consist of 17 characters, with each character serving a specific purpose.
The first three characters of a VIN represent the World Manufacturer Identifier (WMI). These characters are used to identify the country of origin, as well as the vehicle manufacturer.
The fourth to ninth characters of a VIN are known as the Vehicle Descriptor Section (VDS), which helps provide details about the vehicle’s model, body, transmission, restraint system, engine type, and so on.
The ninth character is what we call the Check Digit. Its purpose is to confirm the accuracy of the VIN.
The tenth to seventeenth characters are referred to as the Vehicle Identification Section (VIS). The tenth character indicates the model year, while the eleventh character points to the assembly plant responsible for putting together the vehicle.
The last 6 characters refer to the vehicle’s unique serial number.
Discover your ideal OBD2 scanner by answering a few questions.
Only takes a few seconds.
Just reading about a VIN can be confusing, so here’s a visual representation of decoding a VIN.
Note: image above is for illustration purposes only.
Pretty simple, right?
A vehicle’s VIN location isn’t standardized across different makes and models, so you may have to do some digging around. Here are the most common places to find it:
A simple Google search should be able to give you answers as well.
Traditionally, a comprehensive vehicle history report (VHR) was only offered by paid providers. Reputable sources such as Carfax or AutoCheck offer these services, and you can generally expect a detailed and reliable report.
However, if you only need basic information, there are plenty of free online options today. For instance, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) offers a free VIN Decoder, which provides information such as:
Besides the NHTSA, there are a variety of other free lookup services that provide valuable information related to your vehicle. That said, please bear in mind that these services may not have the same reliability as other reputable and more trusted companies.
We suggest that you do your research before using any VIN look-up services. There are plenty of free yet trusted sources such as the VINCheck service provided by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB).
Alternatively, if you're already using our Repairsolutions2 app, you can easily purchase a full VHR for $9.99. We are partnered with VINData Vehicle History Reports.
Yes! You can find detailed reports online using the vehicle's VIN to check if it's insured or not.
Knowing a vehicle's insurance history empowers you to make informed decisions, especially when buying a used car. A VHR provides details like the insurance company's name, policy effective dates, types of claims filed, and more.
Remember, a VHR will only report accidents that have been provided by insurance companies. As a result, if a vehicle wasn’t insured at the time of an accident, it’s still possible to have a “no accident” record. That’s why it’s so important to understand a vehicle’s insurance history before making any important decisions.
Sometimes, a vehicle’s insurance details won’t come up even after inputting the VIN. This could be due to several reasons, such as:
If the above situation occurs, we recommend that you reach out directly to the owner of the car. He/she should be able to provide you insurance details.
Sometimes, it helps to just push ahead and take a leap of faith! Learn more about our OBD2 scanners and how it can help diagnose the hidden issues with your vehicle.Get Started
SUBSCRIBE & GET ACCESS TO LIMITED-TIME OFFERS