The vehicle identification number, VIN, is the unique code of every vehicle generated by the manufacturer. The code was developed following the standardized vehicle identification system formulated by the International Standard Organization, ISO, in 1980. It is a 17-digit alphanumeric code printed on various parts of the vehicle. The most common areas to find the VIN is the vehicle chassis, frame of the front seats, transmission housing, the lid of the fuse box, and the left center pillar.
In addition, the code provides information on the model and quality of the vehicle, the year and place of manufacturing, and the history of ownership. The VIN is an excellent resource for purchasing new or second-hand cars. It is also helpful in the tracking of vehicles across several countries. VINs must be decoded to access the information shared using the 17 digits. Various VIN decoders available across the internet can be easily accessed for free. Here is a list of the best VIN decoders to lookup VIN numbers for free;
VinPit is one of the few universal VIN decoders available and provides information about a wide range of vehicles. This is largely due to its extensive database. The site also provides as much information as possible, such as vehicle manufacturers and year of manufacture.
- The platform is also well tailored to help a novice access its service. For example, it has several navigation icons which are brightly colored to create a map across the site.
- In addition, the decoder also provides information about the vehicle number plate right on the same screen.
- It is regarded as one of the fastest VIN decoders to access. It can provide details of any vehicle within a few seconds after inputting the code.
- The only drawback would be a few variations in the information provided
- The service provider is new to the market and might be limited in features
You can get more information about the VinPit decoder by visiting websites that hold tons of information and guides on how to carry out a proper VIN number lookup.
MyFreeVIN is another top VIN decoder that is commonly used. It provides just the crucial decisions needed to make the right decision on a car purchase. MyFreeVIN thrives on the simple-to-use interface and ease of generating reports without any unnecessary sign-up or registration.
- Myfreevin.com is a CarVertical affiliate site; thus, the information here is accurate and only shown when it can be verified.
- It also provides information on vehicles all around the world as against US vehicles alone
- The decoder does not provide some information that it deems irrelevant, like a sunroof.
It is a self-styled decoder website that looks to provide not only VIN decoding but also license plate search for vehicles registered in the US. Vindecoder also provides a guide to manually decoding VINs, especially old-styled VIN codes. The site is also a little user-friendly, but the information about recalled vehicles is inferior.
- The website provides a guide to decoding old-style VINs which is very detailed
- The site also searches for license plates asides from VIN decoding
- The license plate search cannot recognize older tags.
- The site only covers a few models
A very colorful and aesthetically appealing decoder site. The site provides VIN reports on vehicles across the United States. VINgurus also runs a separate recall check and lookup service and a license plate search. This is a good combination, but this makes the decoder site a little distracting. The colors help communicate where the VIN can be found and other information, but they can still not provide some information on the vehicle degradation rate.
- Multiple related services
- Custom made for Vehicles in the US
- You cannot search for other non-US brands
When decoding VIN for the sake of a vehicle purchase, this is one of the best decoders to use. Decodethis provides decoding services for a wide range of vehicles across the world. It also offers accurate information concerning the make, model, and year of any vehicle searched. Once the searched vehicle is recognized, the decoder links to a car dealership with similar cars and the price. It also includes information on whether the deal is good or not.
- It provides detailed vehicle make information
- Provides quality information on a probable vehicle purchase
- The search feature is speedy
- Inconclusive list of equipment
How to choose the best VIN decoder for VIN lookup
Following the list of the top VIN decoders to carry out free lookup, there are a few criteria to consider when choosing a VIN decoder. These includes:
- The Search Range: The decoder should be able to decode the VIN of the intended vehicle. It’s best to go for a decoder with a wide range of vehicles. It is also important to note the style of the VIN if it is the standard 17-digit style or the old VIN used for old and vintage vehicles before the 1980
- Reason for search: If the VIN decoding is to precede a vehicle purchase, then a decoder with referral links to offers of similar vehicles is best.
- Cost: It is vital to know the decoder’s cost. Some decoders gas shared above provides the information for free while others request a small fee.
- Point of Access: It is essential to know that not all decoders are accessible worldwide; some are restricted to the US, as a VPN is needed to access them while in a different location.
The internet is full of several Vin decoding websites with various services and features. The VIN is either free or paid. Although many think the difference in service between the paid and free VIN is vast, most times, that’s not true as they both access data from the exact location. Free Vin decoders can be very useful, but enough knowledge about them is needed to use them appropriately.