Car inspection is a necessary step before making a sale deal. This is also useful when you want to assess the vehicle for legal issues and verify its technical condition. Usually, car enthusiasts use a VIN number, including obtaining a window sticker by VIN, to get all the relevant vehicle details.

However, VIN is not always at hand. Sometimes it’s not available, or the code simply doesn’t exist, as in many right-hand drive Japanese cars, where the frame code is used instead. What to do in situations like these? Let’s take a look at the topic in more detail.

Why To Check Vehicle History

Checking the vehicle’s background before buying the car safeguards against deciding on a problematic automobile. For example, fraudulent sellers conceal crucial information that may affect the purchase decisions. On the second-hand vehicle market, you can find many vehicles with legal issues. This means that cars may be under arrest, pledged to a bank, or listed in the police database as stolen or wanted.

The previous automobile owner may also have numerous unpaid fines. Buying a car from such a seller can entail paying off the debts. You won’t be able to register the vehicle until you repay the debts.

Some car sellers prefer to clear the car’s history to hide restrictions on registration or the vehicle’s salvage status that it obtained after a serious accident. Even repairs at a professional auto body shop don’t guarantee that mechanics would spot the presence of hidden defects affecting driving safety. Moreover, the costs of eliminating such faults are usually incomparable to the expenses of paying for vehicle inspection services.

It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to purchasing a car. Checking the vehicle history is a simple and effective way to make an informed decision on the pre-owned car market.

What You Can Learn When Running A Vehicle History Check

Researching the vehicle’s background can provide a lot of useful details. This is especially relevant when you are deciding on a used vehicle, which can have some hidden pitfalls. There may be technical issues or problems with the documentation. That’s where vehicle background evaluation comes into play.

The vehicle history check will provide objective information, based on which a reasoned decision can be made about buying a car or refraining from this step. Users are provided with the following information:

  • car’s specifications;
  • road accident records;
  • vehicle damage;
  • mileage rollback;
  • service history;
  • number of former owners, their status (individuals, legal entities);
  • facts of theft;
  • history of registration actions; presence of unpaid fines; imposition of arrest;
  • being in pledge with a financial organization, and much more.

With the mentioned details revealed, you can make more informed car buying decisions.

Checking Car’s Background Without A VIN Number

Verifying car information in situations when a vehicle identification number isn’t available can be quite challenging yet not impossible. There are several alternative methods that will be useful if you want to get important information about a used car. Among them, we may highlight the following methods:

Finding Alternative Identifiers

One of the first steps to take when attempting to check car information without a VIN is to look for other identifying numbers on the vehicle. Many cars have multiple identification numbers, such as an engine number or production number, that can be used to identify the vehicle.

Moreover, often VINs are also located on different vehicle parts, including:

  • Dashboard on the driver’s side
  • Engine block front
  • Driver’s side doorpost
  • Inside the driver’s side door frame
  • Rear wheel well
  • Beneath the spare tire

That’s where you can find vehicle identifiers that allow you to get more details about any car.

Using A License Plate Lookup

In official vehicle databases, VINs are tied to vehicle registration plates, which allows for better information coverage. By using special online tools that run license plate searches, you can get the same vehicle details you would obtain with a VIN. This covers the car’s specifications, actual mileage, accident and ownership histories, title status, any theft and lien records if available, and much more.

Applying To A Local DMV

In the US, you can use services that a government agency called the Department of Motor Vehicles offers car owners. In some cases, you can get the basic vehicle details even without a VIN there. Yet, you should provide documents to prove your identity and relation to the vehicle, as well as any other specific papers that the DMV may request. To find out more about this option, visit the local DMV website or contact them directly to get a consultation.

Third-Party Data Sources

You can also find some alternative online resources that allow users to search for information about a vehicle based on other identifying details, such as the make, model, and year. These resources may require some additional information, such as the owner’s name or address, but they can often provide valuable information about the vehicle.

Using Specialized Automotive Forums

This is another not-so-obvious option for gathering the vehicle details. If you have a specific request regarding a particular make, model, year, and car configuration, as well as its specifications, fuel efficiency, etc., you may ask other experienced car enthusiasts for the information you’re interested in. As a rule, large communities of motorists will lend you a hand and explain everything in detail.

It’s important to note that some sources of information may not be completely accurate. That’s why it’s always a good idea to double-check any information gathered from alternative sources. Additionally, some methods of verifying car information without a VIN may not be legal in all jurisdictions. To avoid problems, ensure that you are following all applicable laws and regulations.

In Conclusion

While checking car information without a VIN is a challenging task, there are several alternative methods that you can use to gather important information about a vehicle. By following the reviewed recommendations and tips, it’s possible to get the basic vehicle details, such as its make, model, and year, even without the VIN.