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VIN Decoding 101: Everything You Wanted to Know About VINs


This post has been republished with updates since its original publish date of November 2011

As you might expect we get a lot of questions about VINs.  There is a lot of confusion about what a VIN is, how is it used, what information is captured within it and what is not.  In this series we hope to provide a good resource that you can use to educate yourself on Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINs) and VIN Decoding.  The articles will progressively build from very basic and general information about VINs to more detailed and specific aspects of using them and vehicle data in business and technical settings.  We hope you find them useful.

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Topics: Vehicle


10 "How to" Fleet Management Tips from the Fleet Solutions Experts


This post has been republished with fully updated content since its original publish date in Nov 2015

Managing a fleet, big or small, is not an easy task. There are several items to account for and challenges to overcome in order to run a successful fleet. Some of these include saving money on fuel, ensuring the safety and job satisfaction of your drivers, keeping up with vehicle maintenance and repairs, etc. 

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Topics: Logistics, Fuel Economy, Fleet Management


10 Popular Questions About EVs


As electric vehicles (EVs) continue to be one of the hot topics for discussion in the auto industry, and more consumers consider making the switch from their traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, there are many questions that come along with EVs. Many of these questions are related to battery range and life expectancy, as well as charging infrastructure and the purchasing or leasing of EVs.

Though we were able to find many helpful resources that provide some great information on the questions included in this article, getting definitive answers has proven to be quite challenging, especially for some of the most pressing questions. In fact, researching answers to these questions has raised even more questions, which we will likely address in other articles. While we don’t have all the answers, we hope this article will help educate consumers, as well as other businesses in the industry looking to gain some EV knowledge.

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Topics: Electric Vehicles


Right to Repair: Whose Car is it Anyway?


“Right to Repair” is a general term for legislation that permits buyers to repair and modify their purchases, from electronic devices, such as smart phones and computers, to motorized vehicles, including cars and tractors.

In the automotive industry, Massachusetts was the first state to pass a law (in 2012) requiring OEMs to provide the necessary documents and information to allow anyone to safely repair their vehicles. As a result of the law, vehicle owners and independent repair facilities have access to the same diagnostic and repair information, through an on-board diagnostics port (OBD2), that automakers typically made available only to certified service centers.

However, there is one exception to the rule: wireless telematics systems.

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Topics: Parts & Services


7 Factors Supporting the Rise of Electric Vehicles


A couple of years ago, we wrote an article about the extinction of internal combustion engines and the rise of electric vehicles. However, there were several roadblocks that were slowing down the speed of adoption, including high battery costs, the lack of infrastructure, and the desire for bigger vehicles that didn’t offer electric alternatives at the time.

As the auto industry adjusts to business post-pandemic, it appears that electric vehicles are picking up pace again with increasingly more OEMs offering electrified options in their model lineups. The current White House administration has urged OEMs to increase the production of electric vehicles to the point where they will make up more than 50% of new vehicle sales by 2030, according to MarketWatch. In this article, we thought it would be helpful to highlight some of the prominent factors that are supporting the current rise of electric vehicles.

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Topics: Electric Vehicles


6 Tips for Combatting Digital Retailing Hurdles (Roundup)


Digital retailing has been a hot topic in the auto industry for quite some time now, especially during the height of the pandemic where many dealers were nudged to move vehicle sales online. I had written a roundup (view here) a little over a year ago about how to improve the car buying experience in a changing economy, which was largely centered around the idea of consumers looking for an end-to-end digital buying experience.

While the world seems to be getting back to normal, or a “new normal,” digital retailing is here to stay. And though the majority of vehicle purchases still involve a trip to the dealership for several steps in the buying process, 86% of shoppers (according to a recent Cox Automotive study) still want the save time spent at the dealership with the ability to complete as many steps online as they desire.

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Topics: Dealers, Digital Retailing


RV VIN Decoding: Why is it So Challenging?


Having trouble decoding Recreational Vehicle (RV) VINs, or not obtaining as much information from the VIN as you’d hoped? You are not alone. RV VINs, particularly for motorhomes, are some of the most challenging to decode.

There are a few prominent reasons why RV VINs are more challenging to decode than a standard vehicle VIN, including the way they are built, the level of customization, and the lack of VIN standardization (for motorhomes).

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Topics: VIN


VIN Data vs. Vehicle Parts Fitment Data: What’s the Difference?


Identifying the correct vehicle details and part fitment data by VIN is valuable for many repair shops, parts suppliers, and any other business dealing with the maintenance and service of vehicles. However, VIN data and part fitment data are quite different and therefore not commonly sourced and licensed under the same roof.

Typically, a VIN database and parts fitment catalog will need to be licensed separately and associated or mapped to each other, in order to identify parts for a specific vehicle by VIN. In this article, we cover what to expect from each database as well as how your business may go about identifying vehicle parts by VIN in the most efficient manner.

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Topics: VIN, Parts & Services


6 Businesses That Benefit from Identifying Vehicle Specs by VIN


In a previous article, we discussed how businesses can leverage a commercial VIN decoding solution to identify vehicle specs by VIN, as well as which specs are often included. In this article, we are going to dive into which businesses benefit from this functionality. The short answer is just about any industry that has anything to do with vehicles, their maintenance, financing, insurance, or transportation. Here’s a deeper dive into some of the most popular use cases for vehicle specs identification by VIN:

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Topics: Logistics, VIN, Parts & Services, Insurance, Vehicle Equipment, Dealers, Fleet Management, Risk Management


How to Quickly and Accurately Identify Vehicle Specs by VIN Decoding


This post has been republished with updates since its original publish date in July 2013

Quick access to complete and accurate vehicle specifications is necessary for many businesses in the automotive and allied industries. Firstly, I want to clarify that “vehicle specifications” can fit into more than one category. Some businesses may be looking to identify “construction” vehicle specs such as weights, dimensions, capacities, etc., while other businesses may be looking for “operation” and/or “performance” vehicle specs, including engine and transmission, standard and optional equipment, fuel economy, exterior, and interior colors, etc.

Regardless of which vehicle specs your business is looking to identify, scanning through OEM websites, vehicle manuals, or even your own internal management system/DMS often involves more effort than time allows. This is where VIN decoding comes in handy. Identifying vehicle specs by VIN number with the use of a VIN decoding solution is ideal for businesses working with several vehicle makes and models.

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Topics: Logistics, VIN, Parts & Services, Vehicle Equipment