Aside from the obvious difference, one is free and one costs money, there is often confusion around how free VIN decoder services vs. paid VIN decoding solutions differ and why one might pay a premium. Each business has different vehicle data and VIN decoding needs, and while a free VIN decoder might do the trick for some businesses, others may have a need for a more comprehensive VIN decoding solution.Read More
Feb 27 2019
Nov 13 2018
In comparison to passenger vehicles with currently 40 manufacturers, trailers are made by hundreds of manufacturers in North America and each has numerous configurations. Commercial VIN decoding solutions for trailers are rare because of the effort required to obtain this data as well as the differences in how the VIN is used. However, they do exist!Read More
Jun 21 2018
In an industry based on accurately assessing and rating risk to maximize profitability, it’s essential that insurance carriers are able to correctly identify each vehicle they insure. This can be a challenging task to accomplish without leveraging a comprehensive vehicle data solution, especially as vehicles continue to advance.Read More
Jan 4 2018
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 use of a VIN decoding solution is ideal for businesses working with several vehicle makes and models.Read More
Apr 1 2016
VIN Decoding 101: Part 2 - What's in the VIN?
This post has been republished with updates since its original publish date in November 2011
As we discussed in the preceding article, What is a VIN, there are two ISO documents that established the 17 digit VIN standard and the WMI section of the VIN. However, these documents were only recommendations. The VIN standard created by the NHTSA and enforced starting with the model year (MY) 1981, was required of all vehicles manufactured for use in the US and was much more stringent in its requirements.Read More
Mar 18 2016
In a previous blog article, we highlighted a few ways in which a VIN decoder can add value to fleet management software. So, we thought it'd be helpful to have a fleet management software provider offer further insight on the subject.
In this guest post, Lori Higdon from Fleetio has taken a deeper dive into how VIN decoding can increase the efficiency of fleet management. Without further ado:Read More
Mar 7 2016
Every vehicle service business needs a VIN decoding solution. Whether you are a dealer service department, independent garage, or auto body shop, the ability to identify vehicle details, specs, and compatible parts is necessary for an effective and efficient business. There are several VIN decoders to choose from, however, some are far more basic than others.
Though it may be tempting to choose the less expensive, or free, VIN decoding option, keep in mind that there may be a reason why it's so inexpensive. In this article, we've highlighted five reasons why a basic VIN decoder simply will not cut it for your auto service business and will leave you needing more.Read More
Feb 26 2016
This post has been republished with updates since its original publish date in March 2012
You've tried to decode a VIN, or a handful of VINs, but for whatever reason you keep getting an invalid VIN message. This can be extremely frustrating, especially if you have no idea what might be causing the failed decode(s). There are quite a few reasons why a VIN won't decode.
If you're having trouble decoding vehicles in your inventory, consider this list of errors and challenges commonly faced when working with Vehicle Identification Numbers.Read More
Jan 27 2016
VIN lookup and Year Make Model (YMM) search are both valuable tools for the auto industry. There's a good chance you are already using these search tools internally for business processes, externally for consumers, or even for both purposes.
Though YMM is a great way to conduct a vehicle search --especially if the VIN is not available-- there is much more room for imprecise vehicle details without VIN lookup. And in some cases, YMM search simply cannot give you or your consumers the information needed.
In this article, we've highlighted five advantages VIN lookup offers over YMM search.Read More
Jan 22 2016