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What Is the Right Trailer VIN Decoding Solution for Your Business?


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!

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Topics: VIN, Trailers


The Auto Insurer’s Guide to Effectively Leveraging VIN Decoding Solutions


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.

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Topics: Insurance, VIN


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 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


What's in the Vehicle Identification Number?


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.

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Topics: VIN


How to Increase Fleet Management Efficiency with VIN Decoding


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:

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Topics: VIN, Fleet Management


5 Reasons Why a Basic VIN Decoder Won't Cut It for Your Auto Service Business


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.  

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Topics: VIN, Parts & Services, 3rd Party Mapping


8 Reasons Why Your VIN Won't Decode [w/ Infographic]


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.

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Topics: Automotive Data, VIN


5 Advantages of VIN Lookup Over Year Make Model Search


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.   

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Topics: Vehicle, VIN, Vehicle Equipment


VIN Decoding "Off-Road" Vehicles


This post has been republished with updates since its original publish date in April 2012

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Topics: Auto Portals, Automotive Data, Vehicle, VIN, Powersports


The Pros and Cons of a Single-Trim Vehicle Strategy


If you've seen Scion's latest ad campaign for the iA and iM featuring James Franco, Jaleel White and Car Dealership Tubeman, then you may have noticed that they are really pushing their business model of a single-trim approach. The campaign's tagline states, "standard features that actually come standard." With Scion, there is no such thing as à la carte -- except for a few accessory add-ons -- and it's been that way since they started in 2003. 

Why is it that just Scion limits all of their vehicle models to a single trim and standard equipment? Could this strategy work for other manufacturers (OEMs)?

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Topics: VIN, Vehicle Equipment