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How to Get a Free VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) Check Before Buying a Used Car

Written by Kritika

Every vehicle has its own VIN and researching this number can tell you a lot about the car including – including the car’s registration(s) by state, type of title and whether anyone’s made an insurance claim on the vehicle following an accident.

What is VIN?

The vehicle identification number, popularly known as car VIN number is made up of 17 characters (digits and capital letters) and acts as a unique identification for each vehicle. It is currently the manufacturer’s responsibility to assign a unique VIN number during production. The VIN consists of both capital letters and numbers, except for the letters “I”, “O”, and “Q”, since these letters could be confused with zero and one.

Where can I find the VIN?

You can find the car VIN number below the front windshield, on the dashboard on the driver’s side. You can also find the VIN on the driver’s side door pillar and on the vehicle registration card. Please make sure to check the car VIN number to ensure there is no printing mistake.

The 10th digit in the VIN is the vehicle’s model year. However, it is not necessary that is the year that the vehicle was built. It is common for manufacturers to start building model years towards the end of the previous year. Apart from the other letters that are not included in the VIN, the number zero and the letters ‘U’ and ‘Z’ are not included in the VIN number.

3 ways to get a free VIN number check before buying a used car

You can get a free VIN number check in three ways at – National Insurance Crime Bureau, VehicleHistory.com, and iSeeCars.com

National Insurance Crime Bureau

It is really simple for VIN number check UAE through National Insurance Crime Bureau. The site can tell you if your vehicle has been – reported, lost, or stolen; salvaged; or declared as total loss following an accident. Visit the website – https://www.nicb.org/vincheck

This is the easiest and free of cost VIN number check in the UAE. You just have to keep in mind that the website is limited to 5 searches within a 24 hour period per IP address.

To get your report, visit the website and enter your car’s VIN number under “Look Up a VIN.” Once you agree to the terms and conditions and verify that you aren’t a robot, you can click “Search VIN.”

Vehicle History

For comprehensive VIN number check visit www.vehiclehistory.com that provides free VIN car check and other data like – fuel economy, cost to own, and price analysis.

Other things you’ll get in this free VIN lookup include:

  • Selling history
  • Current recall information
  • Detailed list of the expiration of manufacturer warranties
  • Price predictions about the best time to buy a particular make and model

To get your free VIN report through VehicleHistory, enter your car’s VIN number under the “Research” tab on the homepage. Then, click “View Report.”


iSeeCars offers another free portal where you can get free VIN number check. Your free car history report from iSeeCars includes the following –

  • Price analysis
  • Price history
  • Projected depreciation
  • Best time to buy and sell

How to decode your car VIN number?

If you don’t know the details, then the car VIN number will just look like a string of characters to you. It comes in two lengths – 17 characters or 11 characters. Every car that is on the road has its own VIN number. Here’s how you can decode it –

  • The first character of your VIN indicates the country of origin
  • The second and third characters tell you the manufacturer and division
  • The fourth through eighth characters indicate vehicle description, safety and type of engine
  • The ninth character is the manufacturer’s security code
  • The 10th character tells you the vehicle’s model year
  • The 11th character is the assembly plant identifier
  • Characters 12 through 17 are the plant sequential number/vehicle serial number

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. What is the VIN number used for?

It is the unique identification number of each car that holds the entire history of the car.

  1. How much does a vehicle status certificate cost in Dubai?

You can acquire the Vehicle status certificate from the official RTA website at a cost of AED 100. 

  1. How can I check my imported car history in the UAE?

If you have an imported car in the UAE and want to check its history, then you can do so through Emirates Vehicle Gate (EVG). Visit this link, enter your chassis number, and then click on search. 

Author Bio

Kritika Manchanda is a content writer with BuyAnyInsurance. She has more than a decade of experience of churning out SEO friendly content. When she is not writing, she is either reading, or making travel plans.

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    Originally published Nov 23, 2022 14:21:35 PM, updated Jun 05, 2024

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