What Your VIN Number Won’t Tell You

Although a car’s VIN number can tell you a lot of things, it doesn’t tell you everything. 

Whether you were present at the ends of the 1980s or the beginning of the 1990s, you can almost definitely think of their catchphrase “it’s inside!” No matter what the ideal ingredient was in Prego’s ads on TV, of course, the answer was, “it’s inside!”

We also approach prospective customers to decide a particular vehicle detail or attribute using only the number for vehicles (VIN). A huge range of valuable details can be given by decoding a VIN number. However, many people cannot calculate several vehicle knowledge from a simple VIN number search alone is still possible. In other words, the results are incomplete.

Below is a list of the vehicle specifics which are regularly demanded that the VIN number search can not catch or capture reliably.

1. Trim

The VIN number pattern details do not always define the car’s trim, even if a majority of VIN numbers are tailor-made. This is also valid for passenger vehicles and most generally for luxury cars. Even over most model years, the VIN number is not reliably specific for a particular commodity. VIN number is rarely unique for light-duty cars. In addition to the VIN number, you also have to gather details on the car to continuously find trimmings.

2. Transmission

Transmission in the VIN number pattern is occasionally encoded. However, VIN number will also be attached where the vehicle’s VIN number search specifies a mixture of the motor and the model (and perhaps trim), with just one transmission option. Far fewer cars with a manual transmission have been sold in recent years. This has created more and more VIN number patterns, but they are not encoded directly on the VIN number.

3. Colour

The paint color of the car will not be encoded in your VIN number search until you decode a “Model T” (P.S. The paint color is black when you decode the Model T Ford.)

4. Interior design

While some VIN number styles and trims can only be of a single hue, this is still not known by the VIN number pattern. The VIN number breakdown cannot, however, be used to classify the interior color on its own accurately.

5. Upholstery

Some VIN numbers may indirectly define the vehicle’s padding using a mold, or maybe a trim, with just one padding option. Nevertheless, the use of VIN number breakdown alone does not make the available upholstery consistent and requires more feedback.

6. Characteristics

The VIN number pattern does not explicitly capture the characteristics or basic instruments of the car. On the other hand, most VIN number decoders can provide a list of common equipment that comes with the car.

7. Equipment optional

The VIN number does not encrypt the optional equipment mounted on a car. However, most data providers may connect this information to the VIN number by referring to OEM Choice Codes (Optional Equipment Codes).

8. Weight of the curb

For vehicle transport logistics, the weight of the curb is a significant value. A curb’s simple weight may be determined when a VIN number is unique to a design or trim. However, hundreds of pounds will change the value with the optional vehicle equipment included. Therefore, the curb weight should be used as a reference point, not the actual weight of a car.

9. Big Weight Ranking Vehicle

Although the VIN number breakdown defines the Light-Duty Vehicle and MPV’s gross vehicle weight range, there are no more precise Gross Vehicle weight ratings.

10. Price

Since VIN number patterns do not recognize trimmings and optional equipment on cars, you cannot use them alone to supply an appropriate MSRP for the vehicle sold. The VIN number does not contain the vehicle’s initial purchase price as the VIN number is assigned during the production process. (Painfully clear, this may seem, but it’s an earlier question.)

The solution

Fortunately, although the VIN number itself does not show you the details listed above it does provide a good starting point for determining a car’s information. A full-service supplier of vehicle data will use their know-how and added data to tie VIN number even more information than is currently encrypted.

In addition to the VIN number, advanced VIN number decoders can accept many inputs and use the data points to improve the accuracy and depth of returned vehicle information. The production model, color, choice, and box codes are used to define all specifications of the decoded cars. This data is also available for new and licensed pre-owned vehicles in a dealer’s DMS and can be removed by decoding the VIN number from the DMS as a supplementary input.

You can run the most sophisticated vehicle decoders separately from the VIN numbers. Logic and experienced algorithms are used to accept every code and not uniform descriptors of vehicles and computers. Each vehicle configuration is then defined with all inputs and comprehensive returns unique to trim, paint, and optional installation equipment.

Louie is the father behind the travel blog He has a background in photography, E-commerce, and writing product reviews online at ConsumerReviews24. Traveling full time with his family was his ultimate past-time. If he’s not typing on his laptop, you can probably find him watching movies.


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