Q:

How do you use a VIN to check a car's options?

A:

Quick Answer

A Vehicle Identification Number can be typed into an online decoder or shared with a dealership to reveal all the available options the vehicle was manufactured with. The VIN houses manufacturing, car maker and location information for each individual vehicle.

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Full Answer

Every VIN is unique. The VIN is comprised of 17 numbers and letters that an auto manufacturer assigns to it.

  1. Using a VIN decoder
  2. There are online VIN decoders that connect to database containing auto marker information specifications. A VIN decoder is a useful and sometimes free tool that can create a spreadsheet containing information, such as the type of the vehicle, what gas is required, size of the engine and fuel consumption. To use the VIN decoder correctly, input all 17 characters, without spaces, into the search engine. A downside to using a VIN decoder is that the information may not be updated and can be outright wrong.
  3. Contacting a dealership
  4. Sometimes specific vehicle information cannot be sought using a VIN decoder. As such, contacting a dealership directly often yields better results. The manufacturer or dealership has access to the vehicle's build record. This includes all the extra details, such as the style or trim of a vehicle, that a VIN record will not.
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