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5 VIN Check Decoders to Find Out Your Used Car's History in Europe

Find out your used car's history with the help of these 5 VIN decoders. VIN decoders allow you to get a vehicle history report to avoid buying or selling cars with accident history, mileage fraud, or hidden damages.

a woman smiling behind the wheel of a used car

VIN number check tools are the best way to minimize the risks that come with buying a used car online. And we're here to tell you all about it!

One of the most important things when buying a car online is being able to check a used car's history. After all, you probably don't want to buy a car that's been in a major accident or has mileage fraud. But how can you find that out? With the help of VIN number decoders.

But before we jump into the five best VIN decoders, what the heck is VIN anyway?

How to decode VIN numbers?

VIN is short for Vehicle Identification Number. You can think of it as your car's fingerprint. It is a unique combination of 17 characters that tells the story of a car - which manufacturer it comes from, the model, body style, engine type, etc. No two cars will have the same VIN.

Here is a complete breakdown of a VIN number:

eCarsTrade infographic showing the meaning of a VIN number

VIN is a complete and comprehensive identification of your vehicle and its history. Everything that has ever happened to a vehicle, like accidents, insurance claims, or even thefts, will be recorded through the car’s VIN.

Where can you find the VIN number?

These are the two most common places:

  • In front of the driver, where the window and the dashboard meet
  • Inside the driver’s door, where it latches when it’s closed 
eCarsTrade graphic showing where you can find a VIN number on a car
If you are purchasing a car via eCarsTrade, we clearly display the VIN numbers in our detailed appraisal reports available for each car listing. Just navigate to any of our cars, (make sure you’re registered first!) and find the appraisal report under the “Documents” section of the listing.

So now you know what the VIN number is and you know where to find it. What exactly do you do with it?

Here’s where it gets interesting. You can put it through one of the VIN number checkers and find out your desired used car’s history. This is especially important for car traders who buy multiple vehicles all at once and don’t have the time to examine each one carefully. VIN decoders will quickly be able to tell you all you need to know about a car’s history.

Here’s a quick rundown of the 5 best VIN number checkers you can use to find out your car’s history:

5 Best VIN Check Decoders for Europe in 2024

1. carVertical

2. Carfax

3. autoDNA

4. Vincario

5. Cebia

1. CarVertical

CarVertical is all about data. Their website states that “car history reports are based on data from 900+ international databases belonging to national car registries, insurance companies, law enforcement agencies, official garages, and other institutions.” Carvertical reports show if your car has been involved in any accidents, if it’s been stolen or if its mileage has been faked.

CarVertical also provides the world’s first blockchain-based car reports. What does this mean? It means the information you get has not been manipulated in any way. The reports won’t just tell you what’s wrong with the car but also will give you general advice on when to perform the next maintenance, common faults of that particular car model, average market price, and archive photos.

Price: The price for one report is 23.99€. Two reports are priced at 29.98€, and three at 35.97€.
homepage overview of car history website Carvertical


2. Carfax

Carfax is considered the most trusted provider of vehicle reports, as it’s been on the market for over 30 years. Carfax gets its data from over 100 thousand sources like “international data sources, such as governments, insurance companies, and automobile manufacturers.”

Carfax is famous for its detailed car history reports which include number of owners, odometer manipulation, vehicle age, detailed damage reports, etc. Carfax also gives you access to a cross-border car history database. One important thing to note - the database can’t provide information on cars that have never left Germany. “In Germany, the vehicle identification number has been declared personal data according to §38ff and §45 of the German Road Traffic Act”.

Price: The price for one report is 39.99€. Three reports are priced at 49.99€, and five at 74.99€.

3. autoDNA

autoDNA partners with Autocheck to provide car history reports on vehicles in Europe, Canada, and the US. autoDNA has one of the largest used car databases in the world, boasting a whopping 4 trillion records. It makes complete sense since autoDNA has been in business since 2010. Its website has many useful features to help you check your vehicle history.

Through the platform, you can get information about the full vehicle history, odometer manipulation, accident reports, archive photos, whether the vehicle has been used as a taxi, etc.

Price: The price for reports starts from 19,90€.

4. Vincario

VIN Decoder by Vincario is a VIN decoder that is especially useful for car traders and automotive professionals who deal with hundreds or thousands of cars on a monthly or yearly basis. You can look up a certain number of VIN reports for free, which gives you access to limited information such as make, model, and engine type.

By registering, you can access advanced features such as information from stolen databases, VIN API, and search history. What’s really interesting about Vindecoder is the number of reports you can get for free, unlike other VIN decoding services we already discussed. All the different packages on offer give you a massive number of reports. The Enterprise package is super valuable for automotive professionals who deal with large quantities of vehicles.

Price: First 20 reports are free. For 200 reports, the price is 54€. A thousand reports will run for 220€, and there is a custom package too. To learn more about the pricing for the Enterprise package, you’ll have to contact customer support.

5. Cebia

Based in Prague, this Czech VIN number decoder serves 20 European countries. Still, it will probably be the most useful if you are looking at a car registered in the Czech Republic or Slovakia. Why? Because Cebia reports are created through a symbiosis with the largest Czech advertising site sauto.cz.

This collaboration allows Sauto’s users to add a Cebia report directly to their vehicle ads. These things are included in the minimum report - brand and model, historical records, theft and lease records (only for the Czech Republic and Slovakia), condition, and vehicle valuation. You will need to upgrade to the more expensive, fuller report for detailed vehicle information and mileage data.

Price: Prices start at 199 CZK (around 8.4€).

Start decoding VIN numbers

If you’re reading this, you probably work in the car reselling industry or are an automotive professional. Here at eCarsTrade, we provide a full service history and any potential damages are clearly indicated in the appraisal reports as well as in the photos. However, if you’re buying from a different source, A VIN decoder will be essential to your business. After all, you need to know everything there is to know about the car you are buying, especially if you are doing it online without checking the vehicle in person. We also wrote a guide on how to evaluate a car online, so be sure to check that one out too!

A good online VIN decoder will make all the difference for you and your customers. With the right decoder, you will be able to find out every big and small piece of information about a vehicle, driving customer trust and long-term growth to your business.

eCarsTrade offers online auto auctions of ex-lease vehicles from Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Germany, with a complete maintenance history. We guarantee the quality of our vehicles, and a fast, simple and transparent purchasing process with fixed commission costs. We work with both European and international used car dealers and traders. Our dedicated managers are always here to help you with any questions!

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