With over 20 years under the hood, I know how crucial thorough VIN checks are when buying used cars in Delaware. As a lifelong gearhead and former auto mechanic, I’ve decoded thousands of VINs to uncover key details about a vehicle’s past.
In this guide, I’ll share my insider knowledge on how to perform Delaware VIN Check the right way. You’ll learn where to find the VIN, what Delaware VIN reports reveal, and how to use free and paid VIN lookup tools to access comprehensive histories. I’ll also provide tips to avoid odometer rollbacks, title washing, and other used car scams.
Whether you’re a first-time car buyer or an experienced gearhead, this info will help you make the smartest purchase decision and find a quality used vehicle in Delaware. So grab your flashlight and let’s inspect some VINs!
What is a VIN Number?
VIN stands for Vehicle Identification Number. The VIN is a unique 17-character code given to each vehicle by the manufacturer. It allows for easy identification of a specific car. The VIN can be found in several locations on the vehicle, including:
- On the driver’s side of the dashboard visible through the windshield
- Inside the driver’s door jamb
- On the vehicle registration and title documents
- In the owner’s manual
This number contains key details about the vehicle, such as:
- Year, make and model
- Engine size
- Country of origin
How To Find The VIN
The VIN can be found in several locations on a vehicle:
- On the driver’s side dashboard visible through the windshield
- Inside the driver’s door jamb
- On vehicle registration and title paperwork
- In the owner’s manual
What a VIN Report Shows
A comprehensive VIN report provides a wealth of details about a vehicle’s history and specifications sourced from various authoritative outlets. This includes:
- Title History
- Ownership records
- Accident information
- Odometer readings
- Manufacturer recalls
- Registration/insurance data
- Stolen vehicle records
These insights help assess a vehicle’s condition and determine if it’s a wise purchase.
Free vs Paid VIN Reports
Free VIN checks from sources like the DMV provide very limited information such as make, model, and registration status. For complete vehicle history details, opt for a full paid VIN report from a reputable provider. The cost is minimal and won’t break the bank, it is also worthwhile for the peace of mind gained from having complete insights into a used vehicle’s past.
How is the VIN Used in Delaware?
In Delaware, the VIN serves several important purposes:
The DMV uses the VIN to register and title vehicles in the state. It’s required on all registration paperwork.
Insurance companies rely on the VIN to identify the exact vehicle to insure.
Manufacturers issue safety recalls by VIN when defects are discovered.
Stolen Vehicle Tracking
Law enforcement uses the VIN to identify stolen or missing vehicles.
The VIN provides a way to track the full ownership history of a vehicle.
Why Should I Do a VIN Check in Delaware?
Running a VIN check is highly recommended when buying a used car in Delaware. Here are some key reasons why:
A VIN check verifies there are no undisclosed liens or title issues that could cause problems down the road.
The report provides key details on accident history, flood damage, salvage title branding, and other events that may affect the vehicle’s condition.
VIN checks help detect rolled-back odometers, VIN cloning, and other types of seller fraud.
Check for Recalls
Open safety recalls associated with the VIN will be shown on the report. This identifies issues that should be fixed by the manufacturer.
Knowing the full history informs negotiations and ensures you don’t overpay for a vehicle with a troubled past.
Checking multiple VINs makes it easy to compare the histories of different vehicles you’re considering.
How to Do a Free VIN Check in Delaware
The Delaware DMV offers limited VIN checks at no cost to determine:
- Registration status
- Registration expiration date
- Vehicle year, make and model
To perform a free VIN search:
- Go to the Delaware DMV website
- Locate the online VIN check tool
- Enter the 17-digit VIN
- Hit “Search”
However, free VIN checks provide very limited information and many can take a long time to be delivered. For full vehicle history details, opt for a paid VIN check from a reputable VIN lookup carfax alternative like our service at Mechanic Answer.
Checking a Car’s VIN in Delaware: Step-by-Step
Here are the simple steps for obtaining a thorough VIN report before purchasing a used vehicle:
1. Locate the Full 17-Digit VIN
First, find the complete VIN on the vehicle itself and confirm it matches the VIN on the title.
2. Select a Trusted VIN Report Service
Do research to pick a service with a solid reputation for thorough, accurate reports.
3. Input the VIN
On the provider’s website, enter the full 17-digit VIN into the search bar.
4. Pay the Report Fee
Expect to pay a small fee for a comprehensive report from a leading provider.
5. Review the VIN Report
Carefully read through the full vehicle history before proceeding with a purchase.
6. Make an Informed Decision
Use the VIN information to determine if the vehicle is a smart and safe buy.
VIN Inspections in Delaware
In Delaware, VIN inspections are required to register out-of-state vehicles. A certified inspector will:
- Confirm the VIN on the vehicle matches the paperwork
- Check for VIN tampering or alterations
- Verify odometer readings
Fees are typically $30-50 for this inspection. Make an appointment in advance.
Where to Get a VIN Inspection in Delaware:
- Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles
- Authorized Inspection Stations
- Delaware State Police Troops
Bring your title paperwork, registration, and proof of insurance when going for your VIN inspection.
Decode a VIN with NHTSA’s VIN Decoder
The NHTSA provides a free online VIN decoder tool allowing you to unlock data encoded in each VIN. By entering a VIN, you can find out:
- Year, make, and model
- Engine type
- Country of assembly
- Safety features
This provides valuable specs and is useful for identifying if a VIN matches the vehicle it’s attached to.
However, NHTSA’s tool doesn’t include full ownership history details needed to make a pre-purchase decision.
Delaware DMV VIN Check
The Delaware DMV offers limited VIN checks on their website to verify:
- Vehicle year, make, model
- Title, brand and lien information
- Registration status and history
While useful, these basic checks lack comprehensive details only found in paid VIN reports from leading providers. Those include accident history, odometer verification, and recall status.
Check a Delaware VIN Number for Free Online
You can perform free Delaware VIN lookups through:
- The Delaware DMV Website
- The NHTSA Website
- The FMCSA Website (for commercial vehicles)
However, free VIN searches provide very limited data. Paid services offer complete reports sourced from many additional outlets.
Before buying any used vehicle, it’s wise to invest in a full VIN check from a reputable provider. The fee is worthwhile for the peace of mind it brings.
Buying a Car from Out of State? Get a VIN Check First
If purchasing a vehicle from outside of Delaware, it’s equally important to run a VIN search on that vehicle before buying.
Cross-state tools access national databases to compile full reports. Follow the same steps to enter the VIN and obtain the vehicle history report.
Review the information carefully to detect any issues present in the car’s past, regardless of state origin.
Beware of VIN Cloning
VIN cloning is an illegal activity where a stolen vehicle is given a new VIN from a similar make and model. This makes the stolen car appear legitimate.
Conducting a VIN search helps uncover this type of fraud by cross-checking identifying numbers against vehicle records. If any data seems off, that’s a red flag of VIN tampering.
Protect Yourself with a Pre-Purchase VIN Check
Used car buyers in Delaware can protect themselves by:
- Finding the full 17-digit VIN before purchase
- Running a VIN search through a reputable paid service
- Reviewing the entire detailed vehicle history report
- Using the VIN information to negotiate price and make an informed buying decision
A few minutes and dollars spent upfront could end up saving you thousands down the road. Don’t skip this vital step before purchasing any used vehicle!
Why We Are The Best VIN Lookup Service Online
At Mechanic Answer, we offer the most thorough and user-friendly VIN lookup service online. Here’s why we stand out:
- Instant and affordable reports for an affordable fee
- Reports sourced from over 6 billion historical records
- Clear, easy-to-understand report format
- Accident history and damage indicators
- Extensive title and ownership information
- Access on any device – computer, tablet or phone
- Encrypted checkout and data security measures
- Customer support 7 days a week
We make VIN checks fast, simple and worry-free. Try us out before your next used car purchase!
Performing a Delaware VIN check provides invaluable insights into a vehicle’s past and can help detect issues ranging from odometer fraud to flood damage. Take the time to obtain a thorough VIN history report from a trusted source before committing to any used car purchase in Delaware or beyond. Being informed is the best way to find a quality pre-owned vehicle that will serve you well for many years to come.
Delaware VIN Checks Frequently Asked Questions
Wondering where to get a VIN inspection or how much it costs in Delaware? Here are answers to common questions about Delaware’s vehicle inspection requirements.
Where can I get a VIN inspection in Delaware?
There are three main options for obtaining a VIN inspection in Delaware:
Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles locations
Authorized vehicle inspection stations
Delaware State Police troops
Call ahead for an appointment. Be sure to bring your title paperwork, registration, and proof of insurance.
Does Delaware require a VIN inspection?
Yes, the state of Delaware requires a VIN inspection when registering an out-of-state used vehicle. VIN inspections verify the VIN number on the vehicle matches the vehicle paperwork and check for signs of VIN tampering.
What do they check for car inspection in Delaware?
The VIN inspection verifies the vehicle VIN number matches the paperwork. Inspectors also check for:
Alterations or tampering with the VIN
Odometer fraud or discrepancies
Stolen vehicle records
Flood damage, salvage, or other title brands
A passed inspection means the VIN and title show no issues.
How much does it cost to get your car inspected in Delaware?
The standard fee for a VIN inspection in Delaware is around $30-$50. Additional fees may apply for emissions testing. VIN inspection fees are paid to the Delaware DMV and must be completed before vehicle registration.
How old does a car have to be to not need inspection in Delaware?
In Delaware, new vehicles less than 7 years old weighing 10,000 lbs or less that are being registered in the state for the first time may only need a basic VIN verification and are exempt from the full VIN inspection. However, used vehicles from 7-15 years old that are new to Delaware still require the full VIN inspection.