What ClearVin’s Auction Data Means to You


Nothing is more important than receiving the clearest and most up-to-date information available when purchasing a vehicle history report. But while most companies will give you the basics of a vehicle’s history, ClearVin.com goes above and beyond to provide information that many other reports just don’t have.

ClearVin is proud to provide information not only from The National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS), but we also provide information from NADA, NVS, and the NHTSA. And that’s not all; we have relationships with hundreds of the largest salvage and insurance auction yards across the U.S., which allows us access information that many other vehicle history reports just don’t have.

When a car is run through any of these auctions, both domestically and internationally, we are able to tell you when it went up for auction and how many times it was placed on the auction block. This information can help you determine the demand for the vehicle. At least equally as important, we provide up to ten photos of the car as it entered each auction. This really gives you a visual history of the car. This valuable information simply isn’t available in history reports from many other sources.

Why trust anybody else, when you can get more information for one of the most competitive prices in the industry? ClearVin is not only your greatest resource, but also your greatest value when you’re researching your next used car. Purchase your report at ClearVin.com.


What a “Salvage” Title Means

ClearVin reports list a comprehensive title history on every report. A salvage title is usually given to a vehicle following an event that leaves it with significant damage. When an insurance company determines that the cost to repair a vehicle is greater than the cost to replace it, the vehicle receives a salvage title. Insurance companies estimate the costs of labor and parts at their contracted repair shops, which can be quite high.

Some vehicles with salvage titles have never even been in an accident! Similar to the approach with damaged vehicles, insurance companies write a check for owners of stolen vehicles. Since these cars are written off for the total cost of the vehicle, they are typically found among damaged vehicles at the same auction yards. Because a salvage title can be issued to a vehicle with easily repairable problems or no damage whatsoever, the low cost of the salvaged motorcycle or car is appealing to some hobbyists and investors.

In the US, motorcycles and cars which carry a salvage title may not be registered and driven on public roads in most states, which impacts resale value. Rebranding of the title is not permitted without having an inspection to verify that they meet all safety standards.

The Kelley Blue Book automatically rates any salvage vehicle as “poor” and does not value it at all. The value of a vehicle with a salvage title is generally 25-35% of the value of the same vehicle with a “clean” title. If the vehicle is rebuilt to a road worthy condition and has passed State inspection, the value is generally 60-70% of the value of the same vehicle with a “clean” title. These cars have “rebuild” or “rebuild salvage” annotation in the title and can be registered and operated just like a new car.

Vehicles with salvage titles are frequently listed in auctions because they can be bought at very low prices. But with a little work to be roadworthy, these cars become worth a lot more, giving the owners a great car at a low price or something to sell at a good profit.

Decoding Your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

Investing in a used vehicle can be a prudent option, if you’re working on a tight budget or don’t want to shell out a considerable amount of money purchasing a new car. Knowing the vehicle history can help you arrive at answers about the used car’s past and is one of the steps you must take before putting your money down. At ClearVIN, we provide instant car VIN history reports to help analyze important info about the vehicle of your choice. However, a vehicle’s VIN can be a complex maze of characters if you don’t know what each character means. To help clear the haze, we in this post discuss a framework that you can use to decode your car’s VIN. Take a look.

Decoding VIN Number

Where to Find Your Car’s VIN
Vehicle identification numbers have been in existence since 1954, however, an international system came into existence in 1981. You can find your car’s VIN on important documents such as the vehicle registration, and insurance policy. The VIN also appears on the car’s body including the driver’s side dashboard, and on the driver’s side.

What’s in a VIN?
VIN, or vehicle identification number, is a combination of 17 characters that can be divided into three groups- World Manufacturer Identifier, Vehicle Descriptor Section, and Vehicle Identifier Section.

World Manufacturer Identifier

The first Number or the Letter
The first number or letter tells about the geographical location where the vehicle was manufactured. The first position of the vehicle’s VIN contains the following numbers or letters:

  • A, B, C, D, E, F, G, and H for cars manufactured in Africa.
  • J, K, L, M, N, P, and R for cars manufactured in Asia.
  • S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, and Z signify that the car was manufactured in a European country.
  • Numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 are provided to cars made in North America.
  • Numbers 6 and 7 signify the car was made in Oceania .
  • Numbers 8 and 9 are given to cars manufactured in South America.

The Second Letter or Number
The second character along with the first letter or number tells about the country where the vehicle was manufactured, which can be different from where the company is located.

The Third Number or Letter
The third number or digit signifies the type of vehicle. Car makers use different codes to and you can visit the manufacturer’s website to learn more about these codes.

Vehicle Descriptor Section
Numbers 4-8
Numbers from 4-8 provide useful info about the vehicle such as the body style, engine, and model. You can visit the manufacturer’s website to learn more about the code that they use.

The Ninth Number
In most cases, the ninth number doesn’t reveal anything about the car and is used by most companies as a check digit to ensure the VIN is correct. You, too, can find the authenticity of your car’s VIN by multiplying all the numbers, (excluding the ninth number) and the alphabets, (their position in English alphabet signifying their number,for example, A will be 1) and dividing it by 11. The remainder must be the check digit.

Vehicle Identifier
The Tenth Number
The tenth number tells about the vehicle’s model year. Decoding instructions to learn more about the vehicle’s model year are as follows:

  • Letters A to H signify the vehicle was manufactured anywhere between 1980-1987 or 2010-2017 with each alphabet corresponding to the year (For example, letter B signifies the vehicle was manufactured in 1981 or 2011).
  • Letter J to N are for vehicles made between 1988-1992 or 2018-2022.
  • P signifies the vehicle was manufactured in 1993 or 2023.
  • Letters R-T signify the vehicle was made between 1994 – 1996 or 2024 – 2026.
  • Letters V-Y are for vehicles manufactured between 1997 – 2000 or 2027 – 2030.
  • Numbers 1-9 signify the vehicle was manufactured between 2001-2009 or 2031-2039.

Remaining Numbers (11-17)
Number 11 through 17 provide additional info about the vehicle such as the assembly plant’s name, production sequence number, and extra options added. Visit the manufacturer’s website to learn more about the codes they use and get all the related info.

Final few Words
You can unearth important info about a repossessed or salvage car by studying its VIN. It helps in avoiding fraud and any resultant losses. At ClearVin, we extract data from reliable sources such as The National Motor Vehicle Title Information System to provide accurate info to our customers. We provide instant reports and can help you save time while looking up a car by VIN. To learn more, fill out our contact form, and we’ll get back to assist you.