How to find any registration number from the VIN, for FREE

If you’ve already got the VIN for a vehicle, and you want to know the vehicle history (or anything else) you’re going to need to know the number plate (VRM) first. We’ve created this free guide to help you find out how to do it, right now, for absolutely no cost.

How to find any VIN for FREE!

At present, most vehicle checks (whether free or paid) will only provide you with the last 5 digits of the VIN. Chances are you’re going to need the whole VIN, and here’s how to get it:

  1. Check the V5C log book as this will list the VIN at the very top.
  2. Use our free service (coming soon) to look up the VIN, using the number plate (VRM) only, for example: AB51 ABC. We’ll tell you the VIN for free.
  3. Manually check the vehicle itself, it’ll be listed on the windscreen or chassis, or often in the service booklet. Anyone can view the VIN of any vehicle if they know how.

What is a “VIN” number?

It actually stands for Vehicle Identification Number, so if you’re calling it a “VIN Number” you’re effectively saying “number” twice!

Every vehicle in the UK should have a VIN number, indeed every vehicle sold anywhere in the world should have one. It’s a unique code that identifies the vehicle and, unlike a registration plate, cannot be changed.

 

Where do I find the VIN on the vehicle?

On the vehicle itself, you’ll find the VIN in a few places. Firstly, stamped onto the VIN plate, right inside the engine compartments, so lift the bonnet and start looking 🙂 .  It may be called “engine number”, “chassis number” or “identification number” and appears like the image below (look for the black or blue-back plate):

An older-style VIN plate from a motorcycle
VIN – called “chassis no.” – on a Nissan

It’ll also be stamped onto the vehicle elsewhere – possibly under the windscreen, or more likely into a door. Similar to this:

A doorstamp VIN from a BMW

 

Last but not least, the VIN should also be in the service book(s). If these are the newer digital ones then it’s harder to check them yourself, sadl, but if the vehicle you’re viewing has a physical service booklet then you should most definitely ask to see it before buying the vehicle!

Make sure to check the V5C logbook as well (as described above), you’ll find it under Section 4:

So in summary: Be sure to check ALL of these sources yourself to make sure that the VIN is the same for all of them. It sounds obvious – but too many people simply don’t bother!

 

Why would a vehicle have no VIN…?

If a vehicle has no VIN, make sure you’re not simply looking in the wrong place….! It’s quite hard to find them if you don’t know where to look.

If you still can’t find it, then it’s possible the VIN has been removed – a potential red flag. There are a few possible explanations here: Cars that have been heavily modified often will have no VIN as the modifications have overwritten or removed it, so always be prepared to ask serious questions to the seller if there is no VIN visible. If they do not offer a reasonable reason why, then walk away from the sale.

Another explanation might be that the vehicle was previously stolen, the criminals try to clone/blank it by removing its VIN which is effectively its “identification document”! Order a Vehicle Check from us and we’ll tell you if the vehicle has ever been stolen or not.

 

Can you change VIN numbers?

Some cars like kit cars or seriously altered vehicles have had a VIN change, but this is very rare. The GOV.uk website has more information here. But generally speaking, no. If a car has a serious accident then that VIN will still apply to the old vehicle, i.e. it won’t get re-used on a newer vehicle.

Globally each vehicle has its own unique VIN / chassis number, and the system is tightly regulated, so if you’ve come across a possible duplicate VIN, walk away.

 

Will a Vehicle Check show the VIN?

Yes and no. Our Premium vehicle check service displays the last 5 digits of the VIN only. No vehicle check service will display the full VIN – because it is against DVLA data disclosure laws to do so.

Once you have the last 5 digits, you are strongly advised to check these digits against the vehicle’s VIN yourself – make sure that the last 5 digits in your Premium report (sample) match those on the vehicle. See above to find out how to manually check this yourself, it only takes 10 seconds and can save you a lot of headache later!

 

If you are still having trouble finding the number plate from the VIN, we may be able to find it for you.

Please note the following BEFORE contacting us:

  • We cannot look up an incomplete VIN. Normally these are 8 to 17 characters and usually contain BOTH letters and numbers.
  • Please type the full VIN, do not send a photograph of it.
  • A VIN will rarely have an “O” (o letter) in it, in most cases these are zeroes (i.e. numbers not letters)
  • We cannot look up the VIN for non-UK registered vehicles.
  • This service is for those who already know the VIN. We cannot look up a number plate and tell you the VIN (due to strict DVLA disclosure rules). This service is for those who need to know the vehicle’s number plate and are already in possession of the VIN.

If you have read the above and want to know the vehicle’s reg plate , then please open a ticket here and provide the full VIN, and we will get back to you shortly with the vehicle’s VRM/number plate. This is a free service – so please be patient.

 

23 thoughts on “How to find any registration number from the VIN, for FREE

  1. Hi there, purchased a 1979 (approx) Yamaha XS250 with no renumber or docs. Vin number is ********. Can you help?

  2. I’m looking to buy a BMW car but the owner has no log book or number plates.
    I would like to put the car back on the road but need the reg to make sure all is legitimate.
    Vin is : WBAAM32040AW97946.
    Thanks in advance.

  3. I’m looking to buy a BMW car but the owner has no log book or number plates.
    I would like to put the car back on the road but need the reg to make sure all is legitimate.

    Thanks in advance.

  4. Hello there can you please help me I have not vin numbers engain and frame but I don’t know the numberplate can you help me

  5. Hello I have a harley Davidson road king it has no registration when I bought it it was registered but the owner cant remember the registration, I have a frame number and was wondering could you get the details of the bike from that. 1hd 1fbr 15vy 622 109 any help would be appreciated

  6. Trying to find reg no of tractor have chassis no but doesn’t seem to be in system in Ireland ,think it might be a uk import, if you could be of any help it be very much appreciated.

  7. I have baut a bike with no number plate or logbook I have the vin number engine number just no reg can any one help me

    1. I have a massey ferguson 35x tractor. the log book has been lost and we cant remember the registration number. it had four numbers and ended in two letters ‘IB’ (County Armagh N.I.) The chasis number is SNMY 302333. I have been able to find out from this number that it was built in 1962. We think my Father bought it new in 1964,so that is probably when it was first registered.

      Hope you can help,

      Regards,

      Colm

  8. Hi years ago I bought a quad bike as spares and repairs on eBay when it turned up it had speedo indicators everything needed to make it road legal. But no V5 or Reg on the bracket.

  9. hi i want to bay a wv passat but the owner lost plate number and logbook is posibel to find plate number only with vin ?

  10. I bought a classic car and have no log book (V5C) and it has a private registration on it that now is on another car, how do I get the registration, the previous owner died years ago

  11. Hi there,trying find out reg from the vin. Vs6bxxwpfbbd21122 it’s a mk1 ford fiesta black .but when I do the checks on it,it comes with fiesta 2011
    Cheers

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