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Cargurus, Autotrader, Cars.com, and CarFax - How much effort?

craigh

Super Moderator
May 19, 2011
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First Name
Craig
An industry wide VIN decoder would be a major value add in my opinion. In addition to what @georgenenni mentioned above, it is becoming a full time job to check all of the right boxes to to make sure we've got the right book values on the different guides in order to build value in our pricing to our customers, generate accurate vehicle descriptions, submit bookout sheets to the banks, etc. and that is with us using vAuto as our inventory source. I know it would be a big hill to climb, but with all the tech out there today I would think it would be possible for someone to figure out.

The big barrier here has always been the OEMs not sharing their data. In the US they are more generous than most countries, but even then it's not complete.

For example, Toyota makes so many Corollas that the VINs can't decode to the exact configuration, so you have to have a Package Code or a Model Code from the manufacturer to confirm which exact trim it is.
Same applies to F-150s - the VIN decodes to an F-150 and often to a trim, but whether it has X accessory or stickers on the side, etc is often not available from just the VIN and must be provided directly from Ford.
 
Visit Generations Digital
Dec 13, 2012
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First Name
Richard
The big barrier here has always been the OEMs not sharing their data. In the US they are more generous than most countries, but even then it's not complete.

For example, Toyota makes so many Corollas that the VINs can't decode to the exact configuration, so you have to have a Package Code or a Model Code from the manufacturer to confirm which exact trim it is.
Same applies to F-150s - the VIN decodes to an F-150 and often to a trim, but whether it has X accessory or stickers on the side, etc is often not available from just the VIN and must be provided directly from Ford.

I agree. the OEMs do not appear to have an easy way for dealers, and others on behalf of dealers, to gather information to have a single all-encompassing database of individual vehicles.
Over the years Valuinsight has gathered information from various sources for each VIN seen from its dealership clients. Such as, basic VIN decoding (which tells you very little about a vehicle), information from original order information gathered from OEMs (where available), from dealerships where they have entered enough information into their DMS, and any other source data is gathered from (such as files from Inventory Distributors like vAuto, HomeNet, etc. where dealers have given permission for the data to be sent over).

That said I have thought about this for quite some time and would love to head the facilitation of a single all-encompassing database of individual vehicles. As part of that, I am open to receiving data from any source willing to share their data. Just contact me and we can talk about how we can get this going and eventually have a single source.
 
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