InstaVIN is a vehicle history reporting service based out of San Diego, California. Their service differs from competitors like Carfax and AutoCheck because they don’t keep a regularly updated database of information from hundreds of sources on a long list of registered VIN numbers. Instead, they look up information on a VIN instantly when it is submitted by a consumer, and send the information back to the consumer within minutes. It has two different services, both priced differently, that consumers can choose from, and utilizes state and federal government agencies to collect data.
In the world of vehicle history reporting, Carfax and AutoCheck have most dealers already in hand. InstaVIN is different in that it targets consumers by offering a text messaging based service. Anyone who is considering buying a vehicle can text a VIN number to the InstaVIN service; they’ll run an immediate background check on the vehicle, grabbing information from sources like the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System, police reports, dealers, and insurance records. That information is then sent right back to the consumer so they can make a decision.
There are no subscription options for dealers or shoppers who are going to be hunting for a while, but with the savings in place, a subscription plan is not necessary to be more affordable than Carfax or AutoCheck.
The biggest drawback for many consumers is that InstaVIN lacks Carfax’s selection of thousands of sources that help make data stronger. Many reports claim that InstaVIN information is often outdated or not complete, thanks to a reliance on fewer sources that are farther removed from the actual vehicle. Additionally, InstaVIN provides none of the extra features that make Carfax so attractive to many, like information on how many times the vehicle has changed hands, or if the vehicle has ever been used as a rental or loaner.
InstaVIN is a vehicle history reporting service that has two different services that consumers can choose from, and utilizes state and federal government agencies to collect data.
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- Far more affordable than most other vehicle history reporting services
- Text-based service that connects with consumers directly, rather than targeting dealers
- “Buy 2 Get 1 Free” deal that allows shoppers to save even more on reports
While InstaVIN is definitely affordable, the jury is out on whether or not they are a reliable source of information. Their reports seem to be hit or miss for accuracy, and with less points being reported than Carfax or AutoCheck, accuracy would be the only good selling point they have left to leverage. Without the ability to truly trust that the little information they do offer is totally solid, InstaVIN may not be the best alternative for affordable vehicle history reports. Consumers who want to save money and get more information on a vehicle history report are probably better off checking out VIN Audit or other competitors who have better track records overall.
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