It’s never simple to give up a car, especially if it has sentimental value. Even decades from now, you might remember it and reflect on your first driving experience. But what if you simply can’t let go of your old car and want to recover it instead? Is there a way to get back together with it? Whatever the reason, you’ll be glad to know that finding your old car is not an impossible feat. Having said that, whether or not you have the vehicle identification number (VIN) affects how quickly and effectively you can execute your search.

How to Find a Car You Previously Owned

Well, in this article, we’ll be discussing the answers to the following questions:

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Ok, let’s dive in!


How to find your VIN number?

The following are ways you can take to find your VIN number:

Check old documents

You handled various documents with the VIN on them while you were the vehicle’s owner, including registration papers, loan documents, insurance cards, and others. One of these documents may still be with you at work, at home, or even with your technician. You most likely have a police report with the VIN if you’ve ever been in an accident with the car. You’ll be one step closer to finding your automobile or truck once you locate a document with your old VIN on it.

View old license plate number

Your state DMV can provide you with the old vehicle’s VIN if you know its license plate number. When you ask for the VIN, the DMV will utilize the license plate number to locate the car in their database.

Consult your bill of sale document

A basic bill of sale is always prepared and signed by both parties whenever you sell a car. It almost always includes the car’s VIN. You may have a copy of this document in your home’s files.

Check the driver’s license number

Even if you have moved out of state and obtained a new driver’s license, the DMV keeps a record of every car you have registered under your license number. By displaying your license, they will be able to provide you with the VIN number.

Reach out to your auto insurer

Your previous car’s insurance insurer can provide you with its VIN. You will be required to present your identity and certain personal information in order to obtain the information. The business should give you the VIN after you have established your identification.

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Can’t the DMV website tell me who owns my car and where it is?

The Driver’s Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) of 1994 prohibits unauthorized access to the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) database, which does contain that information.

Although this restriction may appear unpleasant, it guards against unauthorized individuals accessing private information and safeguards everyone’s safety.

However, you can employ a registered private investigator who might be exempt from the DPPA if you REALLY want to get around this.

When asked for specific, well-defined purposes, the investigator can typically get this information from the DMV. For further details, visit The Lost Car Registry.

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How to find a car you previously owned?

How to Find a Car You Previously Owned

Here are a few methods you can use to find a car you previously owned:

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Utilize your vehicle’s VIN number

Every car has a unique Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), sometimes known as a chassis number; no two cars may share the same VIN. Additionally, each state mandates that you have a VIN in order to register and insure your vehicle. You may learn details about both the car you want to buy and the one you previously owned by using an online VIN decoder.

They work well for learning a vehicle’s whole history. Although there are some free choices available that will only do the bare minimum, it is advisable to pay for the premium options because they will provide you with all the information you require, including the mileage, accidents, prior owners, and the location of the car right now.

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Post Advertisements

You can start putting adverts online if you’re absolutely in need. You can gain visibility by joining social media groups on Facebook and even Craigslist. Offline advertising could also be a backup plan. Remember that you want to be as specific as you can with your advertisement.

Include details about the color, make, and model of the car, as well as any further distinguishing characteristics. A picture of the vehicle will be very helpful, and posting the advertisement in the area where it was last seen can actually help you find the vehicle. Even if the car might not be in the same city or state anymore, someone there might know something about it.

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Make use of the license plate number

Don’t worry if you find yourself wondering, “But how can I find my old car without the VIN?” Using the license plate number is one of many additional strategies you might employ to locate your old vehicle.

You can visit the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) in your state, where they will utilize your license plate number to access the vehicle’s VIN from their database. Additionally, you can also enter your driver’s license number as an alternative. Even if you have relocated to a different state, the DMV still retains a record of every vehicle you have ever owned.

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Lookup Forums Online

There are several online automotive forums on the internet where you might just be fortunate enough to find your vehicle. You can upload pictures and information about your vehicle to websites like The Lost Car Registry, for instance.

So, if someone has any information about your car, it won’t be long before they get in touch with you. You might also focus your search by looking for forums for the manufacturer of your automobile, such as those for the Datsun 510, Corvette, or Miata.

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Search Auctions

There is a good probability that the historic car you formerly owned has gone through an auction. Many buyers buy vintage cars in private sales for incredibly low prices and then sell them at auctions where vehicle lovers are willing to pay top dollar. Even if you don’t own a classic car, if the buyer defaulted on their auto loan, the bank may have put your vehicle up for auction.

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Contact the last buyer you know

This one should be very evident to those of us who sold the car because it was just sitting there idle. If you still have their contact information, it’s better to just call the individual you sold your car to. In the event that you don’t, you can look them up using the data from your VIN search. They might be able to point you in the right direction even if they aren’t the current owner.

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How do I find all the cars owned?

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How do I find a previously owned car UK?

Online databases. DriveArchive ( is a reliable resource for information. There are no serious privacy concerns as this is a database of information on vehicles, including images, that vehicle owners have willingly uploaded. Use of the website is free.

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How do I find my car’s VIN number?

Stand outside the car and look at the dashboard’s corner where it meets the windshield on the driver’s side. The VIN is often printed on a sticker on the driver-side door or door jamb.

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How do I find my VIN number online UK?

Although you may obtain the VIN number from the registration plate using the reg number, doing so online will only yield the last five digits (per UK law to preserve anonymity). Approach the DVLA with a V888 form and a justification for wanting to know the complete VIN.

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Is there an app to find a car?

Find My Car – GPS Navigation, an easy Android app, makes it simple to record your car’s location and later locate it.

How many digits is the VIN number?

17 characters

A vehicle’s unique identification number (VIN), which consists of 17 characters (letters and numbers), is required starting with the model year 1981. The length and format of the previous VIN differed between automobiles. Frequently, the lower-left corner of the screen, in front of the steering wheel, is where the VIN is located.

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What does VIN look like?

A VIN is a string of 17 characters, including capital letters and numbers, that serve as the vehicle’s individual identification number. A vehicle identification number (VIN) lists the manufacturer, special characteristics, and attributes of the vehicle. It is possible to track recalls, registrations, warranty claims, thefts, and insurance coverage using the VIN.

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Is the chassis number the VIN number?

The chassis number of a car is another name for its VIN number. They are identical since the vehicle’s VIN is set to that specific model because it is imprinted onto the vehicle’s chassis.

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Even if you seek in all the proper areas, the search for your long-lost car might be difficult, so remain patient. The procedures outlined in this article should hasten your search and ultimately lead you back to the vehicle you previously owned. Even if the majority of ways are free, if you’re in a hurry and want to maximize your search, it can be worth your time to choose sponsored adverts.

That is all for this article, where we discussed the answers to the following questions:

We hope it was helpful. If so, kindly share it with others. Thanks for reading; see you around!