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How to Lookup Vehicle Options by VIN Number Using a VIN Decoder

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When considering the purchase of a vehicle, understanding its options and safety features is paramount. 

The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), a 17-digit unique code assigned during production, plays a crucial role in this process. It provides insights into the manufacturer, production location, and the car’s specific options and packages. Assessing a car’s options is vital for ensuring it aligns with your needs and preferences.

To enhance the understanding of a car’s specifications when buying a car, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) offers a free VIN check tool for decoding VIN numbers. However, this tool doesn’t reveal the options and packages available for a particular vehicle.

So let’s take a ride to find out how to look up your VIN for the vehicle specs and all the available options and packages.

What Are Vehicle Options?

Vehicle options encompass a range of features, configurations, and accessories available when purchasing a vehicle. When choosing options, consider preferences, needs, and budget.

Common options include:

  1. Trim Levels: Offer varying features, performance, and luxury. Higher trims come with more advanced features.
  2. Engine Options: Provide choices with different power, fuel efficiency, and performance levels.
  3. Transmission: Manual or automatic, with variations like CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) or DCT (Dual-Clutch Transmission).
  4. Drive Configuration: Options for Front-Wheel Drive (FWD), Rear-wheel Drive (RWD), or All-Wheel Drive (AWD).
  5. Interior Materials: Choices for upholstery and color schemes, often premium in higher trims.
  6. Technology Packages: Group advanced tech features like infotainment, navigation, and driver-assistance systems.
  7. Safety Features: Additional safety options like adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist.
  8. Wheels and Tires: Options for sizes and types.
  9. Exterior Colors: Different color choices.
  10. Sunroof/Moonroof: Option for added openness.
  11. Towing Package: Available for SUVs and trucks, including a hitch and cooling features.
  12. Performance Packages: Offer enhanced suspension, brakes, etc., for sports vehicles.

When exploring options during car shopping, it’s crucial to view them as manufacturer-installed add-ons that enhance the vehicle’s functionality, aesthetics, or performance.

Vehicle Equipment

How to Look Up Vehicle Options by VIN Number: Step by Step Guide

Follow these simple steps to decode a vehicle’s VIN and look up the vehicle options from Detailed Vehicle History:

  • Navigate to the website header.
  • For basic option lookup, click “VIN Decoder” from the products and services drop-down.
  • For advance option lookup, click “window sticker by VIN” instead. This usually requires a small fee to access full vehicle options.
  • Enter or scan the VIN number and provide other required information like your email address and phone number.

View and verify basic information about the vehicle for free. This includes the specifications, engine configuration, drive type and more.

For detailed information about the vehicle’s safety features, standard features, colors and more, please opt for the window sticker by VIN.

Differentiating Between Vehicle Options, Packages and Accessories

Distinguishing between these three terminologies is vital in understanding a car’s customization. 

Options refer to individual add-ons, like a touchscreen or a specific engine.

Packages, such as BMW’s Dynamic Handling Package, bundle related options for a cohesive result, like improved handling. Notably, packages may be exclusive to certain trim levels. 

On the other hand, accessories are post-purchase add-ons, like floor mats or a wireless charging pad, enhancing the car’s aesthetics or functionality. 

Each element plays a distinct role in tailoring the vehicle to the buyer’s preferences, with packages often ensuring a harmonious combination of features for optimal performance.

How Vehicle Options Affect Trim Level

First let’s understand what a trim level is.

A car trim level signifies the set of features a vehicle has, ranging from basic to advanced packages. It’s a key identifier for car buyers, reflecting the car’s specifications and price. Commonly referred to as “style,” trim levels vary by manufacturer and may denote body styles like coupe or sedan. 

Manufacturers typically offer four to five trim levels per model, with the base model as the starting point, progressing in features and cost as you move up. Examples include basic, mid-range, and premium trims, each offering varying levels of complexity and specifications.

The vehicle options affect the trim level in the following ways:

  1. Vehicle options significantly impact the trim level by determining the set of features available for a particular model. Some packages, like the Brembo brake and Recaro seat package in the Mazda Miata, are exclusive to specific trim levels. 
  2. The inclusion or exclusion of certain options can define a trim’s characteristics, influencing factors like handling, safety enhancements, or visual aesthetics. 
  3. When considering a car, understanding how options align with trim levels ensures that buyers choose a configuration that meets their desired specifications, whether it’s for performance, safety features, or aesthetic preferences. 

The interplay between options and trim levels creates an accurate selection process for buyers seeking a tailored automotive experience.

To accurately access a vehicle’s standard options, factory installed packages and accessories in one place, turn to our window sticker by VIN lookup tool for quick results.

Vehicle Options Breakdown: A 2019 BMW 2 Series As A Case Study

Here’s a quick breakdown of the options available for a 2019 BMW 2 SERIES M2401  as provided  in the window sticker generated using the VIN number (WBA2N1C55KVC28492).




  • Interior – Cognac w/Dark Brown Highlight w/Dakota Leather Upholstery
  • Exterior – Black Sapphire Metallic Body-colored front and rear bumper w/Gray Rub Strip/Fascia Accent


  • LED brakelights
  • Perimeter/Approach lights
  • Front Map Lights
  • Fade-To-Off Interior Lighting


  • Front Sport Seats
  • Power Front Seats
  •  12-Way Driver Seat -inc: Manual Cushion Extension
  • 12-Way Passenger Seat -inc: Manual Cushion Extension
  • Full Folding Bench Front Facing Fold Forward Seatback Rear Seat

Doors, Windows and Mirrors

  • Body-Colored Door Handles
  • Fixed Rear Window w/Defroster
  • Light Tinted Glass Windshield Trim
  • Metal-Look Power Heated Auto Dimming Side
  • Speed Sensitive Rain Detecting Variable Intermittent Wipers w/Heated Jets
  • Driver And Passenger Visor Vanity Mirrors w/Driver And Passenger Illumination
  • Day-Night Auto-Dimming Rear view Mirror
  • Black Side Windows Trim and Black Front Windshield Trim
  • Aluminum Door Panel Insert
  • Leatherette Door Trim Insert

Body and Appearance

  • Fully Galvanized Steel Panels
  • M Aerodynamics package

Steering Wheel

  • Manual Tilt/Telescoping Steering Column
  • Sport Leather/Metal-Look Steering Wheel
  • Cruise Control w/Steering Wheel Controls
  • Electric Power-Assist Speed-Sensing Steering

Engine and Transmission

  • Engine: 3.0L TwinPower Turbo Inline 6-Cylinder 24V
  • Engine Auto Stop-Start Feature
  • 8-Speed Sport Automatic

Drive Type

  • Rear wheel Drive (RWD)

Safety Features

  • Outboard Front Lap And Shoulder Safety Belts -inc: Pretensioners
  • Driver And Passenger Side Airbag Head Extension, Driver And Passenger Knee Airbag
  • Side Impact Beams
  • Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Seat-Mounted Side Airbags
  • Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Front Airbags
  • Frontal Collision Warning w/City Collision Mitigation


  • Valet Function

Cooling Systems

  • Dual Zone Front Automatic Air Conditioning
  • Engine Oil Cooler
  • HVAC -inc: Unders eat Ducts , Residual Heat Recirculation and Console Ducts

Performance Package 

  • 90-Amp/Hr Maintenance-Free Battery
  • Regenerative 210 Amp Alternator
  • Automatic w/Driver Control Ride Control Sport Tuned Adaptive Suspension
  • Gas -Pressurized Shock Absorbers
  • Front And Rear Anti-Roll Bars
  • 2.81 Axle Ratio
  • Quasi-Dual Stainless Steel Exhaust w/Dark Chrome Tailpipe Finisher
  • Strut Front Suspension w/Coil Springs
  • Multi-Link Rear Suspension w/Coil Springs
  • 4-Wheel Disc Brakes w/4-Wheel ABS, Front And Rear Vented Discs , Brake Assist and Hill Hold Control

Technology Package

  • Driver Monitoring-Alert
  • Collision Mitigation-Front
  • Power Fuel Flap Locking Type
  • Backup camera
  • Navigation System

Indicators and Sensors

  • Tire Specific Low Tire Pressure Warning
  • Airbag Occupancy Sensor
  • Park Distance Control Front And Rear Parking Sensors
  • Mirrors w/Power Folding and Turn Signal Indicator
  • Illuminated Locking Glove Box
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Aluminum Instrument Panel Insert
  • Aluminum Console Insert
  • Metal-Look Power Heated Auto Dimming Side Mirrors w/Power Folding and Turn Signal Indicator


  • Radio : AM/ FM Audio System
  • Harman / kardon Premium Sound System

Other Accessories

  • Mobility Kit
  • Black Grille w/Chrome Surround
  • Cargo Area Concealed Storage
  • 13.7 G al. Fuel Tank
  • Leather/Metal-Look Gear Shifter Material
  • Remote Releases -Inc: Proximity Cargo Access
  • Piano Black/Metal-Look Interior Accents

Effortlessly use our universal Window Sticker Lookup Tool by VIN to instantly look up all vehicle options for any vehicle model.

The Importance of VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) In Vehicle Option Lookup

A Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is a unique 17-character code that is assigned to each motor vehicle. It serves as a serial number used to identify a particular vehicle and the options, providing essential information about the vehicle’s make, model, year of production, engine, standard equipment and more.

Finding the VIN Number

A car VIN can typically be found in the following places:
  • On the driver’s side dashboard near the windshield,
  • On the driver’s side door jamb, or
  • Under the hood (engine block)
  • On the firewall, steering wheel, and sometimes the radiator support bracket.
  • On the vehicle’s registration and insurance documents
  • How to find Vin Number

    How to Decode a VIN Number?

    Decoding a VIN number involves using a tool which helps in interpreting the information contained in the VIN. This enables individuals to access detailed vehicle specifications based on its VIN.

    For more, you can read our guide on how to decode a Ford VIN number. This method is the same for decoding VINs from other vehicle brands.

    Why is it Important to Decode Your VIN?

    Decoding your VIN holds significant importance, particularly when making preowned car purchases or managing the maintenance and safety of a vehicle.

    • Ensuring Accurate Vehicle Information for Used Car Purchases

    By decoding the VIN, individuals can ensure that the information provided about a used vehicle is accurate and corresponds to the vehicle in question. This is essential for making informed purchasing decisions.

    • Identifying Recalls and Safety Concerns through VIN Lookups

    VIN lookups help in identifying any recalls or safety concerns associated with a particular vehicle. This is critical for understanding potential issues and ensuring the safety of the vehicle’s operation.

    • Accessing Vehicle-Specific Information for Maintenance and Repairs

    Decoding the VIN provides valuable insights into the vehicle’s specifications, enabling individuals to access specific information for maintenance and repairs. This includes identifying compatible parts and understanding the vehicle’s technical requirements.

    VIN Decoder Tools: Free VIN Decoder vs. Paid Options

    VIN decoder tools are readily available online and can provide comprehensive information about a vehicle. By providing the VIN, users can access data such as the vehicle’s manufacturing details, including its model, engine type, and transmission specifications.

    While there are free VIN decoder options available, paid services may offer more extensive reports with additional information about the vehicle’s history. 

    The choice between free and paid options depends on the level of detail required. However, if you’re buying a preowned car, a paid option or VIN check is usually recommended.

    If you’re seeking comprehensive details like used vehicle history, running a VIN check on third party sites like Detailed Vehicle History website before buying a used car can provide extensive records, offering insights into the vehicle’s past, current status, and even likely future maintenance needs beyond what a free VIN check may provide.

    Importance of VIN in Vehicle History Search

    When buying a used car, the VIN is crucial in providing access to the vehicle history report. It helps in identifying and verifying:
  • The number of owners the vehicle has had.
  • Its maintenance and repair history.
  • Any accidents or damages it may have incurred.
  • Any recalls or safety concerns.
  • Any outstanding lien or loan.
  • The odometer records to assess the level of wear and tear and also spot odometer rollback.
  • Conclusion

    Every car has its own unique VIN and it encodes information about the vehicle’s specific options and can be used to gain access into the vehicle’s history and condition.  This information is crucial to both new and used car buyers in making an informed buying decision, negotiating a fair price with sellers, thus leading to an overall better experience with their purchase. Need to decode or check a VIN for the vehicle specifications, options, packages and even history (in case of a used car)? Get started with our services today!

    Need to check a Vehicle history without the VIN? Don’t worry. Conduct a License Plate Lookup instead (US Plates Only).

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Yes, you can view the options your car has by using the VIN. The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) contains information about the car’s manufacturer, production location, and specific options.

    To find a build sheet by VIN number, visit the Detailed Vehicle History site and select “Classic Car Build Sheet” to get started. You can also contact the car manufacturer or use online resources that offer VIN decoding services. These services may provide detailed information about your vehicle’s build, including its specifications and features.

    Yes, you can use your VIN number to find parts. By providing the VIN to auto parts suppliers or using online databases like Detailed Vehicle History, you can identify the specific components and accessories compatible with your vehicle.

    Yes, you can check vehicle recalls by entering your car’s VIN. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also provides a free VIN check tool that allows you to check for recalls and obtain information about any safety issues associated with your vehicle.

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