Open data APIs allow you to query large datasets in a meaningful way, drill down into the data requested in our library, and present it to the caller with all the relevant context. For example, to get information about specific vehicles, we need to use an automotive data API. These APIs provide detailed information about car makes and models and dealer data such as selling price.
The application programming interface (API) of the product information catalog provides different ways to collect vehicles and their specifications. In addition, the data set is supplemented by information submitted by motor vehicle manufacturers through submissions.
The car history API is composed of a collection of resources that provide access to various automotive datasets directly related to the motor vehicle. First, you need to know the five components that fully describe a motor vehicle:
- Vehicle Make
- Vehicle Model
- Vehicle Model Year
- Equipment Variant
- Vehicle Style
You will see many references in the vehicle (or car) model year ID and style ID documentation. In addition, most of the endpoints offered through the API require one of these IDs. Therefore, familiarity with them is essential to get the most out of the API.
Some common uses of the vehicle API:
- Get all vehicle specifications.
- Obtain all maintenance schedules for a particular car model year
- Price a used vehicle to determine the trade-in value
- Determine the actual cost to own a specific car style
- Decode a VIN
- Obtain consumer ratings and reviews
A vehicle identification number is a unique 17-character code assigned by an automobile manufacturer that can track and identify motor vehicles. Each VIN is like a car’s fingerprint and contains key vehicle specifications.
If you want to decode a VIN, you can find it in several places on the vehicle. VINs are usually displayed on the driver’s side, where the windshield meets the dashboard. Another common location is on the driver’s side door frame.
Enter the VIN in the search box on any car history API page. Next, click the “Search VIN” button; depending on the vendor, the search will run on numerous national or international databases, yielding a page with your initial results. This will display enough information to ensure that the VIN is for the right vehicle.
All VIN reports provide a complete overview of the current and past condition of the vehicle, including the following data:
- Vehicle Specifications
- Previous/current title status and title registration dates
- Title tag history
- Junk and recovery data
- Total insurance loss records
- Lien / impound / export records
- Theft records
- Odometer events
- Detailed auction sales history
- Wholesale market valuation
- Auction price analysis
- Security recalls
The data provided in these types of reports are typically provided by the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS), operated by the U.S. Department of Justice in partnership with the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA).
NMVTIS consolidates data from state motor vehicle title agencies, insurance companies, junkyards, salvage yards, salvage yards, and auto recyclers to provide the most up-to-date vehicle information for anyone looking to purchase a previously owned vehicle.
Some providers also include information from salvage auctions, economic reports, government agencies, and other proprietary sources to provide complete VIN reports.