Ask an Agent
Have a question? We're here to help.
Ask an agent for free

How can I find the trim designation and VIN number on a car?

I inherited my mother's car and I'm trying to get insurance for it. I thought I found the VIN number, but when I try to get quotes online the website tells me it isn't valid. The insurance companies also want to know the trim designation on the car and I don't see it anywhere! How I can understand where and how to find this information to insure the vehicle? Thank you!

Jan 30, 2023 St. Petersburg, FL

Author profile picture

Beth Swanson

SEO Content Strategist

  • Licensed Insurance Agent — Property and Casualty

Beth joined The Zebra in 2022 as an Associate Content Strategist. She is a licensed insurance agent whose goal is to make insurance content easy to r…

Great question!

Trim and VIN locations can be hard to find with the wide variety of cars and trucks we have today. Even when you find it, it's not always easy to interpret. Typically if you look at the back of the vehicle it should list the trim; usually on the trunk. For example, if you were to look at the back of a Honda Civic you may see something like, "Civic LX" on the back of the car.  The LX is the trim. Other common trim names will be S (Sport), SE (Sport Edition), LX (Luxury), and EX (Extra). There are many other trim names based on the style or make and model of the vehicle. If you cannot find it on the back of your car, you'll be able to find it on the vehicle registration.

The VIN number should definitely be on the vehicle in a couple of places. It can be tricky to find if you don't know where to look. It's usually on the driver's side dashboard or lower windshield area — stand outside the car facing into the car and look toward the bottom right corner. You should be able to find it on a sticker inside the front driver's side door, too. It might also be on the front of the engine block or underneath a spare tire.

Since you're having trouble getting quotes on the website with your VIN number, there could be a couple of things going on. If the vehicle is not yet in our system due to the year, make, or model then you might receive this error. Also, sometimes the VIN that was input is not correct, so try again to make sure it wasn't just a typo.

But there are certain letters and numbers that can be mistaken for one another (like O and 0).  In fact, the letters I, O, Q, U, and Z will never be in a VIN because they are often mistaken for numbers. If this still doesn't help, the best thing to do would be to call our agency to get a personalized quote at 888-444-8949. A licensed insurance advisor will assist you with finding a carrier that may accept that VIN, if it isn't an input error. If all goes well you can have ID cards by the end of your call!

Hopefully, this will make things easier on your next vehicle!

Ask an Agent
Have a question? We're here to help.
Ask an agent for free

Insurance is complicated, but it doesn't have to be.

The Zebra searches all of the top insurance companies, in one place, so you can compare the cost and coverage you need to protect your car, home and other property.

Step 1: Tell us a little about yourself

Choose an insurance product and enter your zip code to get started.

Step 2: Sip your coffee while we find the best quotes

Enter the necessary information and then sit back while we find quotes from 100 top insurance carriers.

Icon Fill Form

Step 3: Compare your quotes

Compare quotes side-by-side to find the right match for you, whether it's home, auto, or more.

Icon Agent

Step 4: Let our agents do the hard work for you

Once you pick your policy, our agents are here to get you over the finish line. Then just relax and enjoy your savings.

Compare auto insurance rates and save up to $670 per year!

Location pin icon
No junk mail. No spam calls. Free quotes.

Related Questions

Other people are also asking...

If I backed into my neighbor's expensive vehicle, should I file a claim or pay for the damage out of pocket?

I would recommend waiting to hear back from your neighbor about the estimates. That's really going to be what helps you make your decision. If the repair costs are reasonable, you might consider paying for the damage out of your own pocket. Our 2016 State of Insurance Report shows that, in Flo…
Nov 19, 2016 Palm Beach Gardens, FL

It is illegal to pay for someone else's car insurance

While it is not illegal to pay for someone else's policy, you might run into issues if she's on your policy as well. Car insurance is regulated at the state level and priced at the zip code level. So, if she's on your car insurance policy but not living at your residence, you will pr…
Jun 24, 2018 Pinellas, FL

Are insurance proceeds taxable?

Thanks for your question! In general, insurance proceeds, or money you receive as part of a claim or settlement, are not taxed. This is because insurance payouts are not actually making you money, but bringing you back to your previous status. The IRS only taxes income, while these proceeds are jus…
Sep 24, 2019 Dudley, MO

Can I get car insurance without a home address?

Unfortunately it seems like you are in a tough spot until you have moved into your new place. Lots of information is used by insurance companies to determine the rate that they will charge to insure a driver and a major factor in rating that price is your home address. If you are only living in a l…
May 29, 2016 Portland, OR