How do I find out what options my car was ordered with?
Discover hidden features in your car.
When buying a new car, the list of optional equipment adds to the value quite a bit. The same goes for selling the car as a used vehicle – you’ll get a better price if your car has more options. Still, many re-sellers add custom options on the vehicle that didn’t come with a factory setting, which could ruin the car’s value.
So, the big question is – how do I find out what options my car was ordered with? You can find out the options your car came with by using the vehicle identification number (VIN), checking the purchase report, or through the original manual and invoice. This guide will help you find your way through the issue and find out the exact list of options that came originally on your car.
Importance of vehicle’s factory options
As an owner of a used vehicle, you might be wondering about the exact trim, options, and equipment that came standard on your vehicle in the first place. We’ve all been there – re-sellers will try to persuade you that a vehicle is a higher trim than it is.
This way, they can raise the selling price and it’s more effective than you think. For instance, the Audi S3 uses the same 2.0-liter base engine as the regular 2,0 TFSI A3. Still, re-sellers often opt in to buy aftermarket packs and wrap up the car with alloy wheels, bodypack, and a grille to make it look like a factory S3.
On the other hand, knowing the exact list of options before buying the car can help you decide whether to purchase it or not. If the previous owner doesn’t wish to provide a VIN, who knows what other lies they’ve been telling you?
So, this leaves many drivers wondering – what’s the trim of my car? Knowing the original trim and factory options will give you peace of mind, and you can use it to maintain a proper re-sale price of your car.
Best ways of finding factory options
Now that you know a bit of background on the relevance of car factory options, it’s time to get out there and find the list of options. It’s not an easy task, but at least knowing where to look will help you get on the way. Here are the main ways of finding out the car’s factory options:
- Check the purchase report
- Find the original invoice
- Use a VIN decoder
- Order a vehicle history report
You should be able to also refer to the owner’s manual to find out the trim level. Still, trim is not the same as options, even though a certain trim level contains some factory options. However, you need to find the list of extra options that the initial owner has paid extra when purchasing the car.
Going over your car’s documents in the glovebox is the best way to start. You can also search the interior of the car or even the trunk for the purchase report or an invoice that the original owner should have left behind. If you are in the process of buying a new car, check the car’s license plate screw size and license plate area size to see if it’s an export vehicle that may be difficult to trace in terms of options.
Checking the purchase repo
A vehicle’s purchase report isn’t the same as a history report. It often contains an invoice attached, and even if it doesn’t it should show a scheme with added options. You can go over this document to find out the list of extra options that the previous owner has paid extra for your car.
Regularly, previous owners should leave this document along with the owner’s manual, service history record, and other documents in the car. So, if you are lucky enough, you should have one in your glovebox among the car’s documents. It will indicate all the additional equipment that your car has when compared to the base model.
Going over the invoice
Besides looking for the purchase report, you can also try finding the original invoice for your car. It should contain all the information about added equipment since extra options are charged additionally on the car’s base value.
So, at least you’ll be able to find the type of extra options, such as sports seats for example. If the manufacturer offers different types and seat materials for sports seats, you can find the exact type based on the price. Overall, a list of extra options should be visible on the invoice, so it’s one of the easiest ways of finding it.
Decoding the VIN
The vehicle identification number is your golden ticket to finding out the list of extra options that came as a factory setting on your car. The first thing you should do is find the VIN, and it’s often in the same spot in every car. It’s just like a tire number, only for the entire car as it holds all the information about the vehicle including options, trim, engine type, and place of production.
You should first look at the door jamb on the driver’s side, as it usually includes information about the car including the identification number. It’s also often highlighted on the driver’s side of the dashboard, or engraved on the front of the engine block.
Once you find your car’s VIN, it’s time to use it to uncover a list of extra options. You can use a free VIN decoder on the dealership’s website. You can use the instructions on the website and most car brands have this tool on the official page, or websites of the dealerships in your area.
Ordering a vehicle history report
Besides decoding the VIN, you can also use it to obtain a full history of your car, and it includes options as well. This is sometimes a better option, especially if you also wish to check the car’s reported mileage, potential damage, and other alerts.
Various sites let you order the car’s history based on the VIN. You can order different reports from services like Carfax, Autocheck, or Vincheckup.com and they all offer the information you need. Based on the type of report, you can aim for the extra options alone, or go for a full-scale report to obtain information about the service history and potential red flags concerning collisions and mileage issues.
In the end, we hope to have helped answer your question of “how do I find out what options my car was ordered with” in more ways than one. You can always use the VIN to get a vehicle report including the optional extras, and the vehicle history report before buying it.
Also, knowing the list of options will help boost the resale price, if your car has some unique options that a base model of the same car doesn’t. It’s more important than it seems, so don’t just fall for a trap and take the seller’s word for it when you can check it yourself.
How can I find out what options my car came with?
You can find out what options your car came with by using the vehicle identification number and decoding it, obtaining the full vehicle history report, or looking up the original invoice and purchase report.
Can I look up my vehicle specs by VIN?
Yes, you can look up your vehicle’s specs by VIN if you use a decoder tool or websites like Carfax, Autocheck, or Vincheckup to obtain a report.