General Question

se_ven's avatar

Where can I find Used Car Sales Data?

Asked by se_ven (789 points ) May 24th, 2010

I currently have a vendor that provides this information for many states (in the USA), but does anyone know where I can get the data for the other states (New York, Alabama, Georgia, Etc.)? Individual DMVs/BMVs probably wouldn’t work.

The data I receive monthly is the Title registrations for a given area with the following data:
– VIN
– Year, Make, Model
– Selling Dealer
– Month Registered
– City, Zip Code, County of Purchaser
– Lienholder (if any)
– Odometer

Hopefully there is a vendor that resells this information in the states which are not currently covered by the vendor I am currently using.

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6 Answers

hearkat's avatar

Wow… that seems like personal information that should be protected for privacy reasons.

Why would you want that, and how is it legal for you to obtain it?

njnyjobs's avatar

@hearkat those are the same information you can get from carfax, as reported by various government agencies. I would imagine that Carfax would have a special division that can provide that information.

hearkat's avatar

@njnyjobs: But you need the VIN in order to get the info from CarFax…
this just allows anybody to get the info on any vehicle registered in a given month.
I don’t think this information should be public record.

If they just said that twelve 2006 Honda Accord LX models were registered in the state of TX in April 2010, that should be all the sales comparative sales info anyone should need. But VIN, City, Lienholder, and odometer? Someone could potentially use that information to gain further access to a vehicle owner’s personal information.

I’d bet the other states aren’t available simply because those states prohibit it by law.

se_ven's avatar

@hearkat It is actually less personal than you think. In the data there is no Name, Full Address, or Social Security Number of the purchaser. The most personal information would be the Zip Code of the purchaser, and that can hardly be called personal with thousands if not more people per zip code (an IP address provides a closer approximation of where someone lives than that). The VIN is tied to an individual car, but that really only provides manufacture information.

The BMV/DMV sells this information in this case to cross-sell after the personal information (Name, Address) is taken out. Cross-sell then runs analysis and resells the data to dealers and/or financiers (that’s me). The use of this data is to analyze markets as a whole. To see where vehicles are being purchased from, what type of vehicles are selling well, the health of the market as compared to my results, and how competitors are faring. Maybe you are right and those states which aren’t offered don’t allow the sale of this information.

hearkat's avatar

@se_ven: The Registration info doesn’t include the license plate number?
The VIN includes year, make, and model information – at least it did when I worked at car dealers in the late 1980s.
Showing whether or not the vehicle was financed is fine, but the actual company it was financed through?
Not all Zip Codes have thousands of cars registered there… some old towns near me are just one square mile, yet still have their own Zip Code.

I understand that you find it helpful to your business. I just wish that we as state residents and consumers were made aware that this information was made public.

se_ven's avatar

@hearkat No, the license plate number is not included. You are right, the VIN does include that information, but unless it is a rare vehicle I don’t consider it all that personal.

To some degree, this information isn’t 100% public either. As far as I know the reseller doesn’t sell to the general public, but I see your point around some smaller zip codes. It’s been awhile since I signed up to receive this data, but there was probably a usage limitation involved with the data.

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