Automotive Market Research

Vehicle Registration Data: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can I use vehicle registration or Vehicles in Operation (VIO) data to contact vehicle owners?

A: Sorry, no. To market directly to vehicle owners you need a mailing list and we can help you with mailing lists. Our registration data reports do not include any information about the owners of the vehicles or where the vehicles were purchased; we cannot include VINs either. Our registration data comes from actual DMV registrations and because of the Driver's Privacy Protection Act, information about the vehicle's owner cannot be shared.

Our registration data focuses on counts of vehicles within certain geographies. For example, we can create a report for you that breaks down vehicles by year, make and model for the entire US by ZIP code. Our reports are customized; we only include the information you want. Keep reading to learn more about our registration data. If you are looking to contact vehicle owners, we can help you with a mailing list. Just visit our automobile mailing list page.

Q: What kind of vehicle registration analysis can you provide?

A: Three kinds: Reports based on analysis of vehicles currently In Operation (VIO), or sales of used vehicles, or sales of new vehicles. We do not provide raw data, only analysis based on vehicle registration data.
Vehicles In Operation (VIO): The VIO data is updated quarterly and shows all vehicles (model year 1981 to current year) that are currently registered and in use. We can provide analysis of classic, pre-1981 vehicles as well if requested.
Sales of used vehicles: Our data on used vehicle sales tracks when a used vehicle changes owners and is updated every month. Analysis based on quarterly and 1 year summaries is also available.
Sales of new vehicles: Our data on new vehicle sales tracks when a vehicle is registered to its first owner and is updated every month. Analysis based on quarterly and 1 year summaries is also available.

Q: What kind of information about the vehicles is available in your analysis?

A: Here are the categories we can utilize in our reporting with a brief description of what they are.
•Make — Vehicle manufacturer.
•Model — Vehicle model.
•Model Year — VIN year, the model year of the vehicle. This is not necessarily the year the vehicle was manufactured or the year the vehicle was registered. For example, it's possible that a 2013 Chevy was manufactured in 2012, and it's even possible that it sat on a dealer's lot until 2014, when it was sold. Our new vehicle data reports when vehicles are registered so for example, if you purchased data showing new registrations by month, you would see how many of those 2013 Chevys were registered in each month in 2012, 2013 or 2014.
•Series — Corresponds to trim or a more specific description of the model. Example: If "Model" is "Silverado," then "Series" can be "1500," "2500," or "3500." Also "Series" can identify if, for example, a Jetta is a TDI, Hybrid or SE.
•Fuel — Fuel type can be determined as: Gasoline, both gas and electric, conversion, diesel, electric, flex fuel, methanol, natural gas, propane.
•Doors — Number of doors on the vehicle.
•Vehicle Type — Denotes whether the vehicle is a passenger car or a truck.
•Cylinders — Number of cylinders the vehicle's engine possesses.
•Vehicle Segment — Luxury or non luxury segment the vehicle belongs to. Includes a wide range of descriptions that separate into categories based on body style, intended use and other factors.
•GVW — Gross Vehicle Weight class. Can limit to light vehicles only (GVW Classes 0-3) or include heavy as well (4-8).
•MSRP — Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price.
•Body Style — Identifies trucks, SUVs, cab & chassis, motorhomes, sedan, convertible, coupe, hatchback, etc.
•Engine — Engine size by liter such as 3.1, 3.8, 5.0, etc.
•Geography — Depending on the geography and breakdown of the file you request this can contain a state, county, or ZIP code.
•Ownership/Registration Type — Shows whether the vehicle is registered as a personal, commercial, government, leased, etc.
•Count — Number of vehicles possessing these attributes listed in a specified geography.

Q: What is the definition a "light vehicle?"

A: You'll often see a reference to "cars and light trucks," which is different than medium and heavy duty trucks.
Vehicles are classified by their Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) and these classes range from a number 1 to 8. Cars do not have a GVW. Light trucks are GVW 1 through 3 which includes SUVs, some CUVs, and all the quarter-ton, half-ton and three-quarter ton pickup trucks that you see every day. Medium duty trucks are GVW 4 to 6 which includes large commercial delivery trucks, large vans, walk-in trucks like UPS or FedEx vans, up to large beverage trucks and school buses. Heavy duty trucks are GVW 7 and 8 which covers the largest trucks including the largest tow trucks, fire engines, cement trucks and semi trucks.

Q: What are the vehicle registration and Vehicles in Operation (VIO) analysis prices?

A: The price of your report depends on several things, we'll just need to know the answers to several questions before we can give a price. All of our vehicle registration reporting is custom.

Do you want analysis based on VIO, a sales of new vehicles file or a sales of used vehicles file? If you want a sales analysis, how many months, quarters or years do you want to cover? And do you want it broken down by month, quarter or just as a summary?

Do you want the report to include analysis on all vehicles (heavy & light), just light vehicles including cars and light trucks, or only a specific make/model/fuel type/year?

What geography do you want to cover, and how do you want the geography broken down? For example if you want to cover the entire US do you want our reporting to cover vehicles by state, or county, or just as an overview of the US? Geography is the most defining factor when it comes to the price of your file. A report including ZIP data from a specific state will be much more expensive than by county, or just an overview.

Finally, what kind of information do you want to know about the vehicles? You can have the report analyze year, make, model, fuel type, etc. but the more of these you include the larger and more expensive your report will be.

We need this type of information to give you a quote:

Vehicles In Operation — Current
US by state
Light vehicles only
Columns: Make, Model, Model Year, Segment, Count


Sales of New Vehicles Year by Month (2012, Jan-Dec)
Alabama by ZIP
Ford, Chevrolet and Dodge Makes only
Columns: Make, Model, Fuel Type, Count