VIN Decoder & VIN Lookup

Use our free VIN check to Decode your Vehicle Identification Number

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A vehicle identification number (VIN) is an alphanumeric identification code that is unique and carries a lot of information about your car. With this code, one could find out everything about a vehicle using a VIN decoder or VIN lookup, using information associated with the car's history, specifications, build year, build plant, and plenty of other crucial details.

What Is a VIN Number?

The standardized VIN consists of 17 capital letters and numbers; no two VINs are alike, much like a snowflake. The 17 characters of the VIN identify a vehicle uniquely and are given to all cars manufactured. Other data encoded by the digits includes details such as the car's trim, body style, engine size, manufacturer of the vehicle, and many other points that can be used by DMV, law enforcement communities, insurance companies, and other interest parties, to either identify the vehicle or gather information on the vehicle's history, title, etc.

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What Does a VIN Search Reveal?

Apart from the records that can be discovered from the letters and numbers of the vehicle's VIN, a VIN search can decode the information within the VIN and reveal even more about a car. A VIN decoder may be used to get a car history report, that can contain records on previous accidents and the car owner's details. A VIN search also can reveal statistics on any recalls in addition to any major issues that different autos of equal makes and brands frequently have.

Where is the VIN number located?

The four key VIN number locations

Where can you find the vin number on the car

Where Can You Find the VIN Number on a Car?

Manufacturers often stamp or place the vehicle identification number on multiple locations of the motor vehicle. There are five primary locations to search if you want to find the VIN:

  • Driver's Side Dashboard — The easiest way is to look through the windshield near the bottom of the driver's side dashboard. There should be a plate or engraving with the car's VIN.
  • Engine Block — Near the front end of the engine block, manufacturers will usually stamp the VIN onto the firewall.
  • Driver's Door — Below the door pillar on the driver's side doorjam, there should be a printed sticker that contains information about your vehicle, including the VIN. The sticker should be located below the door latches
  • Spare Tire — Occasionally, the factory will place the VIN underneath where the spare tire is located.
  • Rear Wheel Well — Some cars have the VIN stamped on the inside of the driver's side rear wheel well.
  • Under the Hood — In addition, it's good advice to check this area; often there's a label called the emissions label that positions the VIN as an example of vehicle information. This label affixed on the underside or inner part of the hood, offers details related to emission controls but also commonly provides the VIN for reference.

How Can a VIN Be Used?

If one wishes to purchase a used vehicle, then the VIN could be used to understand the title history, problems in the past, specific parts, and features of the vehicle. It can also be used to verify the car's legitimacy. Some scammers might want to sell a vehicle that was stolen beforehand. In such cases, you can enter the VIN of that vehicle to confirm the identity of the owner and to check whether the car was reported stolen.

However, scammers sometimes replace the car's VIN with a different one. In these cases, the VIN can still be used to see if the information the VIN provides about the vehicle matches the used car you want to buy. It is also important to check for signs of VIN tampering to avoid confusion. When buying passenger cars, especially in the USA, being involved in the industry gives you an upper hand in understanding the intricacies of the purchase process. Damaged or tampered VINs are a red flag, and consumers should be open about asserting their rights before finalizing any purchase.

How to Use Our VIN Decoder Service?

A VIN decoder initialized to decode this 17-character code can give you a fully informative VIN report about your vehicle. Just input your vehicle identification number into the blank space and click search; the tool will do the rest. You will get the information regarding the specs of the vehicle, model, the year of manufacturing, the type of engine, and more—just as all critical records, including a vehicle history report and salvage records.

How to Read a VIN Number?

Although the mathematical formula to determine the VIN applied to each of the vehicles varies from one manufacturer to another, the VIN number still follows a general format. Generally, the VIN is broken into three major parts:

Vin number decoding

1. World Manufacturer Identifier (WMI)

The World Manufacturer Identifier consists of the origin character codes or the initial three digits of the VIN. The WMI code indicates the country of origin, car manufacturer, WMI region, and place of origin of the car.

WMI Region Notatki
A-H Africa AA-AH = South Africa
J-R Asia >J = Japan
KL-KR = South Korea
L = China
MA-ME = India
MF-MK = Indonesia
ML-MR = Thailand
MS = Myanmar
PA-PE = Philippines
PL-PR = Malaysia
RF-RG = Taiwan
S-Z Europe SA-SM = United Kingdom
SN-ST, W = Germany
SU-SZ = Poland
TA-TH = Switzerland
TJ-TP = Czech Republic
TR-TV = Hungary
TW = Portugal
VA-VE = Austria
VF-VR = France
VS-VW = Spain
VX-V2 = Yugoslavia
XL-XM = The Netherlands
X3-X0 = Russia
YA-YE = Belgium
YF-YK = Finland
YS-YW = Sweden
ZA-ZR = Italy
1-5 North America 1, 4, 5 = United States
2 = Canada
3 = Mexico
6-7 Oceania 6A-6W = Australia
7A-7E = New Zealand
8-0 South America 8A-8E = Argentina
8F-8J = Chile
8X-82 = Venezuela
9A-9E, 93-99 = Brazil
9F-9J = Colombia

2. Vehicle Descriptor Section (VDS)

Positions 4 through 9 within the VIN comprise the Vehicle Descriptor Section. Typically, the model year character codes fill these six characters and information related to the vehicle's specs — make, model, and engine size. The ninth character is a "check digit", which is used to check the validity of a VIN.

3. Vehicle Identifier Section (VIS)

The rest of the Vehicle Identifier Section includes the last digits and the serial number that identifies the motor vehicle. This reveals the year the car was made and the plant where the car was assembled. This also bears a serial number specific to that vehicle and must distinguish actual identification from other cars with the same make or model.

Model Year Character Codes

Code Rok modelowy Code Rok modelowy Code Rok modelowy Code Rok modelowy
A 1980 B 1981 C 1982 D 1983
E 1984 F 1985 G 1986 H 1987
J 1988 K 1989 L 1990 M 1991
N 1992 P 1993 R 1994 S 1995
T 1996 V 1997 W 1998 X 1999
Y 2000 1 2001 2 2002 3 2003
4 2004 5 2005 6 2006 7 2007
8 2008 9 2009 A 2010 B 2011
C 2012 D 2013 E 2014 F 2015
G 2016 H 2017 J 2018 K 2019
L 2020 M 2021 N 2022 P 2023

Examples of VIN Numbers

The numbers and letters within the VIN's 17-digit code contain a plethora of information. Here are some examples of vehicle identification numbers and the information that they hold:

  • 1FTPX14524NB00101 — 2004 Ford F150 1/2 ton P/U 4WD (8 Cylinders 5 5.4L FI SOHC 330 CID)
  • 1G1BU51H2HX113345 — 1987 Chevrolet Caprice (8 Cylinders H 5.0L Carburetor OHV 305 CID)
  • 1FVACWDU1BHBB3474 — 2011 Freightliner M2 106 (6 Cylinders 6.7L Turbo Dsl OHV 408 CID)

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can any vehicle’s VIN be decoded?

    Yes. While older models can be a bit more difficult to decode, our VIN decoder has access to a vast database of information and can decode most VIN numbers.

  • Can you look up vehicle specs by VIN number?

    Yes. Information contained in the VIN includes data about the history of the vehicle, the make, and its specification, among others, including the vehicle's model year and trim, the vehicle's manufacturer, its engine type, and so on. It can also be used to get essential records such as accident history and recalls.

  • Can I run a VIN check on older vehicles?

    Yes. You can run a VIN lookup/check on most cars, old and new, through our VIN decoder.

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