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Decode Any Vehicle Identification Number
Learn about a vehicle with a VIN Number Decoder
A VIN decoder can reveal important information about a vehicle, including the year, make, model, country of manufacture, engine type, safety features and much more.

Every vehicle has a unique VIN, or Vehicle Identification Number, which is like a fingerprint for the car. No two vehicles in the world have the same one. Any automobile built after 1981 has a 17-character, alphanumeric sequence which contains everything you need to know about that particular car.


Just enter yours below to begin:


Why do you need decode a VIN?

Well for starters, it will tell you where the car was made, and who the manufacturer is. It will also tell you the year, so you don't have to rely on the seller to tell you this. There are times when a seller will try to convince you that you're looking at a later model than it actually is.

In addition, the VIN number decoder will tell you what engine came with the car, as well as the safety features. This is important information to have

Although the first eleven characters (letters & numbers) are important, it is the 12th - 17th characters that represent the individual vehicle. These are the unique fingerprint of the car, and these digits will tell you the specific history of the car.

The VIN decoder is the essence of a Vehicle History Report, and it is the most important part of buying a used car. Only with a full can you know the true past of the car you are considering.

Let's take a further look at the 17 alphanumeric characters below:

As an example, we'll consider a Toyota VIN Decoder: Here is the VIN: 4T1BF1FKXCV018801. You'll notice there are 17 letters and numbers altogether.

Character 1: Where the car was made:

1 = USA, 2 = Canada, 3 = Mexico, 4, 5 = USA J = Japan, K = Korea, W = Germany, Y = Sweden or Finland

In the example above, the car was made in the United States.

Characters 2 and 3: The make of the car:

A = Alfa Romeo, B = Dodge, C = Chrysler, D = Daihatsu, E = Eagle, F= Ford/Eagle, G = GM cars (Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Saturn) H = Honda or Acura, J = Jeep, L = Lincoln, M = Mitsubishi, N = Nissan or Infiniti, P = Plymouth, S = Subaru, T = Toyota or Lexus, V = Volkswagen

In the example above, the car is a Toyota.

You'll also find some cars that have these first three characters:

TRU/WAU = Audi, 4US/WBA/WBS = BMW, 2HM/KMH = Hyundai, SAJ = Jaguar, SAL = Land Rover, 1YV/JM1 = Mazda, WDB = Mercedes-Benz, VF3 = Peugeot, WP0 = Porsche, YK1/YS3 = Saab, YV1=Volvo, 8 = Isuzu

Characters 4-8: Various descriptors including engine, trim, body type. These vary from one car to the next.

In the example above, the car is a Camry LE, with a 2.5 liter, I4 engine and 6 speed automatic transmission.

Character 9: Security Check Digit Value

Character 10: The year of the car

A = 1980, 2010 B = 1981, 2011 C = 1982, 2012 D = 1983, 2013 E = 1984, 2014 F = 1985, 2015 G = 1986, 2016 H = 1987, 2017 (There is no I) J = 1988, 2018 K = 1989, 2019 L = 1990 M = 1991 N = 1992 (There is no O) P = 1993 (There is no Q) R = 1994 S = 1995 T = 1996 (There is no U) V = 1997 W = 1998 X = 1999 Y = 2000 (There is no Z)

* After 2000, Z is skipped and 2001 is represented by 1, 2002 by 2 and so on up to 2009. In 2010, they went back to letters. 2010 is A, 2011 is B, 2012 is C, 2013 is D, and so on.

In the example above, there is a "C" in the 10th spot, so the car is a 2012 model.

Character 11: Assembly Plant

Characters 12-17: The unique sequence of a vehicle.

It is these 6 digits that differentiate one vehicle from every other vehicle in the world, and are used to run your Vehicle History Report when you're checking out a used car.

So there you have the basics of the VIN decoder. Again, it varies from make to make, but this is the general format that they all follow.

more than vin decoder on our CheckMyCar VIN home page


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