VIN Number Decoder

Decoding Those
17 VIN Digits


Use these free and easy, but very thorough, VIN number decoder tools to decode most any vehicles identification number.

What you'll find below:



VIN Number
Decoder Chart

Passenger Cars

MAKE

WMI

Vehicle Description Section

 

VIS

1-2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9-11

12-17

Acura

 

Vehicle Type

Model Line/
Engine

Body/
Trans

Trim Level

 

SP No.

Audi

 

Vehicle Type

Series

Engine

Restraint

Model

 

SP No.

BMW

 

Vehicle Type

Car Line/Series/Body Style/Engine/Restraint

 

SP No.

Buick

 

Division

Car Line/
Series

Body
Style

Restraint

Engine

 

SP No.

Cadillac

 

Division

Car Line/
Series

Body
Style

Restraint

Engine

 

SP No.

Chevrolet

 

Division

Car Line/
Series

Body
Style

Restraint

Engine

 

SP No.

Chevrolet
HHR

 

Division

GVWR/
Brake

Truck Line /
Chassis/Series

Body
Style

Engine

 

SP No.

Chrysler

 

Vehicle Type

Restraint

Car Line

Series

Body
Style

Engine

 

SP No.

Chrysler
PT Cruiser

 

Vehicle
Type

GVWR/
Brake

Car
Line

Series

Body
Style

Engine

 

SP No.

Dodge

 

Vehicle Type

Restraint

Car Line

Series

Body
Style

Engine

 

SP No.

Dodge
Magnum

 

Vehicle
Type

GVWR/
Brake

Car Line

Series

Body
Style

Engine

 

SP No.

MAKE

1-2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9-11

12-17

Ford

 

Vehicle Type

Restraint

Car Line/Series/
Body Style

Engine

 

SP No.

Honda

 

Vehicle Type

Model Line/
Engine

Body/
Trans

Trim
Level

 

SP No.

Hyundai

 

Vehicle Type

Model/
Drive

Body/
Trim

Restraint

Engine

 

SP No.

Infiniti

 

Vehicle Type

Engine

Car Line/
Model

Body
Style

Restraint

 

SP No.

Jaguar

 

Vehicle Type

Restraint

Trans

Vehicle Line/
Body Style

Engine/
Emission

 

*Below

Kia

 

Vehicle Type

Model

Series

Body
Style

Engine/
Restraint

 

SP No.

Lexus

 

Vehicle Type

Body/
Drive

Engine

Series

Restraint

Car Line

 

SP No.

Lincoln

 

Vehicle Type

Restraint

Car Line/Series/Body Style

Engine

 

SP No.

Mazda

 

Vehicle Type

Line/Series/Body Style/Engine/Restraint

 

SP No.

Mercedes

 

Vehicle Type

Model

Restraint

 

SP No.

Mercury

 

Vehicle Type

Restraint

Car Line/Series/Body Style

Engine

 

SP No.

Mini

 

Vehicle Type

Car Line

Series

Body
Style

Engine

Restraint

 

SP No.

MAKE

1-2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9-11

12-17

Mitsubishi

 

Vehicle Type

Restraint

Car Line/Series

Body
Style

Engine

 

SP No.

Nissan

 

Vehicle Type

Engine

Car Line/Model

Body
Style

Restraint

 

SP No.

Oldsmobile

 

Division

Car Line/
Series

Body
Style

Restraint

Engine

 

SP No.

Plymouth

 

Vehicle Type

Restraint

Car Line

Series

Body
Style

Engine

 

SP No.

Pontiac

 

Division

Car Line/
Series

Body/

Restraint

Engine

 

SP No.

Porsche
(2002)

 

Vehicle Type

Model

Engine

Restraint

Porsche Type

 

*Below

Porsche

 

Vehicle Type

Model

Engine

Restraint

Porsche Type

 

*Below

SAAB

 

Vehicle Type

Car Line

Model/
Restraint

Body
Style

Trans

Engine

 

SP No.

Saturn

 

Division

Car Line/
Series

Body
Style

Restraint

Engine

 

SP No.

Scion

 

Vehicle Type

Body/
Drive

Engine

Series

Restraint

Car Line

 

SP No.

MAKE

1-2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9-11

12-17

Smart

 

Vehicle Type

Model

Body
Style

Engine

Restraint

 

SP No.

Subaru

 

Vehicle Type

Line
Type

Body
Style

Engine

Model/
Trim

Restraint

 

SP No.

Suzuki

 

Vehicle Type

Line
Type

Series/
Chassis/
Restraint

Engine

Design

Body
Style

 

SP No.

Suzuki
Reno/
Forenza/
Verona

 

Division

Car Line/Series

Body
Style

Restraint

Engine

 

SP No.

Toyota

 

Vehicle Type

Body/
Drive

Engine

Series

Restraint

Car Line

 

SP No.

Volkswagen

 

Vehicle Type

Series

Engine

Restraint

Model

 

SP No.

Volvo

 

Vehicle Type

Series

Body/
Restraint

Engine

Emission  

SP No.

MAKE

1-2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9-11

12-17



Free VIN Number
Decoder and Records Search

1) If you'd like to know how many public records exist for your current vehicle and/or a vehicle you are considering buying, then...


Get a VIN Check

See the basic information about your vehicle and how many records we have. Enter your VIN to get started!


Don't have a VIN? You can still get a report on a car!


2) Here is a really cool VIN number decoder tool to quickly find most all the information referenced above and below about a specific vehicle...
Free VIN Number Decoder tool


What
Is A VIN

VIN is an abbreviation for Vehicle Identification Number. It is a 17 digit alphanumeric serial number that is assigned to a vehicle in order to identify it.

The standard VIN in use today, was originally issued back in 1979 and 1980 by the International Organization for Standardization.

I won't spend a lot of time on the history of the VIN (it's not that interesting, in fact it's boring), but just know that if you are looking for information on a 1981 or newer model vehicle, then the VIN number decoder information above and below will be relevant.


Where The
VIN Can Be Found

In order to decode a VIN, or to use the automatic VIN number decoder, you'll have to know where to find it. Here are the most common and easiest places to find the VIN:

  • The drivers side door (sticker on the side of door)
  • The drivers side dashboard (towards the front of the vehicle, easiest seen from outside looking through the windshield)
  • On your insurance card
  • On any contracts you may have for the vehicle (Bill of sale, etc.)


VIN
Breakdown

First off, I'd like to say that in order to use the VIN number decoder correctly, it's important to note that there are no letters I, O or Q used in a VIN.

  • If it looks like an I, it's the number 1.
  • If it looks like an O, it's the number 0.
  • And if it looks like a Q, then take another look.

I'm going to use a truck off of my lot as a real life example for decoding a VIN number.

Sample VIN: 1GCHK29102E229241

Now let's break that down into 6 different groups:

1GC   HK291   0    2   E   229241


World
Manufacturers Index (WMI)

The first group will consist of the first three digits, in this case - 1GC.

1) The first digit represents the country of origin. The most common are:

  • 1 or 4 = USA
  • 2 = Canada
  • 3 = Mexico
  • J = Japan
  • K = Korea
  • E = England
  • W = Germany
  • Z = Italy

So the truck in the example was built in the USA.


2) The second digit (G in this case) represents the manufacturer code.

These are as follows:

  • A = Audi
  • B = BMW
  • 4 = Buick
  • 6 = Cadillac
  • 1 = Chevrolet
  • C = Chrysler
  • B/D = Dodge
  • F = Ford
  • 7 = GM Canada
  • G = General Motors
  • H = Honda
  • A = Jaguar (yes the same as audi)
  • L = Lincoln
  • D = Mercedes Benz
  • M = Mercury
  • N = Nissan
  • 3 = Oldsmobile
  • 2/5 = Pontiac
  • P = Plymouth
  • 8 = Saturn
  • T = Toyota
  • V = Volkswagen
  • V = Volvo

So in the VIN number decoder exercise above we've discovered that the vehicle is a USA manufactured GMC.


3) The third digit (C in this case) will show the division within the manufacturer or the vehicle type.

Using GMC as an example:

  • 1 = Chevy car
  • C = Chevy truck
  • N = Chevy SUV

Ford for example would be:

  • A = Ford car
  • D = Ford F350
  • M = Ford SUV
  • T = Ford F150 & F250

For brevity's sake I'll keep the third VIN digit definition to these two manufacturers.

So far we now know, thanks to the VIN number decoder, that we are looking at a USA made, GMC, Chevrolet truck.


VIN
Descriptors

The VIN descriptors are the second group of numbers and these are the fourth to the eighth VIN digits.

Using the VIN number above we'd be working with:

H K 2 9 1

  • The fourth VIN digit (H) will describe the weight and/or horsepower.
  • The fifth VIN digit (K) will describe the vehicle's platform, i.e. pickup truck, van, sedan, trailer, etc. This fifth digit can also describe whether the vehicle is a 4x4 or 2wd. For Chevy 2wd equals a C and 4x4 equals a K.
  • The sixth VIN digit (2) will describe more specifically the model type, i.e. Expedition, Trailblazer, Durango, etc.
  • The seventh VIN digit (9) will describe the body type, i.e. 2 door, 4 door, hatchback, convertible, etc.
  • The eighth VIN digit (1) will describe engine information a little more in depth, like number of cylinders, number of liters, diesel or gas, etc.

These VIN digits can also describe whether the vehicle is a manual, automatic and even trim level (F150 XL, XLT, FX4, Lariat, etc.).

So far the VIN number decoder has told us that we are looking at a USA made, GMC, Chevrolet truck, 2500, 4x4, LS with a diesel engine.


The
Check Digit

Trust me, it starts to get easier to follow along from this point on.

The next three VIN digits are consistent among all manufacturers and pretty straightforward.

The ninth VIN digit exists to tell computers when there has a been an operator error, type of input, when entering a VIN. Errors happen often with alphanumeric VIN's and this number has saved my rear end a few times.

It's sort of a complicated mathematical computation to figure the check digit and I'm no Einstein, so please just know it keeps mistakes in check.

That's it for the check digit...Told you this would get easier.


The
Model Year

VIN digit number ten is by far the most referenced, in the car business, for quick age verification of a vehicle.

This one is pretty easy, but just in case you like to read I've included a handy dandy little reference chart.

In our example VIN the tenth digit is a 2, meaning that the truck we are working with is a model year 2002.

To recap what we've found so far with the VIN number decoder:

USA made, GMC, Chevrolet truck, 2500, 4x4, LS with a diesel engine and is a 2002.

CodeYearCodeYearCodeYearCodeYear
A ----1980L ----1990Y ----2000A ----2010
B ----1981M ----19911 ----2001B ----2011
C ----1982N ----19922 ----2002C ----2012
D ----1983P ----19933 ----2003D ----2013
E ----1984R ----19944 ----2004E ----2014
F ----1985S ----19955 ----2005F ----2015
G ----1986T ----19966 ----2006G ----2016
H ----1987V ----19977 ----2007H ----2017
J ----1988W ----19988 ----2008J ----2018
K ----1989X ----19999 ----2009K ----2019


The
Plant Code

VIN digit number eleven is just as easy and probably won't be of too much concern to most people.

This digit simply shows what plant the vehicle was assembled at.

So in our VIN number decoding example the vehicle was assembled in Pontiac Michigan, based on "E" being the eleventh digit.


Sequence
Production Numbers

The last six VIN digits are the sequence production numbers.

You'll see this abbreviated in the VIN number decoder as SP No.

These numbers give the vehicle its identity. Simply put there may be many vehicles produced in a single year, by a single manufacturer, that share the same eleven digits of a VIN, but none will share those first eleven and the last six.



Well, that's it for the VIN number decoder. If you've made it all the way through this page, then give yourself a pat on the back, because not only do you know what those 17 little VIN digits mean, but you can now declare yourself a VIN decoding expert.

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