VIN Decoder

Free VIN Decoder & Lookup

What is a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)?

A Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is a distinct code allocated to each motor vehicle during its production process. This 17-character alphanumeric sequence lacks spaces and deliberately excludes the letters Q (q), I (i), and O (o) to prevent confusion with the numerals 0 and 1. Structured by the ISO Institute, the VIN serves as a comprehensive identifier, divulging specific details about the vehicle, encompassing its manufacturing year, country and factory of origin, make and model specifics, and the unique serial number. This code functions as a vital repository of information, revealing critical details like the engine type, transmission, and more, offering an intricate profile of the vehicle’s characteristics and history. Typically, VINs are displayed in a continuous line, each character holding significant details integral to the vehicle’s identity and history.

Where can you find the VIN number?

The VIN acts as a fingerprint for every vehicle. You can find the VIN in several locations on the vehicle:VIN decoder

  • Under the hood (engine block)
  • Dashboard (near the windshield)
  • Door frame (left-hand inner wheel arch)
  • Driver’s side door (near door jamb)
  • Some cars may have it on the firewall, steering wheel, and radiator support bracket.

You can also find the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of a vehicle on various documents, including:

  • Vehicle Title: The VIN is listed on the vehicle’s title documents, which prove ownership. It’s an important identifier on the title.
  • Registration Documents: The VIN is commonly included on the vehicle registration documents issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
  • Insurance Documents: Insurance policies often list the VIN, as it helps identify the insured vehicle accurately.

How to Decode the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)?

A Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) typically consists of 17 characters, and these characters are divided into three main sections. Each section of the VIN has a different meaning. It is based on 1979 and 1980 ISO standards. Please refer to the diagram below for the matching value of each character or section.

Characters 1-3: World Manufacturer Identifier (WMI)

The first three characters of the VIN represent the World Manufacturer Identifier, which identifies the vehicle’s country of origin and the manufacturer. The first character typically represents the country where the vehicle was manufactured, the second character may identify the manufacturer’s division or the vehicle type, and the third character often represents the vehicle’s model or manufacturing division.

WMI Region Notes
A-C 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
NL-NR = Turkey
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-T1 = 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
8-9 South America 8A-8E = Argentina
8F-8J = Chile
8L-8R = Ecuador
8X-82 = Venezuela
9A-9E, 93-99 = Brazil
9F-9J = Colombia

Characters 4-8: Vehicle Descriptor Section (VDS)

Characters 4 through 8 in the VIN make up the Vehicle Descriptor Section. This portion of the VIN provides specific details about the vehicle, including its body type, engine type, series, and more. It can vary in length and content depending on the manufacturer and the specific vehicle.

Here’s what the VDS section can encompass:

  • Model Information: The VDS may contain characters that represent the specific model of the vehicle. This could be a concise representation of the model name or a combination of characters indicating the model.
  • Body Style: Information about the body style of the vehicle can be encoded within the VDS. This could indicate whether the vehicle is a sedan, coupe, convertible, SUV, truck, etc.
  • Engine Type: Some VDS codes might include details about the engine type or configuration. This can provide insights into the powertrain of the vehicle.
  • Trim Level: The trim level of the vehicle, which denotes the various features, options, and upgrades, can be encoded in the VDS. This helps distinguish between different configurations of the same model.
  • Other Vehicle Specifics: Depending on the manufacturer, additional details like safety features, special packages, or specific equipment may also be included in the VDS.

It’s important to note that while the VDS code provides valuable information about a vehicle, it is not standardized across all automakers. Different manufacturers may use this section to encode various details based on their own internal coding systems. As a result, interpreting the VDS code requires access to the manufacturer’s decoding guide or database.

Characters 9-17: Vehicle Identification Section (VIS)

The remaining characters (from 9 to 17) form the Vehicle Identification Section. This part of the VIN is unique to each vehicle and provides information about the vehicle’s model year, assembly plant, and the serial number of the vehicle as it came off the assembly line. The 9th character is often used to check the VIN’s accuracy.

Character 10: Vehicle Identification Section – Model Year

The 10th. character of the VIN represents the model year of a car. It is one of the important information you should check if you’re planning to buy a used car. This matters because the model year helps assess the value of a car. Insurance fees also depends on the age of the car. As shown above, the 10th character of the VIN indicates the model year.

Code Year Code Year Code Year
A 1980 X 1999 J 2018
B 1981 Y 2000 K 2019
C 1982 1 2001 L 2020
D 1983 2 2002 M 2021
E 1984 3 2003 N 2022
F 1985 4 2004 P 2023
G 1986 5 2005 R 2024
H 1987 6 2006 S 2025
J 1988 7 2007 T 2026
K 1989 8 2008 V 2027
L 1990 9 2009 W 2028
M 1991 A 2010 X 2029
N 1992 B 2011 Y 2030
P 1993 C 2012 1 2031
R 1994 D 2013 2 2032
S 1995 E 2014 3 2033
T 1996 F 2015 4 2034
V 1997 G 2016 5 2035
W 1998 H 2017 6 2036

What types of information can you get from VIN decoder service?’s VIN decoder service provides a comprehensive range of information about a vehicle’s history, including:

  • Vehicle details: this section shows the vehicle’s specifications
    • country of origin
    • name of the maker
    • engine type and size
    • model year
    • transmission type
  • Vehicle ownership history: shows the number of owners, duration of ownership, registration details, and state of registration.
  • Title History: Access details regarding the vehicle’s title, including any previous title transfers, salvage titles, or branding issues that may affect its value or legality.
  • Flood or Salvage History: Flood-damaged or salvaged vehicles may have hidden issues. Land Rover VIN Check Reports reveal any history of flood damage or salvage, aiding buyers in avoiding vehicles with potential hidden problems.
  • Odometer Readings: Verify the accuracy of the vehicle’s odometer readings to prevent potential odometer fraud or tampering.
  • Lien and Loan Records: Discover any existing liens or outstanding loans on the vehicle, ensuring a smooth ownership transfer and preventing complications.
  • Ownership Cost: Approximate calculation of the expenses associated with owning and operating a vehicle over a specific period. This estimate takes into account various factors such as the vehicle’s purchase price, depreciation, fuel consumption, insurance premiums, maintenance and repair costs, taxes, financing charges (if applicable), and other related expenses.
  • Current warranty: type of coverage and warranty status.
  • Accident History: Gain insight into any reported accidents or collisions the Land Rover has encountered, offering a comprehensive understanding of its past damages and repairs.
  • Recalls and defects: latest recalls, impact on performance and safety, and available remedies.
  • Market value: the estimated average value people are paying for the same car in your area.
  • Sales history: shows historical listings of this vehicle for sale, either by a private party or by a car dealership.
  • Equipment details: air conditioning system, mirrors, safety features, tires, and other related items.
  • Fuel efficiency: the car’s city and highway mileage per gallon, fuel capacity, and type.
  • Safety rating: IIHS crash ratings.
    • Crash-worthiness is how a vehicle protects its occupants in a crash.
    • Crash avoidance and mitigation refer to technology to prevent a crash or lessen its severity.

Other VIN-based Tools and Resources from

All these vehicle research tools offer comprehensive vehicle history reports absolutely free – great alternatives to pricey car reports.

Free VIN Recall Check
Free Motorcycle VIN Check
Free ATV VIN Check

If the VIN is not available, offers a free license plate lookup that can yield the same results as a free VIN check.