How to Decode Your VIN in the Quickest Possible Time

decoding a vehicle identification number VIN

The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on any car is a combination of letters and numbers used to identify a car. Every car has its unique VIN, which is made up of seventeen characters. There are many reasons why you should know what the VIN characters represent. Think of it as access to a comprehensive log book of your car that shows everything about its history.

The VIN is usually etched on the car’s engine, on the driver’s side of the dashboard and the drivers’ car door.

To help you decode your VIN as quickly as possible, we will help explain each part of VIN.

First of all, here are some reasons why every car has a VIN.

Reasons Why Each Car Has a VIN

Manufacturers’ Details

You can find out about the car’s manufacturer with the VIN. Some car makers have undergone mergers and acquisitions over the years making some details seem confusing. With the VIN, the original manufacturer and factory where the car was made can be identified.

The Vehicle’s History

The VIN shows documentation of every car’s history, including its insurance history, registration details, and reports filed for the car in case of accident, theft, past claims, or warranties.

Information About the Car’s Specifications

You can also find out information about a car such as the model, engine size and capacity, the type of airbags installed, fuel tank capacity, trim level, and other information.

Replacement Parts

The VIN can be used to find essential information about the correct replacement parts and engine oil that should be used for your particular car. Mistakes are often made when buying replacement parts based on a car’s model. The proper way to go about sourcing replacement parts is to check the VIN.

How to decode your VIN

To get all the information stated above and more, you will need to decode your car’s VIN (see more info here). No worries, the process is not as complex as it sounds!

The First Character

The first character of a VIN represents the country a car was manufactured. It can be a letter or number. The first character for cars made in the US start with 1, 4, or 5. The number 2 represents Canada and 3 Mexico. Regarding letters, Germany is represented by W, Japan- J, England S, South Korea K, and Finland Y…

The Second Character of the VIN

This is usually a capital letter that represents the car brand, for example, B for BMW, N for Nissan, A for Audi, and L for Lincoln.

The Third Character of the VIN

This can be a letter or number; it represents the type of car and classification.

Other Characters of the VIN

The next set of characters, from four to nine, reveal information such as engine code, car model and body type. The ninth character is a number used to validate the VIN.

The tenth character of a VIN is a letter that indicates the year of that particular car model. Previously numbers were used, but from 2010, all car VINs have letters as the tenth character. For example, A- 2010, B-2011, C-2012, D-2013 and so on.

Each manufacturing plant for cars is also represented in the VIN, by the eleventh character. This character represents the manufacturing plant’s code as set by the car maker.

The production sequence for the car, how its parts were made and assembled, is represented by the last batch of characters of a VIN – twelve to seventeen.

To avoid the lengthy task of researching different information separately, you can quickly perform a VIN check using a number of different online apps. A VIN decoder will most likely be free to use, and it will be able to reveal all the information you need to know about any car. All you need to do in enter the vehicles VIN and the information is displayed on your screen. A free VIN decoder check can be completed at



James Williams
James is our Lead Content Publisher here at Feeds Portal. He has worked with many top websites over the years, including BuzzFeed.

Log In

Forgot password?

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.