HomeHow ToWhat is a VIN (Vehicle Identification Number)?

What is a VIN (Vehicle Identification Number)?



Fingerprints are unique to each individual. Everyone’s fingerprint is unique, and it can be used to prove one’s identity. Cars, too, have “fingerprints” in the same way.

The VIN stands for Vehicle Identification Number. If used correctly, the VIN can reveal a wealth of information about a vehicle. The issue is that most people have no idea what the letters in the VIN stand for.

Screenshot: Windows Dispatch

As a result, they have no idea when they should use the VIN. We’ll show you how to use the information you get from a VIN in this guide. To do so, we’ll go over the VIN and then highlight the VIN characters’ meanings.

What is a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)?

The Vehicle Identification Number is abbreviated as the VIN. You’ve probably heard it referred to as the VIN number like in the article about VIN here. Given that the letter N in the term VIN stands for number, I believe this is a type of repetition.

In any case, the VIN is an alphanumeric code provided to each car by the manufacturer. There are never two vehicles with the same VIN in the real world. This one-of-a-kind code has been used to distinguish autos since 1981.

The VIN consists of 17 characters, including capital letters and digits. Q, I, and O are letters that are frequently misunderstood as 1 and 0. As we will see later, each of these characters typically has a meaning.

So, where do you look for a car’s VIN? The location of the VIN is mostly determined by the vehicle. The VIN can be found on the following automotive parts on most passenger cars:

  • On the driver’s side, the inside dash
  • On both the driver’s and passenger’s side of the side pillar
  • The windshield’s bottom section
  • On the engine block’s front portion

There’s no need to be concerned if you have trouble finding the number on the above parts. You can also utilise the vehicle’s registration documentation. On paperwork such as the car’s logbook and insurance certificates, the VIN is difficult to overlook.

How to Decode Your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

The VIN is often misunderstood as a random collection of letters and numbers. Every character in the VIN, after all, has a meaning. Decoding the VIN is the process of figuring out what it means.

Manual decoding is possible. The disadvantage of this strategy is that it will take you days to gather all of the information. This is why the majority of people choose to employ a VIN decoder to do the task.

Screenshot: Windows Dispatch

You can access all the information encoded in the VIN in minutes with an advanced VIN decoder like VinPit. From the comfort of your couch, you can learn more about that Mercedes VIN with VinPit. You will not miss anything by obtaining information from a large database.

VinPit needs you to enter the VIN in the designated field to gain access to the information. After you’ve entered your information, you can now leave the site to work its magic. Then some information will appear.

Here’s how you can make sense of it all. The characters of the Vehicle Identification Number are usually divided into four categories:

Identifiers for Manufacturers Around the World (WMI)

This is the first category, which includes the first three characters.

The first character should identify the country in which the vehicle was built. The numerals 1, 4, or 5 will appear on your car if it was made in the United States. There is a letter for cars built outside of America.

The car’s manufacturer is represented by the second character. For example, an A denotes an Audi, a B a BMW, a F a Ford, and so on.

The third character, when combined with the first and second characters, represents the vehicle’s production division.

Section on Vehicle Descriptors (VDS)

The vehicle is described using the fourth to eighth characters. You’ll find information about the car’s body type, restraints, and engine code, among other things.

Check your digits

The ninth digit is referred to as the “check digit.” This number determines whether the VIN is genuine or a clone using a complicated mathematical algorithm.

Section on Vehicle Identification (VIS)

The vehicle’s identification is determined by the last eight digits.

You’ll find a letter reflecting the year the car model was manufactured in the tenth character. From 1981 to 2000, the letters B through Y were used on automobiles. From 2001 through 2009, the model years were represented by the digits 1 to 9.

Automobiles manufactured after 2010 will have alphabets beginning with A, and this will continue until 2030. As a result, if your car was built in 2021, it will bear the letter L.

The 11th character, often known as the plant code, identifies the assembly factory where the car was built.

The car’s serial number is made up of the last six digits, which are the 12th through 17th characters. Every car on the production line is normally given this number.

Using the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number)

So, how can you put all of this information to work for you? We’ve outlined some scenarios when you might need a VIN and how to use it below.

Buying a used vehicle

Are you considering purchasing a used vehicle? If you answered yes, you should conduct some research to see if the investment is justified. With the information on a VIN, you will be able to learn about all of the vehicle’s features.

You will also have access to information regarding accidents, maintenance, and previous car ownership. This helps you avoid buying a car with flaws or that has been stolen.

Buying and selling an automobile

If you’re selling a car, this information can help make the process go more smoothly. This is because you’ll have a head start on all the inquiries the customer might have. As a result of your preparation, you will be able to answer these questions ahead of time.

Car maintenance

You may need to acquire a spare part for your vehicle at some point. The VIN can be used to determine the sort of engine or transmission system that the vehicle requires. This enables you to obtain the correct part for that car.


As we’ve seen, the VIN is a number that any car owner or dealer should be familiar with. The vehicle identification number (VIN) contains important information about the vehicle. The model, engine type, and country of production, as well as the car’s serial number, are all included in this data.

All you need is a competent VIN decoder to get all of this information. You can discover everything there is to know about an automobile in minutes with a VIN decoder like Vin Pit. We are certain that you now understand how to use the information on the VIN after reading the previous information.



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