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What is VIN?

The vehicle identification number (VIN) is the identifying code for an individual vehicle. A VIN is composed of 17 characters (digits and capital letters) that act as a unique identifier for the vehicle. A VIN displays the car's unique features, specifications and manufacturer. The VIN can be used to track recalls, registrations, warranty claims, thefts and insurance coverage. When you want to buy a used vehicle , it's always a good idea to obtain a VIN check information.


World Manufacturer Identifier (WMI)

World Manufacturer Identifier briefly referred to as WMI code is part of the 17 digits of the VIN. It describes a specific vehicle in terms of the country where it was produced, the manufacturer and the type of the vehicle. It is usually the first three digits of VIN. If a manufacturer manufactures less than 1000 vehicles yearly, uses 9 as the third character and the 12th, 13th and 14th characters of the VIN for the next part of identification.
Country — It is represented by the first character in the VIN, e.g., AA-AH represents South Africa.
Manufacturer — Represented by the second character e.g.,1G represents General Motors in the US.
Vehicle Type — It is represented by the third character, e.g., 1G1 represents Chevrolet passenger cars.

1, 4, 5 United States
2 Canada
3A-37 Mexico
J Japan
VF-VR France
9 Brazil
WA-W0 West Germany
S Great Britain

Vehicle Descriptor Section (VDS)

The 4th to 8th characters are usually set aside to acquire the descriptive features of the vehicle. Almost all the essential data encoded in a VIN is captured here. However, some attributes of the specific vehicle captured are left to the maker to decide. And to make everything more intricate, each maker possesses a unique system of encoding vehicle data into the VIN.
Vehicle Attributes — The main data captured here include the engine, restraint system and the body type.
Check Digit — It is represented by the ninth digit. It is the security code that classifies the VIN as approved by the maker. It verifies the first eight digits based on mathematical calculations developed by the Transportation Department in the US.

Vehicle Identifier Section (VIS)

This starts from the 10th character to 17th character.
Year — The 10th character stands for the year the vehicle was built. The years are represented as follows:
Assembly Plant — It is represented by the 11th character, and it shows the plant where the vehicle was built.
Sequential Number — This is the serial characters of the vehicle represented by digits starting from 12th to 17th.

A 1980 L 1990 Y 2000 A 2010
B 1981 M 1991 1 2001 B 2011
C 1982 N 1992 2 2002 C 2012
D 1983 P 1993 3 2003 D 2013
E 1984 R 1994 4 2004 E 2014
F 1985 S 1995 5 2005 F 2015
G 1986 T 1996 6 2006 G 2016
H 1987 V 1997 7 2007 H 2017
J 1988 W 1998 8 2008 J 2018
K 1989 X 1999 9 2009 K 2019

VIN Decoding

Knowing how to read the VIN could help you make an informed decision before you buy.

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