What is VIN?

What is VIN?

The Vin-code or Vin-number of the car is a unique set of 17 characters (numbers and signs), in which the key information about the car is encrypted.
The structure of the code is developed and regulated by the international standards ISO 3779-1983 and ISO 3780. Knowing the Vin-code, you can independently decrypt a lot of data.

Despite the differences between different car brands, it is possible to distinguish generally accepted markings in all Vin-codes. Looking at the Vin code from left to right, we see the following:

  • The first 3 characters (WMI - World Manufacturer Identifirer) in the Vin-code are the international number of the manufacturer. Usually, the first letter indicates a geographic area, and the second (taking into account the first) - to a specific country in this area. The last character in this group either indicates a specific manufacturer or indicates the type of vehicle.
  • From the 4th to the 8th character (VDS - Vehicle Description Section) - these are the digits of the serial number of the model + check digit, that is, there are only 6 characters responsible for the designation of the characteristics of the car,
  • 10th Vin code digit - usually indicates the model year, - one decal indicating the type of steering,
  • 11th character - denotes the manufacturer's plant code (A-E: Sindelfingen, F-H: Bremen, J: Rastatt, T: Karmann (Osnabrueck), X: Graz),
  • From the 12th to the 17th character (VIS - Vehicle Indicator Section) - there are up to 6 characters of the chassis serial number.

Vin-code contains other data

The VIN-code may contain a designation of the maximum permissible vehicle weight.

It is displayed with one of these letters:

  • E - 2723 ÷ 3175 kg
  • F - 3176 ÷ 3629 kg
  • G - 3630 ÷ 4083 kg
  • H - 4084 ÷ 4537 kg

The engine type is indicated by one of these letters:

  • R - Gasoline
  • D - Diesel

Model year may be specified. This parameter is recommended by international standards, but it is not required to be included in the Vin-code. A number of manufacturers such as Peugeot, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota and others do not encrypt this information. The model year in the Vin-code is denoted by one symbol, it can be either a letter or a number.

After we have figured out what this multi-digit number contains, let's clarify on which parts of the car the Vin-code is applied. When you want to find the Vin-code in your car, you will immediately feel that it is hiding in the most inconvenient and inaccessible places, namely:

  1. front door frame,
  2. a shield near the windshield,
  3. on the front of the engine,
  4. on a partition with thermal insulation,
  5. inner arch of the left wheel,
  6. steering column or steering wheel,
  7. radiator bracket.

Also, the Vin-code is displayed in your technical passport and technical inspection coupon. Such difficult access is justified primarily by the need to "protect" your car from fraudsters. Manufacturers make it extremely difficult to "interrupt" the Vin-code to another in the event of theft.

But the illegal practice of changing the Vin code remains quite popular among fraudsters. In some cases, it is impossible to recognize a false Vin-code without special equipment. Do not try to assess the authenticity of the Vin-code yourself and always contact a specialist in this area.

Use vin.report for authentic vehicle information. We will help you make the right choice in purchasing a vehicle.