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How Can I Find out the Year Make and Model of a Vehicle from the VIN?

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What is the VIN Code?

A vehicle identification number (VIN) is the 17-digit “name” made up of numbers and characters that an automobile manufacturer assigns to an individual vehicle. The VIN can be used to reveal many things about automobiles, including the vehicle type, year and model, plant name, trim level, engine size, country of origin, and airbag type. The VIN code can also be used to obtain a vehicle history report (VHR) or VIN check. By decoding the VIN code and using the information, you can identify the year and model of a vehicle. The first digit of the VIN stands for the country of manufacture, and the following digits indicate the specific model and production details of the vehicle. The last digit of the VIN is the ‘check digit’ and is used to validate the authenticity of the car’s VIN code. With the help of a VIN de-coder, you can easily check the validity of a VIN.

 

What Information can be Obtained from the Year of Make and Model of a Vehicle From its VIN?

1. Vehicle Identification Number

The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is a unique 17-character code assigned to each motor vehicle when it is manufactured. It acts as the vehicle’s fingerprint, as no two vehicles in operation have the same VIN. It contains information about the car such as the country of manufacture, engine size, model year, vehicle type, trim level, and plant name. It can also be used to check on safety recalls or obtain a vehicle history report. The first three characters of the VIN are the World Manufacturer Identifier, which identifies the manufacture of the vehicle. The middle characters refer to the vehicle attributes, such as body style, engine type, model, etc. The last six characters are the unique serial number for the vehicle. This information can be used by dealerships, insurance companies, parts suppliers, authorities, and potential buyers to track recalls, registrations, warranty claims, thefts and insurance coverage.

2. Manufacturer

Information that can be obtained from the manufacturer of a vehicle by looking up its VIN includes the country or region of origin, the make of the vehicle, the model of the car, the trim level, and the manufacturer’s plant code. Additionally, the World Manufacturer Identifier (WMI) code, consisting of the first three characters of the VIN, can be used to identify the country of origin, manufacturer, and specific division within a manufacturer.

3. Model

The model of a vehicle can be obtained from its VIN, which contains a vehicle descriptor section that includes information about the model type, restraint types, body type, engine, and transmission. Trim levels can also be identified, which can affect the transmission, engine, safety options, and interior features of the vehicle. The trim level also impacts the Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) and can affect the cost of the vehicle significantly. Finally, the body style of the car can also be identified, such as coupe, sedan, SUV, etc.

4. Date of Manufacture

The date of manufacture for a vehicle can be determined from its VIN number. Depending on the manufacturer, the 10th or 12th character in the VIN indicates the year of manufacture, while the 9th or 11th character indicates the month of manufacture. For example, if the 9th character is ‘G’, it indicates that the vehicle was manufactured in July and if the 10th character is ‘A’, it indicates that the vehicle was manufactured in 2010.

5. Vehicle Descriptor Section

The vehicle descriptor section of a vehicle’s VIN can provide information such as the vehicle’s make, model, line, body type, engine type, restraint types, and transmission type. It can also indicate the sequence in which the vehicle came off of the assembly line, and the plant of manufacture.

6. Type of Vehicle

The type of vehicle information that can be obtained from the year of make and model of a vehicle from its VIN include: body type, engine type, make, line, series, model, country of manufacture, and purpose and scope.

7. Plant of Manufacture

The plant of manufacture for a vehicle can be identified by looking at the 11th character of the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). This character is the manufacturer’s plant code, and it can help identify the year and model of a vehicle. Each manufacturer has their own plant codes to identify the plant in which the vehicle was assembled. To find the plant of manufacture for a vehicle, you can use the VIN decoder provided by NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). After entering the full VIN into the decoder, the build plant and country for the vehicle will be listed at the bottom of the page. For example, a vehicle with a VIN of ABC123456E might be identified as being manufactured in the US by Honda.

8. Production Sequence Number

The production sequence number is the unique serial number for the vehicle and is found in characters 12 through 17 of a vehicle’s VIN. This number is used to indicate the sequence in which the vehicle came off of the assembly line. The 10th character of the VIN is a year code which can be used to determine the year the vehicle was manufactured. Characters 4 through 8 represent the vehicle descriptor section, which is information such as model type, restraint types, body type, engine, and transmission. By decoding the information found in these characters, one can determine the year of make and model of the vehicle. For example, a VIN containing the characters “1G6DW5477XJ908765” would indicate that the vehicle is a 1999 Cadillac DeVille.

9. Vehicle Descriptor Digits

The vehicle descriptor digits in a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) are the four to eight digits that provide information about the vehicle’s make, model, body style, engine type, and other features. These digits can be used to decode a VIN to obtain additional information about a vehicle’s year and model. The tenth digit of the VIN typically represents the model year; for example, a ‘D’ in this position typically signifies a 2013 model. The fifth through seventh digits often represent the exact series of the model and the eighth digit typically indicates the engine size. This information can be useful in identifying a vehicle’s year, model, and other details for maintenance and repair purposes.

10. Vehicle Options

The vehicle options for a vehicle from its VIN can include the model type, body type, engine, transmission, vehicle origin, drive train, brakes, safety features, vehicle recalls, model year, and trim levels. The model year can be determined by the 10th digit of the VIN, and the trim level usually designates the equipment and features of the vehicle, such as transmission, engine type, interior features, and safety options.

 

How to Find out the Year of Make and Model of a Vehicle from its VIN?

Step 1: Determine which digits are needed

Step 1: Locate the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on the car. The VIN is usually found on the dashboard on the driver’s side, or on the driver’s side door jamb.

Step 2: Analyze the VIN. A VIN is made up of 17 characters (digits and capital letters) without any spaces or the letters Q (q), I (i), and O (o).

Step 3: Determine the country of origin. The first digit of the VIN number is the country of origin or final processing plant. For example, numbers, 1, 4 and 5 represent the U.S., 2 is Canada and the number 3 represents Mexico.

Step 4: Identify the manufacturer. The second digit of the VIN represents the manufacturer, for example, ‘G’ is for General Motors, ‘C’ can be Chrysler and ‘B’ for BMW.

Step 5: Locate the 10th character. This character is used to indicate the year of make and model of the vehicle.

Step 6: Refer to a VIN to year chart. Using the chart provided, you can easily determine the year of make and model of the vehicle. For example, if the 10th digit is a ‘D’ this means the vehicle is a 2013 model.

Step 2: Get a VIN plate reader

Step 1: Locate the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of your vehicle. The VIN is typically found on the driver’s side dashboard, near the windshield. It can also be located on the door post of the driver’s side door.

Step 2: Use a VIN plate reader to decode the VIN. A VIN plate reader is a tool used to read and decode the information stored in a vehicle’s VIN. You can find VIN plate readers at auto parts stores, repair shops, and online.

Step 3: Enter the VIN into the VIN plate reader. Depending on the model, the VIN plate reader may require you to enter the VIN manually.

Step 4: Read the results. The VIN plate reader will display information about the vehicle such as its make, model, year of manufacture, and engine size.

Step 5: Run a vehicle history report. To get even more detailed information, you can run a vehicle history report or VIN check. Sites such as Edmunds and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) offer free VIN checks and vehicle history reports.

Step 3: Find the vehicle’s year make and model

To find out the year make and model of a vehicle from its VIN, you need to decode the 17-character VIN. Start by locating the VIN, which can be found on the driver’s side of the dashboard where it meets the windshield, the driver’s side door jamb, or printed on the vehicle’s registration. Then, count 8 characters from the right and you will find the character that denotes the model year of the vehicle. For vehicles with 17-character VINs, a chart is available to help you decode the letter or number you find. The letter or number can range from 1980 to 2021, with the letters L, O, Q, U, and Z not used. You can also use the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s VIN Decoder web page for additional information. Lastly, you can request a vehicle history report from your local Department of Motor Vehicles, which will provide you with the make and model of the vehicle.

Step 4: Look up the vehicle’s reference number

Step 1: Locate the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of the vehicle. The VIN can be found by looking at the dashboard on the driver’s side of the vehicle. The easiest way to view it is to stand outside the vehicle on the driver’s side and look at the corner of the dashboard where it meets the windshield. If the VIN cannot be found there, open the driver’s side door and look at the door post (where the door latches when it is closed). It is likely that the VIN will also be displayed in this location.

Step 2: Enter the 17-character VIN into the VIN Decoder lookup. This is intended for use with vehicles manufactured since 1981. If your vehicle was made before 1981, the VIN will most likely contain 11 characters.

Step 3: Above the order form, you will be able to view the year, make, model, style and country of assembly for your VIN.

Step 4: If your car was preowned, you can get its make and model by requesting a vehicle history report from your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). You will need the car’s title, VIN, and proof of identification. The car history report contains a record of past ownership, vehicle’s title, odometer settings, existing liens on the vehicle, and past maintenance.

Step 5: Search online databases and tools

What online databases and tools can be used to find out the year of make and model of a vehicle from its VIN? [Expanded list]: There are a range of online databases and tools available to help you determine the year of make and model of a vehicle from its VIN, including: Carfax VIN Lookup Tool, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) VIN Decoding and Recall Check, Edmunds Instant Cash Offer, Team-BHP classifieds, forum, and store, and the Carfax History-Based Value Tool. Each of these tools offers a different type of information, such as open recalls, flood damage, odometer fraud, airbag issues, pre-delivery inspection (PDI) & check list, and past servicing, accident history, and number of owners, so you can get a more complete picture of what a car is worth.

Step 6: Check with dealers or service providers

You can check with dealers or service providers to find out the year of make and model of a vehicle from its VIN. Here’s a step by step guide to help you out:

Get the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) from the dashboard on the driver’s side of the vehicle. The VIN may also be displayed on the door post or the insurance card/policy.

Go to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website and use their free VIN checker tools to decode your VIN or check for any recalls.

Run an AutoCheck vehicle history report to view the year, make, model, style, and country of assembly for the VIN. You can obtain a free report without having to purchase anything.

Obtain at least three quotes from auto insurers for the appropriate make and model. Compare coverage deductibles, limitations, exclusions, coverage amount, discounts, financial stability ratings, customer service and claims ratings, and price.

Select the best auto insurance company for your needs and complete the application. The auto insurer will review your application and give you the final price for the policy.

Step 7: Have a conversation with an older relative who might be familiar with the vehicle

If you need help determining the year, make and model of a vehicle from its VIN, an older relative may be able to help. Here’s what you need to do:

Find the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of the vehicle. The VIN is a 17-character code made up of letters and numbers. It can be found:

– On the driver’s side of the dashboard where it meets the windshield

– On the driver’s side door jamb

– Printed on your vehicle’s registration

Ask your relative to enter the VIN into the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s VIN Decoder web page. This will reveal the car’s make, model, and other details.

Explain to your relative that the 10th character of the VIN identifies the model year.

Request a vehicle history report (VHR) or VIN check from your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). You will need the car’s title, VIN, and proof of identification to obtain the report.

Have your relative look over the results of the VHR or VIN check. The report will contain a record of past ownership, vehicle’s title, odometer settings, existing liens on the vehicle, and past maintenance.

Following these steps should help you and your relative determine the year, make, and model of a vehicle from its VIN.

Step 8: Check if there are any special requirements for the year make or model

Are there any special requirements for the year make or model of a vehicle? When it comes to accurately determining the year make or model of a vehicle, the only way to do so is to decode the original Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). Starting in 1980, most cars had VINs that were composed of 17 characters – a combination of letters and numbers. To find the character that denotes the year model of a vehicle, start at the end of the VIN and count left 8 characters. This will be either a number or a letter that will tell you what year the vehicle is. The tenth digit shows the exact year the car was made, represented by a letter or number depending on its age. Furthermore, the fourth digit gives details of the car’s model-specific features, such as additional safety information; the fifth digit represents the car’s series, the sixth and seventh digits show the car’s body style and type; and the eighth digit indicates the car’s engine size. For any of those 17-character VINs, it is easy to pick out the single character that denotes the year model of the vehicle.

Step 9: Verify the correct spelling and format of the year make and model values

Step-by-Step Instructions:

Locate the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). It is usually found in the driver’s side door jam, stamped in metal on the dashboard, or on the vehicle’s title, registration, or insurance card.

Count eight characters from the right of the VIN. This will be a letter or a number that denotes the year model of the vehicle.

To determine which character denotes which year model, refer to the VIN to Year Chart (see link in the reference section). This chart will show you the year model based on the letter or number in position 10 of the VIN.

Once you have determined the year model, you can use the year model to verify the correct spelling and format of make and model values. You can use the vehicle manufacturer’s website to lookup the make and model of the vehicle and confirm that the values are correct.

Step 10: Consider using a password protection mechanism

Using a password protection mechanism to find out the year of make and model of a vehicle from its VIN can help in ensuring the authenticity of the VIN. The ninth character, or check digit, is used to detect invalid VINs based on a mathematical formula developed by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Step-by-step instructions:

Look up the VIN of the vehicle and identify the ninth character, or check digit.

Use the mathematical formula developed by the U.S. Department of Transportation to verify the authenticity of the VIN.

Once the authenticity is verified, look for the tenth character which is the vehicle model-year for vehicles built in or after 1981.

If the vehicle was built before 1981, the VIN format was not standardized and the make and model year can be found by consulting the manufacturer.

Finally, verify the accuracy of the information found by checking with the manufacturer.