How To Read a VIN Code

Shares VIN Code

Salvagebid proudly provides the Vehicle Identification Number, or VIN code, for every vehicle shown in our listings. The VIN is an essential tool when researching a car’s history. The VIN is the primary tracking tool, put into place beginning in 1981 by motor vehicle manufacturers to keep track of every car on the road, and it’s unique history.

Every VIN is a unique 17-digit code that is packed with useful information for vehicle registration offices and auto mechanics alike, allowing them to know where the car comes from, if there have been any recalls on it, and is used to keep track of every major milestone the vehicle has encountered. But the DMV and auto shops don’t need to be the only ones who can unpack this information from the code. Read on to find out how you can decode the VIN code, too.

Decoding the VIN Code

The VIN is made up of characters that indicate a vehicle’s year, make, model, where it was manufactured, and more. It can be broken down into three main sections:

First three characters: World Manufacturer Identifier

The first three characters indicate the country where vehicle was manufactured and by what company.

Characters 4 through 9: Vehicle Descriptor Section

These characters are used to identify the vehicle type, engine, and may include information on the model and the body style. The 9th digit is always a check digit. A mathematical formula generates this digit to help verify there is no error in the VIN when someone wants to research it.

Characters 10 through 17: Vehicle Identifier Section

These positions are used by the manufacturer to identify the individual vehicle. This will always include the year of the vehicle and the plant where the vehicle was manufactured. The remaining characters are assigned by the manufacturer as a unique serial number.

At first glance the VIN may appear as a random string of letters and numbers. But it’s actually a worldwide standard where every character carries a specific meaning. Use your VIN to get a vehicle history report when researching a car you like at

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