Have trouble locating the vehicle identification number (VIN) of your vehicle?
Then you’ve come to the right place.
Here, we’ll be showing you where the VIN number on a car is. Plus, we’ll also mention what a VIN is, the components of a VIN, and much more.
You’ll know everything you need to know about VINs.
So shall we?
Where Do I Find the VIN on My Vehicle?
Finding the VIN on your vehicle can be a bit hassle. This is because it is placed in several locations.
Let’s look at all the locations it can be found.
Driver’s side dashboard
Usually, your vehicle’s VIN can be found on the driver’s side of the dashboard. More specifically, at the very corner, where the dashboard meets the windshield.
The VIN is fixed to a metal plate. Anyone can read it from outside of your vehicle.
Driver’s side door jamb
You can also find the VIN at the door jamb on the driver’s side. Open the door and locate it beside the seatbelt sling.
In front of the engine block
Some vehicles have their VINs on the engine. Open the hood and locate the VIN in front of the engine block.
In front of the car frame
Another place you can find your vehicle’s VIN is in front of the car frame. It is near the container that holds the windshield washer fluid.
If not there, you can check the rear wheel on the driver’s side. The VIN is located above the tire and inside the wheel well.
Underneath the spare tire
If there’s a spare tire in your vehicle’s trunk, you may also locate the VIN there. You have to remove the spare tire to be able to see if the VIN is written in that area.
Your insurance card
Other than the different locations in your vehicle, you can also find the VIN on your insurance card.
So if you can’t bother looking around, it’s best to check your insurance card.
What is a VIN?
So now you know where to find the VIN on your vehicle.
However, what exactly is a VIN?
In 1954, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) required all road vehicles to have standardized vehicle identification numbers (VIN).
This VIN is the identifying code for a certain vehicle. No two vehicles have the same VIN.
Why is it Important to Know My Vehicle’s VIN?
The VIN is essential as it can be used to track registrations, warranties, recalls, as well as theft, and insurance coverage.
Say, you bought a used vehicle. And you want to verify if the vehicle is legitimate.
Well, the VIN can indicate if the car you purchased is stolen or unsafe to drive. On a side note, the VIN can also help authorities recover stolen vehicles.
What’s more, the VIN makes it easier to get car parts specific to your vehicle’s model.
And yes, it can help in your vehicle’s identity protection.
As you can see, there are so many reasons why it’s important to know your vehicle’s VIN.
What are the Components of a VIN?
A VIN consists of 17 characters, all in numerical digits and capital letters. These will help you find the car’s unique features, specifications, and manufacturer.
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) originally issued the VIN in 1979 and 1980. Today, there are many variations of the ISO standards that were adopted by the European Union and the United States.
|ISO 3779||World manufacturer identifier (WMI)||Vehicle descriptor section||Vehicle identifier section|
|European Union (more than 500 vehicles/year)||WMI||Indication of “the general characteristics of the vehicle”||“clear identification of a particular vehicle”|
|European Union (500 or fewer vehicles/year)||WMI||9||“the general characteristics of the vehicle”||“clear identification of a particular vehicle”|
|North America (more than 2,000 vehicles/year)||WMI||Vehicle attributes||Check digit||Model year||Plant code||Sequential number|
|North America (2,000 or fewer vehicles/year)||WMI||9||Vehicle attributes||Check digit||Model year||Plant code||Manufacturer identifier||Sequential number|
To give you a clearer picture, here is a sample of a VIN in North America with more than 2,000 vehicles per year:
Still got some questions about VINs? Then let’s answer some of the most frequently asked questions.
What if the VIN is not 17 characters long?
Since 1981, all VINs are 17 characters long. So if your vehicle has less, you might want to double-check if your VIN is correct and verified.
Also, your vehicle might have been manufactured and registered before 1981 if the VIN is less than 17 characters. VINs before 1981 were usually 11 to 17 characters long.
How can I get the manufacture date from my VIN?
The VIN doesn’t indicate the vehicle’s manufacture date. It can only tell in what sequence a vehicle was manufactured.
Can my VIN decode a specific trim level?
No. The VIN can’t indicate the vehicle’s particular trim level.
Does the VIN give you information about a vehicle?
The VIN can only tell the engine size and other components. Information about a vehicle’s stereos, type of leather, sunroofs, and other options can’t be found in a VIN.
How can I verify my VIN?
You can match the VIN with your vehicle’s original registration form. You can check if the year, model, make, and vehicle color matches your vehicle.
Can I check my warranty with a VIN?
Providing your VIN to your dealership can help check the vehicle’s warranty. The dealership will provide you with what is covered in the warranty.
Do VINs expire?
No. VINs do not expire.
If I’m buying a used vehicle, should I ask for the vehicle’s VIN?
Yes. Make sure the used vehicle you’re buying has a clean history. With a VIN, you can check if it was stolen, has a history of damages, or if the warranty is still covered.
Where is the VIN number on a car?
To recap, you can find it:
- On the dashboard
- On the door jamb
- On the engine block
- On the car frame
- On the rear wheel well
- Underneath the spare tire
- On your insurance card
So if you need to check out your VIN, for whatever reason, you now know where to find it.
For more driving tips, check out drivingtips.com