Decoding a VW or Volkswagen VIN is beneficial, especially when you want to buy a used VW car. Here is everything you should know about the VW VIN and how the VW decoder works.
What Is VW VIN Decoder & How Does It Work?
A Volkswagen vehicle identification number (VIN) is a unique number of 17 characters assigned to every Volkswagen vehicle. Each VIN is different and acts as a unique recognition number for a car, just like the fingerprints on a person.
This 17-character code contains numerals and letters, each of which is assigned a meaning. Thus, these characters can reveal a lot of information on the vehicle, including its engine type, color, manufacturing year, manufacturer, and more.
What Does Each Character Mean in a VW VIN?
Here is what each character in a Volkswagen VIN stands for:
The 1st character denotes the country of manufacturing. It could be a number or a letter. If it starts with '1', the vehicle is manufactured in the USA.
Number 2 stands for Canada, the letter J stands for Japan, etc.
The second character can again be a letter or number and stands for the company/manufacturer of the vehicle.
For instance, a Volkswagen vehicle will have V as a second character, a Ford vehicle has F, Mercedes Bens is denoted by the letter D, and so on.
The 3rd character stands for the vehicle type or the manufacturing division in which the vehicle was manufactured.
4th to 8th character
The 4th to 8th character of the VIN provides general information about the vehicle, like body style, the color of the vehicle, engine type, model, series, weight class, transmission type, and more.
The 4th to 8th characters are collectively termed as Vehicle Description Section (VDS).
The 9th character is a check digit, which is a security identification number that helps in recognizing if the VIN is original or not. It is an algebraic value calculated through the value of each character of the VIN.
The 10th character is used to identify the year in which the vehicle was manufactured. It is based on a 30-year differential. For example, a vehicle manufactured in 1980 or 2010 is coded as A, a vehicle manufactured in 1981 or 2011 is coded as B, and so on.
The 11th character is a code designating the manufacturing plant where the vehicle was built.
12th to 17th character
The last six digits are known as the sequential vehicle order or production number, unique to each vehicle.
How to Decode a Volkswagen VIN with a VW VIN Decoder?
Using a VIN decoder to check a VW vehicle is a lot easier and quicker than doing it manually. Here are a few steps to do so:
Step 1: Find the VIN of your VW vehicle
The first step involves finding the VIN. Here are some of the places you should look for the VIN on a Volkswagen vehicle:
- On the outside of the vehicle’s dashboard (see from the outside of the windshield on the driver’s side)
- Inside of the door frame on the driver’s side (particularly where the door jamb connects to the body of the car)
- Under the front hood of the vehicle
- On the auto parts of the vehicle like the engine.
Step 2: Enter the VIN on the VIN decoder
Open the VIN decoder you're using, then enter the VIN on their search bar and start the search.
Step 3: Get the report
Wait for the decoder to go through its database, retrieve all the related information, and compile it into a vehicle report. You can then view the report and find the details that are of your interest.
VinPit is one of the best VIN decoder services that decodes your VW VIN within seconds. You can also do a VIN lookup on other auto brands or run a license plate check at no cost.
What Can You Get with a Volkswagen VIN Decoder?
An array of information about a Volkswagen vehicle can be obtained by using a VW VIN decoder. It includes:
- Vehicle specifications: Make and model, model year, vehicle type, body style, engine displacement transmission type
- Maintenance history: Repair history, part replacements odometer reading
- Accidents: Where and when the accidents occurred, the damage sustained
- Theft reports: Details about a theft.
Why Do You Need to Run a VW VIN Lookup?
You may find the need to run a VW VIN lookup for various reasons, such as:
- To get accurate information on a used VW vehicle you are going to purchase from a dealer/seller
- To estimate the real value of the VW vehicle so you know how much you should pay for it
- To check if the VIN is not cloned or fabricated
- To get other information on any vehicle like if the vehicle was repaired, repossessed, etc
Where Else Can You Find More VW Vehicle Information?
Apart from the Volkswagen VIN decoder, there are multiple places where you can get VW vehicle reports, records, or other related information. The ones we recommend you check include:
- State DMVs: The department in each state can help you access records of vehicles registered there.
- NHTSA and NICB: Both of these national agencies offer a VIN check tool or decoder that allows you to know more about a vehicle with its VIN.
- VW Recall / Service Campaign Lookup: An official VW VIN lookup tool that can help you find recalls and service campaigns associated with your VW vehicle
- KBB VW reviews: This is an independent platform that offers objective reviews on each model of Volkswagen.
- U.S. News Volkswagen reviews: Another large media that gives comprehensive reviews about all Volkswagen vehicle models.
1. How do you read a VW VIN?
There are 17 digits on a VW VIN. The first three denote where your vehicle is manufactured. The next five denote the characteristics of your VW vehicle. The next three are the check digit, model year and plant code. And the last six are the sequential number unique to each VW vehicle.
2. What VW vehicle information can be extracted from VIN?
A VIN report can include engine specifications, vehicle features, technical specifications, vehicle style and trim, interior and exterior information, and other related information.
3. What is the manufacturer’s code on a VW vehicle?
The manufacturer code in Volkswagen vehicles is indicated by the letter V in the second character of the VIN.
4. Can I run a VW VIN check for free?
Yes, you can. VinPit offers free VIN check services. You can get a comprehensive report on a VW vehicle with no charges.