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VW VIN Decoder

A free Volkswagen VIN decoder allows you to look up options, model, year, engine, transmission, and specifications. In addition, you can also check the title records and accidents by clicking Check History.  

VW VIN Decoder
ESTIMATED TIME 5 min
DIY COST
DIFFICULTY Very Easy

To check what engine, transmission, and options are installed on your vehicle, use this free online VIN Decoder Tool. 

How to Decode Volkswagen VIN Number

How to Decode VW VIN Number

The first three digits uniquely describe the manufacturer of the vehicle. There are many hundreds of assigned combinations.

Position 1

Describes the region where the vehicle is made.

  • A-H is in Africa,
  • J-R is Asia,
  • S-Z is Europe,
  • 1-5 in North America,
  • 6-7 in Oceania,
  • 8-0 in South America.

Position  2

It generally describes the manufacturer of the vehicle. For VW, this is usually ‘V,’ but sometimes not. It is assigned in conjunction with Digits 1 and 3 and may only make sense when the whole 3-digit WMI is considered.

Position 3

It generally describes the vehicle type. This might be a passenger car, commercial, pickup, SUV, truck, motorcycle, and so on.

For Volkswagens, the most common 3-digit WMIs you’ll see are:

  • WVW  -  Volkswagen Cars
  • WVG  -  Volkswagen SUVs (G for Gelande)
  • WV1  -  Volkswagen Commercials
  • WV2  -  Volkswagen Bus, Van
  • WV3  -  Volkswagen Trucks
  • VWV  -  Volkswagen Spain
  • AAV  -  Volkswagen South Africa
  • 1VW  -  Volkswagen USA (cars)
  • 1V1  -  Volkswagen USA (commercials)
  • 3VW  -  Volkswagen Mexico
  • 8AW  -  Volkswagen Argentina
  • 9BW  -  Volkswagen Brazil
  • WAU  -  Audi
  • TRU  -  Audi Hungary
  • 93V  -  Audi Brazil

The next group of six digits (4 to 9) in the VIN describe the exact vehicle type, giving information on the model platform and body style. Each maker assigns its own meaning to these six digits. American makers, for example, use number nine as a ‘check digit,’ but European makers such as VW do not.

In Volkswagen’s case, the meaning is only given to digits 7 and 8. Numbers 4, 5, 6, and 9 are fill-in digits only and contain the letter ‘Z.’

Position  4, 5 and 6

ZZZ for VWs old in Europe and many other countries, including Australia. For USA-market VWs, these digits are used to give information on body and trim styles, engine specs, and restraint systems.

Position  7 and 8

Volkswagen’s Vehicle Descriptor Section. Many of them are consistent with VW’s old model-type system, so you should spot some familiar numbers here. The most common Volkswagen combinations are:

  • 11  -  Beetle (Brazilian, Mexican, Nigerian)
  • 13  -  Scirocco 3
  • 14  -  Caddy Mk 1 (European Golf 1 pickup)
  • 15  -  Cabriolet (1980 Beetle, Golf 1)
  • 16  -  Jetta 1 and 2 (early)
  • 16  -  Beetle (2012-on)
  • 17  -  Golf 1
  • 18  -  Iltis
  • 19  -  Golf 2 (early)
  • 1C  -  New Beetle (US market)
  • 1E  -  Golf 3 Cabriolet
  • 1F  -  Eos
  • 1G  -  Golf and Jetta 2 (late)
  • 1H  -  Golf and Vento 3
  • 1J  -  Golf and Bora 4
  • 1K  -  Golf and Jetta 5, 6
  • 1T  -  Touran
  • 1Y  -  New Beetle Cabriolet
  • 24  -  T3 Transporter Single/Double Cab Pickup
  • 25  -  T3 Transporter Van, Kombi, Bus, Caravelle
  • 28  -  LT Transporter 1
  • 2D  -  LT Transporter 2
  • 2E  -  Crafter
  • 2H  -  Amarok
  • 2K  -  Caddy, Caddy Maxi 3
  • 30  -  Fox (US model ex-Brazil)
  • 31  -  Passat 2
  • 32  -  Santana sedan
  • 33  -  Passat 2 Variant
  • 3A  -  Passat 3, 4
  • 3B  -  Passat 5
  • 3C  -  Passat 6, 7, 8, CC
  • 3D  -  Phaeton
  • 3H  -  Arteon
  • 50  -  Corrado (early)
  • 53  -  Scirocco 1, 2
  • 5K  -  Golf and Jetta 6
  • 5M  -  Golf Plus
  • 5N  -  Tiguan 1, 2, Tiguan Allspace
  • 5Z  -  Fox (Europe)
  • 60  -  Corrado (late)
  • 6K  -  Polo Classic, Variant 3
  • 6N  -  Polo 3
  • 6R  -  Polo 5
  • 6X  -  Lupo
  • 70  -  T4 Transporter Vans and Pickups
  • 74  -  Taro
  • 7H  -  T5 Transporter
  • 7J  -  T6 Transporter
  • 7L  -  Touareg 1
  • 7M  -  Sharan
  • 7P  -  Touareg 2
  • 86  -  Polo and Derby 1 and 2
  • 87  -  Polo Coupe
  • 9C  -  New Beetle
  • 9K  -  Caddy 2 Van (ex-SEAT Ibiza)
  • 9N  -  Polo 4
  • 9U  -  Caddy 2 Pickup (ex-Skoda Felicia)
  • AA  -  Up!
  • AU  -  Golf 7
  • AW  -  Polo 6
  • SY  -  Crafter 2

Position  9

The third and final set of digits, the group of eight from number 10 to 17 inclusive, identifies the particular vehicle in question. They will identify the model year, the exact place where the car was made, and finally, the unique serial number of that vehicle.

Position  10

The model year. For Volkswagens, this is the year from 1 August to 31 July as before. The code begins with 1980 and assigns a consecutive letter or number for each year (except that I, O, Q, U, Z, and 0 are not used). The codes for year models are:

  •  1980 - A     1990 - L     2000 - Y     2010 - A     2020 - L
  •  1981 - B     1991 - M     2001 - 1     2011 - B     2021 - M
  •  1982 - C     1992 - N     2002 - 2     2012 - C     2022 - N
  •  1983 - D     1993 - P     2003 - 3     2013 - D     2023 - P
  •  1984 - E     1994 - R     2004 - 4     2014 - E     2024 - R
  •  1985 - F     1995 - S     2005 - 5     2015 - F     2025 - S
  •  1986 - G     1996 - T     2006 - 6     2016 - G     2026 - T
  •  1987 - H     1997 - V     2007 - 7     2017 - H     2027 - V
  •  1988 - J     1998 - W     2008 - 8     2018 - J     2028 - W
  •  1989 - K     1999 - X     2009 - 9     2019 - K     2029 - X

There are several logical consequences. There is no confusion between 1 and I, two or Z, or O, Q, and 0. The characters repeat the sequence every 30 years, with ‘A’ beginning in 1980, 2010, 2040, etc. And, when the numbers begin after Y, the number coincides with the year.

Position 11

This is the exact place where that Volkswagen was made. VW has tried to assign specific characters for each of its factories, although there have been some double-ups. If in doubt, consult Digit 1, which gives the region (see above). The codes are:

  • A  -  Ingolstadt, Germany
  • B  -  Brussels, Belgium
  • C  -  Chattanooga, USA
  • D  -  Bratislava, Slovakia
  • E  -  Emden, Germany
  • F  -  Ipiranga / Resende, Brazil
  • G  -  Graz, Austria
  • H  -  Hanover, Germany
  • K  -  Osnabrück, Germany
  • L  -  Lagos, Nigeria
  • M  -  Puebla, Mexico
  • N  -  Neckarsulm, Germany
  • P  -  Mosel, Germany
  • P  -  Anchieta, Brazil
  • R  -  Martorell, Spain
  • S  -  Salzgitter, Germany
  • T  -  Sarajevo, Yugoslavia (up to 1994)
  • T  -  Taubaté, Brazil
  • U  -  Uitenhage, South Africa
  • V  -  Westmoreland, USA (up to 1994)
  • V  -  Palmela, Portugal (from 1994)
  • W  -  Wolfsburg, Germany
  • X  -  Poznan, Poland
  • Y  -  Pamplona, Spain
  • 1  -  Győr, Hungary
  • 2  -  Anting, China
  • 3  -  Changchun, China
  • 4  -  Curitiba, Brazil
  • 6  -  Düsseldorf, Germany (Mercedes-Benz)
  • 7  -  Ludwigsfelde, Germany (Mercedes-Benz)
  • 8  -  Dresden, Germany
  • 8  -  General Pacheco, Argentina
  • 9  -  Wrzesnia, Poland

Position  12-17

Six digits, starting with 000001 for each vehicle of the defined make, model, year, and factory. This is the unique identifying number for that vehicle.

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