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Decoding VIN: Where is My VIN Number Location?
Lauren Fix, The Car Coach -- Automotive Expert -- Consultant Lauren Fix, The Car Coach -- Automotive Expert -- Consultant
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: New York, NY
Thursday, March 18, 2021


The VIN number location is crucial information. The 17 characters that identify your vehicle have more meaning than you may think. The vehicle identification number (VIN) tells insurance companies and manufacturers a lot about your car. This information will help you as well if you know how to translate it.

In 1981, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of the United States standardized the format. In fact, it required all on-road vehicles sold to contain a 17-character VIN, which does not include the letters O (o), I (i), and Q (q) (to avoid confusion with numerals 0, 1, and 9).

On most vehicles, you will find this number on your registration, insurance card, on the front of the dashboard on the driver’s side (look through the windshield to see it easily), and inside the driver’s door. A motorcycle will have it located on the steering neck below the handlebars. For RV’s there could be two VINs, one on the chassis and one on the finished RV. Also, for RVs, the VIN number location is on the driver’s door post, firewall under the hood, or the left side of the steering wheel.

Each character has a meaning and will help you learn more about your vehicle. Looking at the example above, we can learn where the vehicle was built, vehicle manufacturer, model, engine size, as well as type. 

The first three characters will tell you the year and manufacturer. The next six characters will describe the type of vehicle, model, body style, engine type, how many doors and platforms. Above all, the last eight characters are unique to your vehicle. The vehicle identifier section offers information on the car’s equipment, serial number in production, and other information.

Your VIN can also tell you if a used vehicle has been in an accident, damaged, or title issues. Some providers charge for this service. Getting this information can save you from a scam or big issues affecting the vehicle; it will also help you know about the vehicle’s maintenance.

There are free resources, www.decodethevin.com will make it simple for you, just either the 17-characters into their website for free.  You can also check your vehicle history for free at www.vehiclehistory.com and www.autocheck.com

VIN graphic – courtesy of www.decodethevin.com, www.autocheck.com,

Lauren Fix, The Car Coach®, is a nationally recognized automotive expert, sector analyst, journalist, author, keynote speaker and television host.  A trusted car expert, Lauren provides an insider’s perspective on a wide range of automotive topics and aspects, energy, industry, consumer news and safety issues.  Her analysis is honest and straightforward.

Lauren is the CEO of Automotive Aspects and the Editor-in-Chief of Car Coach Reports, a global automotive news outlet. She is an automotive contributor to national and local television news shows including Fox News, Fox Business, CNN International, The Weather Channel, Inside Edition, Community Digital News, Local Now News, NewsMax and more. Lauren also co-hosts a regular show “His Turn - Her Turn” on ABC.com; “Total Car Score” podcast and hosts a weekly radio segment on GCN Radio.

Lauren is honored to be inducted into the Women’s Transportation Hall of Fame and a Board Member of  is the Buffalo Motorcar Museum and Juror / President for the North American Car, Utility & Truck of the Year Awards.  

Lauren is the author of three books and inherited her love of all things automotive from her father. She has been advising drivers for almost all her life.

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Name: Lauren Fix, The Car Coach
Title: Automotive Consultant/Expert
Dateline: Lancaster, NY United States
Direct Phone: 716-440-3888
Main Phone: 646-475-4357
Cell Phone: 716-440-3888
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