How to Check and Decode a Volkswagen VIN

You can find your Volkswagen’s VIN on the dashboard or door jamb on the driver’s side. Here’s what you need to know about this 17-digit code.
Written by Sarah Williams
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Decode your Volkswagen VIN by breaking down its 17-digit code to learn about your car’s country of origin, manufacturer, vehicle information, and more. You can find the vehicle identification number (VIN) on your driver’s side dashboard or door jamb.  
Before renewing your driver’s license, updating your vehicle’s registration, or selling your car, you’ll need to know your VIN. But what do those 17 digits really tell you about your Volkswagen? 
Jerry
can do more than just find you the best deals on
car insurance
. Read on to learn everything you need to know about locating and decoding your VIN and how to reduce your
Volkswagen car insurance costs
in Jerry’s special Volkswagen VIN guide. 
Compare insurance quotes from 50+ carriers with Jerry in under 45 seconds
Compare insurance quotes from 50+ carriers with Jerry in under 45 seconds
icon4.7/5 rating on the App Store | Trusted by 5+ million customers and 7 million cars
icon4.7/5 app rating | Trusted by 5M+ drivers

How to check your Volkswagen’s VIN

VIN stands for
vehicle identification number
. This number is a unique string of 17 digits that identifies your specific Volkswagen.  
There are several places you can find the VIN on your Volkswagen. They include: 
  • Your insurance card
  • Your vehicle title and registration
  • On the corner of your dashboard, visible through the windshield
  • On the driver’s side door jamb
  • On or in front of the engine block
  • Under your spare tire
Additionally, many expensive auto parts will display the VIN to prevent the theft and resale of stolen parts. 

How to decode a Volkswagen VIN

VINs have been used in the United States since the 1950s but weren’t standardized until 1981. Since then, it’s recognized worldwide what each of the 17 digits is to represent. 
These standard meanings are expressed through the 10 numerical digits (0-9) and the letters of the alphabet, excluding I, O, and Q, as these letters can be easily confused with numbers. 
Here’s what each digit means. 

First position: country of origin

The first three digits of your VIN are the world manufacturer identifier (WMI) code. The first digit refers to the country where the car was manufactured. For example, the numbers 1 or 4 represent the U.S. The letter W represents Germany.  

Positions 2-3: manufacturer information

The next two digits tell you information about the company that manufactured your vehicle. The second digit refers to the brand—V for Volkswagen, in your case. The third character represents the type of Volkswagen you are driving—for example, a pickup truck or passenger car. 

Positions 4-8: vehicle-specific information

The next five digits of your VIN contain vehicle-specific information. Because Volkswagens have a variety of styles and trim levels available, these characters further narrow down the details of your car.  
The fourth digit tells us the body style and trim level; the fifth the engine type; the sixth the restraint system; and the seventh and eighth represent the model

Position 9: the VIN check digit

Unlike the previous digits, this character isn’t specific to your car. Rather, it is in place as a “check digit” for security reasons. Because most of the characters are standardized, it could be easy for someone to generate a fake VIN. The ninth digit is based on the other numbers in your VIN and is used to prevent fake VINs. 

Position 10: model year

With limited characters to draw from, the system for referencing model years has gotten more complicated over time. More VINs are re-using characters from earlier model years.
Here are the VIN model year codes from the last 20 years:
Code
Year
1
2001
2
2002
3
2003
4
2004
5
2005
6
2006
7
2007
8
2008
9
2009
A
2010
B
1981 OR 2011
C
1982 OR 2012
D
1983 OR 2013
E
1984 OR 2014
F
1985 OR 2015
G
1986 OR 2016
H
1987 OR 2017
J
1988 OR 2018
K
1989 OR 2019
L
1990 OR 2020
M
1991 OR 2021
Are you overpaying for your car insurance?
Compare quotes and find out in 45 seconds.
No spam or unwanted phone calls · No long forms
No spam or unwanted phone calls · No long forms · No fees
icon4.717k Ratings
5M+Drivers Joined
7M+Cars Garaged

Position 11: assembly plant

The eleventh character references the assembly location of your Volkswagen—for example,
Mexico
, Brazil, or Brussels. 

Positions 12-17: vehicle serial number

The final six digits of a VIN are your Volkswagen's unique serial number. These six numbers are entirely unique to your vehicle. Your serial number is generally assigned while your car is in assembly. 

How to find affordable Volkswagen insurance

VINs may be complicated, but insurance doesn’t have to be. Just download the
Jerry
app for free to save an average of $887 a year on car insurance. 
A
trustworthy licensed broker app
, Jerry helps you compare quotes from over 55 top providers like
Nationwide
and
Allstate
in minutes. When you find a better rate, Jerry can help you buy your new coverage and even cancel your old policy.
“A seamless process and a fantastic app!
Jerry
saved me over $2,000 on car insurance. I would recommend it to anyone and everyone.” —Osvaldo B.
Are you overpaying for car insurance?
Compare quotes and find out in 45 seconds.
Try Jerry

Easiest way to compare and buy car insurance

√
No long forms
√
No spam or unwanted phone calls
√
Quotes from top insurance companies
Find insurance savings