How to Check and Decode a Buick VIN

Look for your Buick VIN on the dashboard near the driver’s side or inside the driver’s side doorjamb. VINs are a standardized set of codes to identify a vehicle.
Written by Rob Shapiro
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Find your Buick VIN on the driver’s side dashboard or in the door jamb when the door is opened. VINs are vital to identify a car as it contains info about the car’s country of origin, manufacturer and assembly plant, vehicle information, and model year.
You’ll need your car’s VIN to update your vehicle’s registration, renew your driver’s license, and sell your car. 
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Buick insurance cost.
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How to check your Buick’s VIN

VIN is an acronym for vehicle identification number. It is a combination of 17 letters and digits with each position communicating an important piece of information about a car. 
You can find your Buick VIN in several different places: 
  • On a metal tag affixed to the driver’s side of the dashboard
  • In the doorjamb when the door is opened
  • On your vehicle registration
  • On your car title
  • On your car insurance policy
  • On your car lease
  • As part of a promissory note
If you can’t find your Buick’s VIN in any of these places, pop the hood and look at the front of the engine—it might be printed there. 

How to decode a Buick VIN

VINs have been in use throughout the U.S. since the 1950s. In 1981, they became standardized thanks in part to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). They became the preferred method to identify a car via a standardized set (involving unique characters) across models, makes, and geography. 
To decode your VIN, start by understanding that VINs avoid certain numbers and letters. All ten numerical digits (0-9) and every letter are used except I, O, and Q to avoid confusion with 1, 0, and 9

First position: country of origin

In every VIN, the first three characters represent the world manufacturer identifier (WMI) code. More specifically, the first number or letter is a code for the country where the vehicle was manufactured. 
If your VIN begins with either a 1, 4, 5, or 7 then your Buick’s country of origin is the United States. Here are the other places Buick’s are manufactured and their corresponding identification number/ letter: 
  • 2 - Canada
  • 3 - Mexico
  • K - Korea
  • W - Ger

Positions 2-3: manufacturer information

After the first letter or digit, you will find two numbers that refer to the manufacturer. The next digit conveys the vehicle type (SUV, passenger car, or truck). This means the code for a
Buick Lesabre
will be different than the code for a
Buick Encore
as they are different vehicle types.

Positions 4-8: vehicle-specific information

The next part of a VIN is the vehicle-specific information, This allows someone to identify the engine type, body type, safety equipment, and other features and parts of a car. 
Buicks, like most cars, come in a variety of trim levels and models. Recognizing this, the letters and digits in these positions narrow down the exact vehicle. Here, a DMV can see if your vehicle is a passenger car and if it has active seatbelts.

Position 9: the VIN check digit

Fraudulent VINs were once a big concern, so the 9th digit is used to verify a VIN’s authenticity. It’s a “check digit” based on the other digits present in a VIN.

Position 10: model year

Model years have the potential to cause the most issues with a VIN. This is due to VINs recycling characters that already belong to models on the market. The only digits that are typically not used in this position are U, Z, and 0.
Here is a table of the codes for the VIN model year over the last two decades:
1981 OR 2011
1982 OR 2012
1983 OR 2013
1984 OR 2014
1985 OR 2015
1986 OR 2016
1987 OR 2017
1988 OR 2018
1989 OR 2019
1990 OR 2020
1991 OR 2021
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Position 11: assembly plant

Buicks are manufactured in Canada, China, the U.S., South Korea, and Germany. This position indicates the assembly plant where the car was built. 

Positions 12-17: vehicle serial number

Now, we arrive at the final six digits of a VIN. Here is where you’ll find your car’s serial number. This code is unique to your Buick and is most likely a production sequence number
If you see a low number it might not mean that your Buick was one of the first to be manufactured in its plant. It could mean a few things, so you might want to hold off on bragging to your friends.

How to find affordable Buick insurance

Decoding your VIN is useful to better understand your car, but it’s not quite as useful as having affordable car insurance. Use the Jerry app to find cheaper rates on policies that will better meet your driving needs.
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