How to find out the year of car manufacture

Before concluding a sales contract for a used car, it is important to know the date of the car’s production. This procedure will help identify attempts to deceive the seller of the vehicle and make a conclusion about the rationality of the intended purchase. Today “CompLockers” will talk about the ways in which you can determine when a car was produced.

What the VIN will tell you about car

Most vehicles have a VIN – a special identification code consisting of 17 characters (numbers and letters). It contains information about the manufacturer and the release date of the car. Most often, the year of production of the vehicle is located on the 10th position of the VIN-code. It is important to know that in different periods the ways of marking the date of production of the vehicle have changed.

what year is my car


  • from 1980 to 2000 and since 2010, the letters of the Latin alphabet
  • from A to Y are used for this, with the exception of the letters I, O, Q, U and Z;
  • from 1971 to 1979 and from 2001 to 2009. the date of production of cars had a digital designation.

Please note that the VIN contains only the last digit in the year number. For example, Latin A denotes cars of both 1980 and 2010, the number 4 – 1974 and 2004, etc.

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Some car manufacturers use their own labeling system. For example, in the United States, on Ford cars, the date of production of the car is located at the 11th and 12th positions of the VIN. It also includes a month of production. And vehicles from Japan do not have a VIN at all.

In addition, when checking a car, you need to know that most manufacturers indicate in the VIN code information about the so-called model year of car production. It does not start on January 1, but on July 1. Therefore, the VIN code data may not correspond to the calendar we are used to.

From all of the above, it is clear that it is not so easy to find out the year of car production by VIN on your own. Therefore, it is better to use a trusted Internet resource to check the vehicle. We talked more about VIN codes in the previous article.

How to find out the year of car manufacture online

A simple and reliable way to find out the year of issue by wine or state. car number – use the services of the service VIN Decoder. Enter the VIN or state registration number of the car in the special search form. Within a few minutes, the system will issue a report with information about the year of manufacture of the vehicle and other useful information. In particular about:

  • The number of vehicle owners;
  • Car mileage;
  • Road accident;
  • The presence of restrictions (bail, arrest, etc.) and other data important for making a purchase decision.
VIN Decoder
VIN Decoder

How to find out the year of manufacture of the machine by marking the components

Various parts and mechanisms of the car also carry information about the production date. Let’s consider how to find out such information.

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What Year Is My Car

You can find out the month and year of the car production by stamps on the glass. Auto glass manufacturers use different branding methods. The year of manufacture is indicated by one digit, which corresponds to the last digit of the calendar year (by analogy with VIN). Thus, the number “6” can mean 1996, 2006, and 2016. Next, you need to be guided by logic. For example, if you know that this vehicle model was produced from 1998 to 2010. – accordingly, the figure “6” will mean 2006 release.

The month is indicated by Latin letters (from A to M in alphabetical order) or combinations of dots and / or slashes.

For clarity, here are some examples:

… .6 or 6…. – April 1996, 2006 or 2016;
9 ABC or ABC 9 – January 1989, 1999 or 2009 (only the first letter of the three counts).

There are exceptions to the rule. For example, on the glass of Fiat cars, January is indicated by the letter “B”. Accordingly, the designation system is shifted by one position, and December is already branded not “M”, but “N”.

When determining the production date of a car, it is important to check all the glasses. If you find that the marking of individual elements does not match, ask the seller if the vehicle has been involved in an accident that caused the replacement of one or more glasses.

Safety belt

What Year Is My Car

The date stamp of the machine is stamped on a label attached to the bottom of each seat belt. Belt anchors have a similar branding. The notation is simple: day, month and year of issue. Therefore, it will be easy to understand them.

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Shock absorber struts on hoods and trunk

Since the mid-90s of the XX century, on cars from Europe, these units have also been marked, by which it is easy to determine when the car was produced. The year of manufacture is indicated in two ways:

  • 25/98 (where the first digit is the ordinal number of the week from 1 to 52, and the second is the year);
  • 318/95 (where the first digit is the ordinal number of the day from 1 to 365, and the second is the year).
  • Similar markings can be applied to the battery terminals as well as to the muffler.

The discrepancy between the data on individual nodes with the production date specified in the vehicle registration certificate is a good reason to think about the advisability of purchasing it. Often buyers are faced with the fact that “native” parts for one reason or another have been replaced with new ones. It is impossible to find out the exact release date of a car from them.

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By Vinceslav

Journalist, writer. I write articles and reviews on equipment such as cars, computers, games. Worked for 6 years in the auto and auto parts business. And all my life I have been engaged in computer technology.

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