Motor Category Motor: car insurance and finance

How to Identify the VIN on a BMW

VIN, or Vehicle Identification Number, is the DNA of an automobile. The VIN number uniquely identifies a car and contains information about its country of production, the manufacturer and model. BMW cars have had a VIN number since 1971. Overall, the VIN number consists of 17 characters. The VIN number may contain numbers 0 through 9 and capital letters A through Z. However, to avoid mistakes, the letters O, Q and I are never used.

Locate the VIN of your vehicle. BMW typically places the VIN number on the left side of the dash, through the windshield, or on the right inner bumper of the car.

Read the first two characters of the VIN. The first character tells in what country the car was manufactured: 1 and 4 stand for the U.S., 2 for Canada, 3 for Mexico and W for Germany. The second character identifies the manufacturer of the vehicle. In our case, we need to make sure it's B (for BMW).

Read characters three through nine. The third character indicates the vehicle type or manufacturing division. Characters four through eight reveal information about the car's body style, model, series and engine type. BMW has produced a wide range of vehicles with a variety of combinations of these characters. The ninth character is the VIN accuracy check digit.

Take down the last seven digits of the VIN. Enter them into an online service that allows anyone to check information about his BMW vehicle. You will see a list of specifications about your car, including its production year, type and other information.

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