How to Decode Any Chevy VIN in Seconds (And Why You Should Do It)

A VIN, or Vehicle Identification Number is a 17-character code that uniquely identifies every vehicle manufactured since 1981.

It contains vital information about the car, such as its manufacturer, year of production, the plant it was produced in, type of engine, model, and more.

If you are looking for a Chevrolet vehicle, whether it is new or used, you might want to know more about its history, features, and specifications. One of the easiest and most reliable ways to do that is by decoding its VIN, or Vehicle Identification Number.

A visual presentation of a Chevy vehicle in vehicle identification  number by Michael Ndenga
A visual presentation of a Chevy vehicle in vehicle identification number by Michael Ndenga

By decoding a Chevy VIN, you can learn a lot about the vehicle and avoid potential problems, such as buying a stolen, damaged, or illegally modified car.

I will show you how to decode any Chevy VIN in seconds, using a free online tool I recommend. I will also explain what each character of the VIN means and how to use this information to your advantage.

What is a VIN and Where to Find It

A VIN is a Vehicle Identification Number, a unique code that is assigned to every vehicle by its manufacturer.

It is composed of 17 characters, including numbers and letters, except for I, O, and Q, which are not used to avoid confusion.

A VIN follows a specific format that is globally recognized and standardized by the ISO Institute.

Each of the positions in a VIN describes a specific aspect of the vehicle, such as its country of origin, model, engine, and more. A VIN can be used to check the validity of the vehicle, its history, recalls, parts, and other details.

You can find the VIN of a Chevy vehicle in several locations on the driver’s side, such as:

  • At the base of the windshield
  • In the doorjamb
  • On the dashboard
  • On the engine block
  • On the frame

You can also find the VIN on the vehicle’s title, registration, insurance, and other documents.

If you are shopping for a new or used Chevy vehicle, you can usually find the VIN with the published listing information.

How to Decode a Chevy VIN Using a Free Online Tool

One of the easiest and fastest ways to decode a Chevy VIN is by using a free online tool that we recommend: the Chevrolet VIN decoder.

This tool allows you to enter any Chevy VIN and get detailed information about the vehicle instantly.

You can also compare different Chevy models and see their specifications and features. Here is how to use the Chevrolet VIN decoder:

  1. Go to the Chevrolet VIN decoder website. Visit Website
  2. Enter the 17-digit Chevy VIN in the field
  3. Click the DECODE button
  4. View the vehicle’s information, such as:
    • Engine specifications
    • Available styles and trims
    • Exterior and interior colors
    • Interior, exterior, and safety equipment
    • Vehicle features and technical specifications
    • And more!

You can also view the vehicle’s history report, which may contain information about:

  • Title problems
  • Prior damages
  • Unsafe salvage rebuilds
  • Odometer mileage
  • Theft
  • Past sales


The Chevrolet VIN decoder is a useful tool that can help you learn more about any Chevy vehicle and make an informed decision.

However, you should always verify the information provided by the tool with other sources, such as the seller, the manufacturer, or a trusted mechanic.

The tool is intended to provide a general description of the vehicle and some pieces of data may be general to that specific model and not entirely accurate for the vehicle specified.

What Each Character of the Chevy VIN Means

If you want to know more about how to decode a Chevy VIN manually, you can also learn what each character of the VIN means and how to interpret it. Here is a breakdown of the Chevy VIN format and what each position represents:

  • Position 1:

The World Manufacturer Identifier (WMI) code, which identifies the country of assembly. For example, 1, 4, and 5 are used for the United States, 2 for Canada, 3 for Mexico, 6 for Australia, 9 for Brazil, and so on.

  • Position 2:

The manufacturer code, which identifies the specific brand of the vehicle. For Chevrolet, the code is G.

  • Position 3:

The vehicle type or manufacturing division, which varies depending on the manufacturer. For Chevrolet, the codes are:

    • A: Chevrolet Bus
    • B: Chevrolet Incomplete Vehicle
    • C: Chevrolet Truck
    • D: Chevrolet MPV
    • E: Chevrolet Forward Control
    • F: Chevrolet Motor Home
    • G: Chevrolet Van
    • H: Chevrolet Commercial Chassis
    • J: Chevrolet Corvette
    • K: Chevrolet Kodiak
    • L: Chevrolet Lumina
    • M: Chevrolet Malibu
    • N: Chevrolet Nova
    • P: Chevrolet Monte Carlo
    • R: Chevrolet Caprice
    • S: Chevrolet Blazer
    • T: Chevrolet Cavalier
    • U: Chevrolet Suburban
    • V: Chevrolet Camaro
    • W: Chevrolet Chevette
    • X: Chevrolet Citation
    • Y: Chevrolet Celebrity
    • Z: Chevrolet Corvette
    • 1: Chevrolet Prizm
    • 2: Chevrolet Metro
    • 3: Chevrolet Tracker
    • 4: Chevrolet Astro
    • 5: Chevrolet Venture
    • 6: Chevrolet Caprice
    • 7: Chevrolet Tahoe
    • 8: Chevrolet Colorado
    • 9: Chevrolet Aveo
  • Position 4-8:

The Vehicle Descriptor Section (VDS), which specifies the vehicle’s model, body style, engine type, transmission, and other features. Each manufacturer uses this section differently and has its own codes for each feature.

  • Position 9:

The check digit, which is used to algorithmically validate the entire VIN. It is calculated based on a formula that involves the other characters of the VIN.

  • Position 10:

The model year code, which indicates the year of the vehicle’s production. For example, B is used for 1981, C for 1982, D for 1983, and so on, until Y for 2000. Then, the cycle repeats with 1 for 2001, 2 for 2002, and so on, until 9 for 2009. Then, the cycle repeats again with A for 2010, B for 2011, and so on.

  • Position 11:

The plant code, which identifies the factory where the vehicle was manufactured. The code varies with each manufacturer and each plant has its own code. For example, some of the codes for Chevrolet plants are:

    • A: Lakewood, Georgia
    • B: Baltimore, Maryland
    • C: Southgate, California
    • D: Doraville, Georgia
    • E: Linden, New Jersey
    • F: Flint, Michigan
    • G: Framingham, Massachusetts
    • H: Lordstown, Ohio
    • J: Janesville, Wisconsin
    • K: Kansas City, Missouri
    • L: Los Angeles, California
    • M: Lansing, Michigan
    • N: Norwood, Ohio
    • P: Pontiac, Michigan
    • R: Arlington, Texas
    • S: St. Louis, Missouri
    • T: Tarrytown, New York
    • U: Oshawa, Ontario
    • V: Bloomfield, Illinois
    • W: Willow Run, Michigan
    • X: Fairfax, Kansas
    • Y: Wilmington, Delaware
    • Z: Fremont, California
    • 1: Oshawa, Ontario
    • 2: St. Therese, Quebec
    • 3: Mexico City, Mexico
    • 4: Valencia, Venezuela
    • 5: Bowling Green, Kentucky
    • 6: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
    • 7: Wentzville, Missouri
    • 8: Shreveport, Louisiana
    • 9: London, Ontario
  • Position 12-17:

The Vehicle Identifier Section (VIS), which identifies the specific vehicle within the model year and plant. It is a serial number that is assigned sequentially by the manufacturer as the vehicles are produced.


By knowing what each character of the Chevy VIN means, you can decode the VIN yourself and get more information about the vehicle. However, this method may not be as accurate or convenient as using the Chevrolet VIN decoder tool that we recommend.

Why You Should Decode a Chevy VIN Before Buying a Vehicle

Decoding a Chevy VIN can provide you with a lot of benefits and advantages, especially if you are planning to buy a new or used Chevy vehicle.

Here are some of the reasons why you should decode a Chevy VIN before buying a vehicle:

  • You can verify the vehicle’s information and make sure it matches the seller’s description and the vehicle’s documents. You can also check if the vehicle has any hidden problems, such as prior accidents, damages, theft, or recalls.
  • You can compare different Chevy models and see their features, specifications, and performance. You can also find out the vehicle’s original price, market value, and depreciation rate.
  • You can find the right parts and accessories for the vehicle, as well as the compatible fluids, oils, and filters. You can also get the vehicle’s maintenance schedule and service history.
  • You can enhance your vehicle’s security and prevent theft or fraud. You can also register your vehicle with the manufacturer and get updates, offers, and support.

Also, feel free to read more:

  1. What Is Chevrolet MyLink: Unveiling Your In-Car Tech Concierge
  2. How to Set the Timing on a Chevy 350 in 5 Easy Steps (No Timing Light Required)
  3. How to Remote Start Chevy Malibu in 3 Easy Steps

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