Adam Ricketts

Adam Ricketts

Head of Product @ Fleetsu

From VIN to full vehicle information

November 21, 2018

Console in front of new modern technology car. 1054859006 2125x1416

What is a VIN?

VIN was first used in 1954 in the USA, it has since become the standard way to identify all modern vehicles. At first glance the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) may seem like a random string of 17 digits but when you know how to decode the number it can tell you a lot about the key characteristics of the vehicle.  

Where can you find a vehicle VIN?

The location of a VIN may vary within a vehicle, start by looking at labels inside the door on the driver’s side or on the dashboard where it meets the windshield.

How can you read the VIN?

The right way to decode the 17 digits of the VIN can vary from country to country and also between manufacturers but once you know how what you are looking at it’s quite straightforward. As a general rule a VIN should be arranged like this;


AAA- Manufacturing country
BBBBB – Vehicle attributes
C – Checksum (validation number)
D- Year
E – Plant Code
FFFFFF – Identification Section

Can you read a VIN automatically?

In addition to being displayed in the vehicle the VIN is also embedded in the vehicle’s computer. Fleetsu CANbus devices automatically request the VIN from the car and transmit it over wireless networks to our datacentre. We can then decode the number for our customers and unlock all vehicle data.

What is the role of VIN?

VIN isn’t designed to just satisfy the curiosity  of drivers. It is used to identify your car in various government and private databases and the number uniquely links your licence plate to your car. Insurance companies will use the VIN to identify your policy, and banks will use it to allocate a loan and identify the asset. 

Vin Decoding Result

VIN integration and automation at Fleetsu

At Fleetsu we have integrated our fleet management software with various data sources to give you the best automatic decoding capability and to automatically build your asset databases. We have built our internal VIN databases and integrated them with government agencies, manufacturers and other data sources to provide the most comprehensive VIN decoding available anywhere.

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