VIN Number Year Chart

Finding the model year of a vehicle can be a problem for car buyers and sellers. This is why we have two convenient solutions – the VIN number year chart and the easiest, our unique free VIN decoder. Use the second option for faster
and free access today!

Model Year: Decoding the 10th character of a VIN

What character encodes information about the manufacturer’s model year of a vehicle? The 10th character! This character could be a letter or number and it tells the year a vehicle model or type was introduced, or the calendar year in which a vehicle was built.
Note, however, that the 10th digit does not include these characters – I (i), O (o), Q (q), U (u), Z (z), and the number, 0. This is simply to avoid confusion as these characters could be mistaken for 1, 9, and other similar characters.

Here is a simple VIN year chart to decode any car’s VIN on your hands:


Unlock the history and details of your vehicle with our VIN Lookup tool, providing you with valuable insights into your car’s origins and specifications.

How to Use the VIN Number Year Chart

Decoding a VIN using the VIN Number Year Chart is straightforward. Let’s walk through some examples:

Toyota Corolla - 2T1BURHE0FC320645

Notice that the 10th character (year code) of the unique VIN, 2T1BURHE0FC320645, is ‘F’ and according to the VIN-to-year chart, we can tell that it is a 2015 Toyota Corolla. Here is a vehicle history report to prove this.

Honda Civic Hybrid - JHMES966X4S012004

The model year character on this VIN, JHMES966X4S012004, is ‘4’ which represents 2004. This means we have a 2004 Honda Civic Hybrid. Let’s verify with a vehicle history report.


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Free VIN Decoding: An Easier Way To Check The Model Year

Manually reading every detail encoded in the unique code is a hectic task and it may take you several days to get what you need from a VIN. A VIN decoder is the easiest way to gain access to any vehicle’s accurate specifications, including the model year, make, model, country of origin, engine specifications, dimensions, drivetrain, transmission, and more.

Detailed Vehicle History also provides a detailed VIN check tool for instant access to vehicle history and records.

These records include:

The VIN Decoder & Vehicle History App

Fed up with constantly entering VINs? Our VIN Decoder & Vehicle History app offers a handy scanning feature, letting you scan VINs and license plates to reduce typing errors. Enjoy free and offline VIN decoding through the mobile application, along with various other features.

Download now and get started!


Interesting Car Facts

  1. VINs are assigned to vehicles globally, reflecting the production and distribution of vehicles across different continents and countries.
  2. In 2019, 38.5 million vehicles were affected by 881 recalls, up from 19.7 million vehicles in 647 recalls in 2010.
  3. The median theft rate for model years 2004 through 2014 was 3.58 thefts per 1,000 vehicles produced.
  4. Ford had the most recalls, affecting nearly 9 million potentially affected vehicles.
  5. Young adults aged 15–44 account for more than half of all road traffic deaths.
  6. Passenger car fatalities increased by 9% from 2019 to 2020.
  7. The total number of VINs assigned to vehicles worldwide has increased steadily over the years due to the growing number of vehicles produced annually.
  8. The accuracy and consistency of VIN assignment are crucial for ensuring traceability, safety, and compliance with regulations.

Frequently Asked Questions

The 10th character of a 17-character VIN represents the model year of the vehicle. This also applies to every vehicle manufactured after the VIN format was standardized in 1981 including Toyota, Ford, Chevy trucks, General Motors, Jeeps, and other automotive brands you can think of. 

To read a VIN number year, simply look for a letter or number on the 10th position of the VIN. This character of the 17-digit VIN is used to identify the VIN number year. To get the vehicle’s year, all you need to do is compare the 10th character with the VIN number model year chart above.

You can find out the model year of your vehicle by decoding your VIN or using the VIN number year chart on this page. The VIN is a unique code used to identify an individual vehicle and can also be decoded with a VIN decoder to provide vehicle specifications.

You can decode an old car VIN or chassis number with our classic car VIN lookup tool. This tool breaks down the letters and numbers in classic VINs and provides accurate vehicle specifications and history records. 

According to the VIN number year chart, vehicles with an “L” as the 10th character of their VINs would have either 1990 or 2020 as their model year.

Yes, you can easily and instantly look up vehicle specs by VIN number. All you need to do is enter the VIN into the form on this page, fill out the rest of the form, and submit. The VIN would be decoded instantly and accurately for free and you can check the year, make, model, engine specifications, transmissions, number of doors, displacement, and more. Decode any VIN now.