What if one day you found that the brand new car you bought just last month, was manufactured six months or a year ago? Even the thought is so frustrating! To find the exact manufacturing date of the car, all the automobile companies use a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). This needs to be decoded in order to know the manufacturing month and year. As every company has its own way of writing the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), here are tips for decoding the VIN for companies that have ruled the Indian roads for so long!
1. Maruti Suzuki
The VIN of this company is 17 characters long, usually starting with MA3. The 11th character in VIN represents the month while the 10th character represents the year. To represent the months, they use alphabets from A to M i.e. A represents January, B represents February and so on. For representing years, they use alphabets from Y to A and again numbers from 9 to 5 in descending order. Y represents the year 2030 and 5 represents 2005.
2. Tata Motors
The VIN of this company is also 17 characters long, with 10th character representing year and 12th character representing the month. The representation for month is same as Maruti Suzuki, but the only difference is that the alphabets ‘I’, ‘O’ and ‘Q’ are never used. For representing year, they use alphabets from A to Z with A representing 2010 and Z representing 2030.
Starting with MAK, VIN is 17 characters long. The representation is a combination of that of the first two. 9th character represents month while 10th represents year. The month representation is same as Maruti Suzuki and the year representation is like that of Tata Motors.
It is a 22 character long VIN which is much simpler to decode. 19th and 20th character represent the month just like the way we write the month in date format. 21st and 22nd character gives the year of manufacture. For example, if the 19th, 20th characters are 06 means the month is June. If the 21st and 22nd characters are 24 means the year is 2024.
With a 19 character long VIN, the 10th and 19th character represent the year and month of manufacture respectively. The representation is exactly same as that of Honda.
The 17 character long VIN is divided into three sections- first 3 provide the manufacturer details, next 3 provide information on general characteristics of the car and last 8 are for particular vehicle identification. The 10th and 12th character represent the year and month of manufacture respectively. The representation is same as that of Honda and Hyundai companies.
So, next time you purchase a car, make sure you check the manufacturing date and invest your money in a brand new car which is what you deserve!