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How to Find Out What Year The Car Is

Posted by Thandiubani on Mon 08th Jul, 2024 - tori.ng

The year of manufacture is one of the main criteria that is taken into account when buying a car.

How to find out what year the car is
The year of manufacture is important not only for determining the age of the car. The year of manufacture also determines the equipment and factory characteristics of the vehicle. The release date is the second most falsifiable indicator after the mileage during the sale, which only confirms how important it is for assessing the condition and liquidity of a car.

How to find out the year of manufacture of a car on the Internet

The year of manufacture of a vehicle can be determined by its VIN number. A VIN is a unique 17-character number that can be used to identify a vehicle. The characters of the code contain information about the manufacturer, equipment, characteristics of the car, and its place of production.
To find out the year of manufacture of a car by VIN number:
  1. Find out the VIN number. It is indicated in the car's registration certificate, and you can also see it on various body elements (under the windshield and on the door frame on the driver's side, under the passenger seat, and on other parts).
  2. Read the 10th character of the VIN number, which contains information about the year of manufacture of the vehicle. A letter or a number can be used for encoding (depending on the manufacturer). It is recommended to use the table provided by the manufacturer for decoding.
Some manufacturers do not indicate the year of manufacture in the VIN code, but the model year, which does not start on January 1, but, for example, on July 1. In this case, the date in the code may not coincide with the actual year when the car rolled off the assembly line. If you have any difficulties deciphering it, you can contact the manufacturer directly or an authorized dealer of the brand, where you will be provided with all the necessary information, including the year of manufacture according to the VIN code. 

What else can you find out by VIN code

The year of manufacture is not the only information you can find out from the VIN code. There are various services available on the Internet to check the car by VIN. Using a free decoder, you will find out the real mileage of the car, its factory specifications and equipment (body type, safety, engine, transmission, etc.), country of manufacture, and country of assembly.

If you choose the right site, you can get a comprehensive check of a car from Europe by VIN code. The report of such a check contains:

  • sales history - data on registration, as well as the actual number of former owners of the car;
  • service history - when the car was serviced, what kind of work was performed, odometer readings recorded at the time of the maintenance;
  • data on the replacement of components and installation of additional equipment;
  • data on involvement in an accident, which will allow us to judge the presence and severity of damage;
  • information on insured events (vandalism, damage from natural disasters, etc.);
  • information on whether the car is not a pledged property or is under arrest;
  • data on thefts.
Checking the VIN code will help you avoid many of the risks associated with buying a used car.

How to find out the year of manufacture of a car by the marking on the components

You can find out the age of a car not only from the VIN number. Certain vehicle parts, such as glass, seat belts, hood, luggage compartment, or shock absorber struts, will also tell you about the date of manufacture.


Each window in a car has a stamp on it that indicates the year and month of manufacture. The glass marking uses a special system similar to the VIN code system. That is, the year is not indicated in full. Usually, only the last digit of the year of manufacture is on the glass. Knowing the period of release of a model of a particular generation, you can accurately determine by the number 7, for example, that it is 2007 or 2017. The month is indicated by a Latin letter. Most often, “A” corresponds to January, but in Fiat cars, the first month of the year is indicated by the letter “B” (and then in alphabetical order).  
If different glasses of a car have different production dates, you should ask the seller a question or check the history by VIN code. There is a high probability that the car was damaged in an accident, after which the glass was replaced.

Seat belts

Seat belts, as well as seat belt anchors, have labels on the bottom that indicate the date of manufacture of the vehicle. Here, the date is indicated in full (year, day, month), without abbreviation or coding, so it is easy to read.

Shock absorber struts, body parts

In the 90s of the last century, European cars began to use markings indicating the date of manufacture on various parts of the body and components. It can be seen under the hood on the battery terminals, inside the luggage compartment, and even on the muffler.
In this case, there are two types of markings:
  • 25/15 - the first number indicates the week, and the second - the year of manufacture of the car;
  • 128/09 - the first number indicates the day of the year (from 1 to 365), and the second number indicates the year of issue. 
If the year of manufacture on the car parts does not match the year indicated in the technical passport, you can conclude that the factory components have been replaced. This is a serious reason to refuse to buy a car.
If you have found a good car option that suits you in all respects, do not ignore checking the VIN code. This is the best way to protect your interests when buying a used car.

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