BMW VIN Decoder

Check your future car with our BMW VIN decoder and get access to its history.

Why is a VIN check important

The VIN of a BMW consists of 17 characters, which are composed in an individual way all over the world. The BMW chassis number contains various information about the vehicle, for example, manufacturer, year and place of production, data about the engine and much more. The VIN number was introduced by the ISO Institute and obliges every manufacturer to use this identification system. This way, drivers can check their BMWs, search for matching car parts and also request vehicle history. If you want to buy a used BMW from the USA or as an EU import, you can check the car in advance with us. You will find out if there are any speedometer manipulations, hidden damages or even a total loss. These are just a few points that we provide in our CARFAX Report.

What does a BMW VIN number consist of?

The various digits and letters of the VIN carry different information about the vehicle. We have some examples of BMW specific combinations:

1. The first three letters of a BMW can be different, for example, "WBA" or "WBY". "WBY" can be found in all BMWs of the i-series.

  • WBA means that the car was produced in Germany

  • WBS stands for masterpieces of BMW Motorsport GmbH including the M-model series as well as M-engines

2. If your car comes from the USA, the VIN starts with:

  • 4US or 5UX and stands for BMW U.S. Market

  • 5UM means the counterpart of the M GmbH: the U.S. Motorsport GmbH

3. VIN numbers of BMWs from other countries start like this:

  • 3AV – Mexico

  • X4X – Russia

  • MMF – Thailand

  • WBX – Austria, from Magna Steyr Fahrzeugtechnik in Graz

What information can I get from the VIN?

Digits 1 - 3: World Manufacturer Index (WMI) contains information about:

  • the manufacturer

  • the country of manufacture

  • the vehicle type

Digits 4 - 8: Vehicle Descriptor Section (VDS) describes the technical specifications:

  • Make

  • Engine type

  • Body type

  • Transmission type

  • and more

Digit 9: This is a check digit for all vehicles sold in the U.S. and Canada. Digits 10 - 17: Vehicle Identifier Section (VIS). These are the last eight digits, which represent a unique serial number. In this way, each individual BMW vehicle can be identified. To reduce the risk of confusion, VINs do not contain the letters I/i, O/o and Q/q, which can easily be confused with the numbers 1 and 0.

Where can I find the VIN of my BMW?

These are the most common places to put the BMW VIN:

  • On the door frame

  • On the inner frame of the front door on the driver's side

  • On the dashboard near the bottom edge of the windshield, also on the driver's side

  • Under the hood

If you can't find the VIN of your BMW or some numbers or letters are unclear, you can also look up the VIN number in the vehicle documents.

BMW VIN decoder and the vehicle history report

If you intend to buy a used BMW, and it should be a car from the USA or Europe, we recommend checking its history beforehand. Of course, this does not only apply to BMW, but basically to all car models. In the history report you should pay special attention to the mileage, the number of previous owners and possible reported damages. Especially in the case of US imports, there are often problems with Salvage Title. We do our best to bundle and display all available vehicle data in our reports. Still, not every owner reports damage and may even repair it themselves. That's why you should always put your BMW through its paces yourself when you buy it.

Check in advance to avoid unpleasant surprises.

Where can I find the VIN?