Identify Manufacturing Date of a Car In India In Simple Steps

by Vivaan Khatri | 18/06/2020
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It is very important to know how to check the manufacturing date of a car when you are buying a car. Decoding the production date is a way to avoid buying older cars that what dealers touted. 

When it comes to buying cars, besides having knowledge about the car models, it is also important for the customers, especially first-time car buyers, to know how to check the condition of the car, be it a new or a used car. One of the most important aspects of the inspection is to check the validation of the given information, for example, the manufacturing date. In some cases, the dealers might fake the data about the manufacturing date to trick the car buyers into thinking that the model they are buying is of the newer generation. This way, dealers can clear up the remaining old stocks. To avoid buying old or outdated stock, it is very important to know how to check the manufacturing date of a car. In the following, IndianAuto will break down the VIN or chassis number to help you decode the producing date of a car.

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vehicle identification number

The manufacturing date of the car is represented on the VIN number 

What is the VIN number?

Before getting into the practical steps, we must know the basic concept of a VIN number. VIN number or the Vehicle Identification Number is the unique number of a car, which is used to identify a car from other units. It is a version of Aadhaar but for vehicles only. This VIN number also indicates the year and the month of manufacturing.

vin number on engine bay

VIN Number can be found either on the engine bay or on inside the passenger compartment 

The VIN number could be found on the car, usually on the engine bay or the passenger compartment. A VIN number can include up to over 20 digits and characters combined. Using the alphanumeric coding method, the VIN number will not show the manufacturing date directly. Instead, you have to refer to the decoding system of each car manufacturer to read the VIN number. Each carmaker will have a different way of generating VIN numbers so there will not be one single rules to apply to all car VIN number. To know what the VIN number of your car is suggesting, you need to refer to that manufacturer’s rules of creating VIN number.

How To Check Manufacturing Date of a Cars?

Aftering locating the position of the VIN number on your car, you can now decode the VIN number. As mentioned above, each car brand has a different way to regulate their VIN numbers. However, regardless of the manufacturer's method, the VIN number always have to include information about the manufacturing date. In each VIN number, there will be one code representing the month of production and another code indicating the year of production. However, each car brand will locate the month code and year code in different position. Check the table below to find the location of these codes in a VIN number.

Car brands

Number of Characters

Position of Month Codes

Position of Year Codes

Chevrolet

17

9th

10th

Chevrolet (from Feb 2011)

17

7th

9th

Chevrolet Trailblazer

17

4th

9th

Datsun

20

18th

19th & 20th

Fiat

20

18th

19th & 20th

Ford

17

12th

11th

Honda

17

9th

10th

Hyundai

19

19th

10th

Kia

19

19th

10th

Mahindra

17

12th

10th

Maruti

17

11th

10th

Maruti (alternative)

19

18th

19th

Maruti (older model)

21

20th

21st

MG Motor

17

9th

10th

Mitsubitshi

17

11th

10th

Nissan

17

11th

10th

Renault

17

11th

10th

Skoda

17

6th

10th

Tata

17

12th

10th

Toyota

22

19th & 20th

21st & 22th

Volkswagen

17

4th

5th & 6th

Jeep

20

19th

20th

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Month Codes

After identifying the locations of the month and year codes, it is time to find the meaning of these numbers/characters. The system of the codes can vary, however, some car brands are all using the same set of characters to represents the months of a year as follow:

  • A = January

  • B = February

  • C = March

  • D = April

  • E = May

  • F = June

  • G = July

  • H = August

  • J = September

  • K = October

  • L = November

  • M = December

These month codes are applied for cars from the following brands: Honda, Mahindra, Chevrolet (except Trailblazer), Mitsubishi, Hyundai, Fiat Skoda, Volkswagen, Maruti, Kia, and MG Motor.

Some other car manufactures like Tata, Toyota, Nissan/Datsun, Jeep and Renault are using other sets of numbers and characters to denote the different months.

Months

Tata

Toyota

Nissan

Datsun

Jan

A

01

1

Feb

B

02

2

Mar

C

03

3

Apr

D

04

4

May

E

05

5

Jun

F

06

6

Jul

G

07

7

Aug

H

08

8

Sep

J

09

9

Oct

K

10

A

Nov

N

11

B

Dec

P

12

C

 

Months

Jeep

Renault

Chevrolet Trailblazer

Jan

1

1

A

Feb

2

2

B

Mar

3

3

C

Apr

4

4

D

May

5

5

E

Jun

6

6

F

Jul

7

7

G

Aug

8

8

H

Sep

9

9

M

Oct

K

A

N

Nov

L

B

P

Dec

M

C

P

 Ford is using a different pattern that repeats after 4 years. See the table below to find the right meaning of the month code.

Years (2009-2036)

09, 13, 17, 21, 25, 29, 33, 37

10, 14, 18, 22, 26, 30, 34, 38

11, 15, 19, 23, 27, 31, 35

12, 16, 20, 24, 28, 32, 36

Jan

B

J

L

C

Feb

R

U

Y

K

Mar

A

M

S

D

Apr

G

P

T

E

May

C

B

J

L

Jun

K

R

U

Y

Jul

D

A

M

S

Aug

E

G

P

T

Sep

L

C

B

J

Oct

Y

K

R

U

Nov

S

D

A

M

Dec

T

E

G

P

Year Code

Just like the month codes, a number of carmakers are using a similar set of characters to represent the year of production. Refer to the table above to decode the year codes of car models produced by Tata, Chevrolet, Honda, Mahindra, Hyundai, Skoda, Maruti, Ford, Renault, Kia, and Jeep.

Year Codes

Year

A

2010

B

2011

C

2012

D

2013

E

2014

F

2015

G

2016

H

2017

J

2018

K

2019

L

2020

M

2021

N

2022

P

2023

R

2024

S

2025

T

2026

V

2027

W

2028

X

2029

Y

2030

For Maruti cars manufactured from 2005 to 2009, the year codes are decoded as follow:

  • 9=2009

  • 8=2008

  • 7=2007

  • 6=2006

  • 5=2005

Year

Fiat

Toyota

Volkswagen

MG Motor

2010

NZ

10

10

_

2011

MZ

11

11

_

2012

LZ

12

12

_

2013

KZ

13

13

_

2014

JZ

14

14

_

2015

HZ

15

15

_

2016

GZ

16

16

_

2017

FZ

17

17

_

2018

EZ

18

18

1

2019

DZ

19

19

2

2020

CZ

20

20

3

2021

BZ

21

21

4

2022

AZ

22

22

5

2023

1Z

23

23

6

2024

2Z

24

24

7

2025

3Z

25

25

8

2026

4Z

26

26

9

2027

5Z

27

27

_

2028

6Z

28

28

_

2029

7Z

29

29

_

2030

8Z

30

30

_

Make sure that before buying a car, you will if the manufacturing date suggested by the VIN number is matching with the advertised model year. For more car buying tips, visit our website IndianAuto.com where we provide not only useful advice for buying a car but also a wide range of used car options across India.

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