Every vehicle sold in America after 1981 has been obligated to have a 17-digit VIN number associated with it that can be used to decode information about the vehicle type and its history. The VIN decoding system can be used to help you learn more about a used vehicle before you buy it.
Decoding the VIN of a given vehicle can be very difficult, and is generally best left to experts like VehicleHistory.com. But if you want to decode some basic information yourself, we'll be happy to send you a free decoding guide that will help you learn more about a Volkswagen VIN.
That said, many of you may simply want to decode enough to make sure you are being given a VIN that makes sense and is probably associated with an actual Volkswagen. While this decoding system is not foolproof (because there are some exceptions), you can usually look at the first three digits of the VIN to see if it was probably made by Volkswagen. Look for one of these three digit series:
Volkswagen has what can only be called an “interesting” history. At number 13, it is the first German made car to hit the Top 20 list of bestsellers in America. Today Americans love Volkswagens, but this was not always the case.
Volkswagen means “people's car” in German and was not always a brand name. Up until Hitler rose to power in Germany, pretty much every small-sized economy car in the country was called a Volkswagen. However, when Nazi policies pushed out other car makers, the government formed their own “people's car” company and Volkswagen was born.
Initially the cars were produced by using slave labor, which gave the company a bad international reputation. However, that changed after the end of World War II when the company went private and introduced a paid work force.
Volkswagen would probably have remained unpopular in America, except for a brilliant marketing idea in the 1960s – the introduction of the Beatle to the American market. This was a very tiny, easy to repair car marketed under the campaign, “Think Small.” It soon became incredibly popular with young people, and the Beatle is still a beloved car today.
Or course, Volkswagen now makes a full line of other vehicles, notably the Golf, and is a very well respected automaker today.
Because of their reliability, many used Volkswagens are on the market. To find out the history of a particular Volkswagen, simply type the full VIN number into our search bar.