Porsche VIN# Number Decoder since 1981

What is a VIN?

A vehicle identification number (VIN) is a 17-digit serial number with which a vehicle can be uniquely identified. A standard for these VINs has existed since 1981. Before that, chassis numbers were determined by manufacturers themselves. There is basically a European and an American FIN standard.

Where can I find the VIN number?

The VIN can be found both in the vehicle registration document and several times on the vehicle itself. The multiple application is based on an increased security against manipulation. For this reason, since 10/1969, the vehicle identification number is often engraved on the chassis.

A factory plate with the vehicle identification number is obligatory according to the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection in Germany

What purpose does a VIN serve?

The chassis number provides a range of information, such as model, model year and manufacturer's plant. See the table above for more detailed information.

A VIN can thus be used to obtain valuable information for a vehicle, especially when buying a used vehicle:

  • Does the vehicle match the vehicle documents?
  • Does the existing equipment match the equipment of the model?
  • Are there any model-specific illnesses on the vehicle which should be given special attention?

This offers the potential buyer the possibility to make a realistic estimate of the purchase price within a very short time.

What is special about Porsche VIN numbers?

As Porsche is produced in Europe, they are subject to the European FIN standard.

Since Porsche's vehicle identification numbers are also subject to the standard, there are only marginal special features of Porsche vehicle identification numbers compared to the FINs of other manufacturers.

Before 1980, Porsche chassis numbers had only 10 digits. From 1980 on, the 17-digit vehicle identification numbers were used.

Each manufacturer has an individual identifier at the beginning of the chassis numbers. Since Porsche models consist of digits, the model can be read directly in the FIN. To do this, the 7th, 8th and 12th digits must be read.

While the FIN of Volkswagen for example starts with WVW, the vehicle identification number of Porsche starts with WP0. Due to the danger of confusion between WP0 and WPO, connoisseurs are familiar with both the terms WP0 and WPO.

Porsche decoder VIN

* The filling digits (Z) have become necessary because from 1981 onwards vehicle identification numbers have been defined worldwide with a uniform standard length. Here, for example, country-specific exhaust emission regulations (e.g. AC2 for the USA) can be found.

Since 1981, all chassis numbers, or vehicle identification numbers (VIN), have a so-called world manufacturer code, various filling characters, codes for the place of manufacture, body design and engine versions.  In addition, the chassis numbers were differentiated between the USA and the "rest of the world" (row).

Porsche cars built before 1981 have only a ten-digit chassis number

WPO or WP0 ? 

Strictly speaking, the world manufacturer code of Porsche WP0 is a zero. However, this is only because signs such as O,I,Q etc. have been prohibited due to the likelihood of confusion.

Porsche VIN decoder from 1981