Decoding Your MINI's VIN.

by Steve Baker.

The International Vehicle Identification Number (or 'VIN') is a 17 character code that is supposed to identify every vehicle made anywhere in the world since 1980 with a unique code.

It's quite easy to decode the VIN:

The first three characters are also known as the 'WMI' for World Manufacturer Identifier. Since some countries in the world are running out of VIN numbers, it is likely that some manufacturers will end up with more than one WMI code.