How to Read a Volvo’s VIN

Searching for a car—especially a used one—can feel stressful and overwhelming. Luckily, you don’t have to do it alone. Our Volvo VIN Decoder will give you peace of mind by providing all the essential information about any vehicle you are considering.

The process is simple: you can use our Volvo VIN Lookup Service to discover any issues with a vehicle that the seller may be trying to hide from you. For example, you can learn if the car has ever been reported as a lemon, flooded, or otherwise damaged in the past. Our goal is to ensure you’re equipped with all the necessary information to be able to make an informed decision with confidence and ease.

Locating a Volvo’s VIN Plate

In a Volvo, the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) can be located in several locations. The first few places you should look is:

  • On the dashboard (usually on the driver side)
  • In the front door frame/post
  • On the firewall
  • On the engine
  • On the steering wheel
  • On the title/registration

Understanding a Volvo VIN

A Volvo VIN may look like a random jumble of numbers and letters, but it’s actually an identifying code for every specific vehicle. Basically, it’s a fingerprint for a car. Each VIN is composed of 17 unique characters that tell a piece of the vehicle’s story. Let’s break down what each one really means:

1. The 1st character of the Volvo VIN identifies the country of the Volvo’s origin.

Sweden or BelgiumCanada

2. The 2nd character is used to identify the manufacturer of the vehicle.


3. The 3rd character represents the vehicle type.

Passenger Vehicle

4. The 4th character indicates the vehicle series.


240 Series

/ S80 Series

260 Series

/ V70 Series

/ XC70 Series

XC90 Series740 Series760 Series780 Series940 Series

940, 960 Series

/ S90, V90 Series

850 Series

/ S70, V70 Series

C30 Series

/ S40 Series

/ V50 Series

/ C70 Series

C70 SeriesS60 Series

V70 Series

/ XC70 Series

S80 Series
S40, V40 Series 

5. The 5th character identifies the body type and restraint system of the Volvo. 

3-Point Seatbelt/Driver’sAirBagConvertible, DualFront, SideAirBagsSedan AWD, DualAirBagsWagon AWD, DualAirBagsCoupe, DualFront, SideAirBagsUtility AWD, DualAirBagsUtility FWD, DualAirBags
Sedan, DualFront, SideAirBagsSedan AWD, DualAirBagsWagon AWD, DualFront, SideAirBagsWagon, DualFront, SideAirBags3-Point SeatbeltUtility FWD, DualAirBags

CrossCountryWagon w/DualAirBags

/ Wagon AWD, DualAirBags

/ Utility AWD, DualAirBags

6-7. The 6th and 7th characters identify the Volvo engine.

1.9L 4Cyl. 16V Turbo (B4204T2)1.9L 4Cyl. Turbo (B4204T4)1.9L 4Cyl. Turbo (B4204T3)2.4L 5Cyl. (B5244S4)2.4L 5Cyl. (B5244S7)2.1L 4Cyl. Turbo (B21F Turbo)2.3L 5Cyl. Turbo (B5234T4)
2.4L 5Cyl. Turbo (B5252S)

2.3L 5Cyl. Turbo (B5234T6)

/ 2.5L 5Cyl. Turbo (B5254T4)

2.3L 5Cyl. Turbo (B5234T3)2.4L 5Cyl. Turbo (B5244T5)2.4L 5Cyl. (B5254S)2.4L 5Cyl. Turbo (B5254T)2.3L 5Cyl. Turbo (B5234T)

2.4L 5Cyl. Turbo (B5234T5)

/ 2.4L 5Cyl. Turbo (B5244T3)

2.5L 5Cyl. Turbo (B5254T2)2.3L 5Cyl. Turbo (B5244T2)2.4L 5Cyl. Turbo (B5244S)

2.3L 5Cyl. Turbo (B5234T8)

/ 2.3L 5Cyl. Turbo (B5234T9)

2.4L 5Cyl. Turbo (B5244T7)2.4L 5Cyl. (B5244S6)
2.5L 5Cyl. Turbo (B5254T7)2.5L 5Cyl. Turbo (B5254T3)2.8L V6 (B28F or B280F)

2.4L 4Cyl. DieselTurbo

(D24 DieselTurbo)

2.4L 4Cyl. Diesel (D24 Diesel)

2.3L 4Cyl. (B230FS)


2.3L 4Cyl. (B230FD)
4.4L 8Cyl. (B84445)2.3L 4Cyl. Turbo (B230FT)2.3L 4Cyl. Turbo (B230FT)2.3L 4Cyl. (B230F)

2.3L 4Cyl. (B234F)

/ 2.3L 4Cyl. 16V (B234F 16V)

2.8L I6 Turbo (B6284T/T6)2.9L I6 Turbo (B6294T)
2.9L 6Cyl. (B6294S2)2.9L I6 (B6294S)2.9L I6 (B6304F)2.9L I6 (B6304S)2.9L I6 Turbo (B6304S Turbo)3.2L I6 (B6324S)3.2L I6 (B6304T2)

8. The 8th character represents the emissions. 

50 State w/o EGR50 State w/o EGR50 State w/o EGR50 State w/o EGR50 State w/o EGR50 State w/o EGR50 State w/o EGR50 State w/o EGR50 State w/o EGR
49 State w/o EGR50 State w/o EGR

50 State w/o EGR


49 State w/o EGR50 State w/o EGR50 State w/o EGR50 State w/o EGR50 State w/o EGR50 State w/o EGR

9. The 9th character doesn’t actually give any information about the vehicle. It is used to verify the Volvo VIN as a whole.

10. The 10th character represents the Volvo model year.


11. The 11th character identifies the assembly plant where the Volvo was produced. 

Kalmar, SwedenTorslanda, SwedenGhent, BelgiumHalifax, CanadaTurin, Italy (Bertone)Born, NetherlandsUddevalla, Sweden

12-17. The 12th through the 17th characters are the unique serial number of the vehicle. 

What Can the VIN of an Older Volvo tell You?

Volvo first started using VINs in 1976 on their 164 and 240 series. Since the VIN format was not yet standardized at that time, the codes of pre-1981 cars were a bit different than a modern Volvo VIN you would see today. Most used to be 15-character long, but they still contained much of the same information such as the Volvo model, engine, year, and country of origin.

Why Should I Run a Volvo VIN Check?

When your safety is at stake, it’s important to be as informed as possible when it comes to finding the right fit for you. There are endless options out there when it comes to purchasing a vehicle and understanding the VIN will get you one step closer to making the best choice.

At EpicVin, we’re committed to making your car buying journey simple and stress-free. Our team delivers 100% verified and accurate data with no hidden fees! When it comes to buying a vehicle, you can’t afford to make a mistake. We’ll ensure you don’t purchase a car with underlying issues through our Volvo VIN Decoder.

Popular Models from Volvo

Looking for a car in 2020? Before we go, let’s talk about some of the top Volvo models. First up is the XC90 Crossover SUV. This model was first introduced in 2015 and has undergone many small updates to stay competitive in today’s market. If you’re looking for something even newer and sleeker, the Volvo S60 series will be the perfect fit for you. For bigger families, we suggest something with a little more leg room. The XC40 and XC60 T5 Momentum is a mid-size SUV that offers ample space and comfort for your family.

Whatever your style, EpicVin is here to ensure you get the most value out of your new car. If you’re ready to learn more, type in a VIN below to start exploring any and all vehicle history reports.

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