Understanding VIN and PR Codes

Understanding VIN and PR Codes

One of our top tips in our recent 7 tips for buying for spare parts online blog is to is to use your vehicles VIN or PR code for finding the correct spare parts. You might be thinking these just look like a maze of letters and numbers, how would they be useful?

VIN and PR codes can tell you everything you need to know about your vehicle from the colour to the year it was manufactured. It’s like a secret code.

They are important when purchasing spare parts as they provide information about the manufacturer, make, model, year of manufacture, and other vehicle details.

They can also be used to track recalls, registrations, warranty claims, thefts and insurance coverage.

Fun Fact: If you provide a VIN or PR code when ordering spare parts from Run Auto Parts, we guarantee fitment!

What is a VIN or PR Code? 

VIN stands for vehicle identification number and is the identifying code for a specific vehicle and every car in the world has one. No other vehicle will have the same VIN; you could consider it your vehicle’s fingerprint.

A VIN is composed of 17 characters made up of letters and numbers: 0–9, A–Z (uppercase) excluding letters I, O and Q as this prevents confusion with visually similar numerals.

Decoding a VIN:

    • The first character is where the vehicle was built.


    • The second and third characters are the manufacturer.


    • The second, third and eight characters together, identify flexible fuel vehicles.


    • Characters four to eight identify the brand, model, engine size, body style etc.


    • The ninth character is the vehicle’s security code.


    • The tenth character is the year of the vehicle.


    • The eleventh character indicates the plant at which the vehicle was assembled.


    • The last six characters are the serial number.

A PR code is a production code given to each piece of equipment installed in your vehicle and is used by manufacturers including VW, Audi, Seat, and Skoda.


PR Codes contain three characters comprising of letters and numbers. An example of a PR code is 1KY and it may refer to the vehicle’s brakes. Other examples of parts with PR codes include paint colour, engine, and transmission.


For a particular example of PR numbers found in the VIN above, F17 refers to "Alloy wheels 8.5J x 20, 7MJ refers to emission standard EU5 plus, QZ7 refers to power steering and TG1 refers to 6-cylinder diesel engine 3.01.

Where do I find my VIN or PR Number?

Finding your VIN or PR code is simple - the VIN can be located on the driver’s side of the vehicle, either on the door post or in the corner of the dashboard where it meets the windshield.

The PR code can be found on the data sticker, or the ‘customer service data record’ as some manufacturers call it, which is located in the vehicle’s service book or on the body of the tyre well (in the boot of the vehicle).

Remember, if you have trouble finding either your VIN or PR code you can always contact your vehicle’s manufacturer for more information.


When purchasing parts on the Run Auto Parts website we use handy pop-up boxes to remind you of where to find your VIN or PR code. Don’t forget to include it in the comments section at the checkout so we can guarantee you have selected the right parts for your vehicle.