What do Mercedes chassis numbers mean?

Just like motorcycles, vehicles also come with identification numbers that differentiate them from one another. That’s why all Mercedes-Benz cars produced come with chassis numbers. But what do Mercedes chassis numbers mean? 

Mercedes chassis number is the identification number attached to the car. It helps to identify the car. Before January 1st, 1989, these numbers were referred to as chassis numbers, but after January 1st, 1989, they were referred to as vehicle identification numbers. In short, the Mercedes Chassis number is also known as a vehicle identification number.

All chassis numbers/VIN contain 17 characters and every piece of character has a piece of important information that may be required by a mechanic. The 17 characters identify the manufacturer, the country of origin, and the factory in which the car was produced. On top of that, it also identifies a vehicle’s model year and serial number. 

What does the Mercedes chassis number contain?

The chassis number or vehicle identification number comes with three identifiers. These are the world manufacturer identifier, vehicle description part, and vehicle identifier part. The world manufacturer identifier makes up the first three digits of the chassis number, which show the manufacturer, the country of production, and the type of vehicle. 

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On the other, the vehicle description part shows the type and size of the car’s engine, the brand, type of transmission, model year, and much more. And finally, the vehicle identifier part is a serial number peculiar to every Mercedes vehicle. 

Where can I find my Mercedes-Benz chassis number?

The Mercedes-Benz chassis number is usually placed in three different places. These include:

  • Driver’s side door frame – this is one of the common areas where you will see your car’s chassis number. Check the area where the door links up to the body of the vehicle. 
  • On the dashboard – this is another place to look for your VIN. Inspect behind the windshield on the driver’s side of the dashboard. 
  • The front of the engine block – aside from the door frame and dashboard, you can also find the chassis number on parts of your car, such as the engine. 

Nonetheless, you can also find your VIN number on the insurance certificate, vehicle title, and registration. 

What do the 17 digits in a Mercedes Chassis number mean?

If you’re wondering what the 17 digits in a Mercedes chassis number mean, here is a full breakdown to learn what they indicate: 

VIN Character 1: World origin

W German 

VIN Character 2: Manufacturer code 

D Mercedes-Benz (Daimler)

VIN Character 3: Division 

B – Benz 

C – Chrysler 

D – Daimler AG 

VIN Character 4: Series identifier 

Each and every class and generation receive its letter in the Mercedes-Benz VIN breakdown. This number is very specific as it shows what class, model, and generation the vehicle is. For instance, A W123, C W126, J W210 E-Class, or U W211 E-Class. 

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VIN Character 5: Body style 

  • A stand for Mercedes roadsters 
  • B for long body 
  • F for sedan 
  • G for sedan long WB 
  • S for estate 
  • H for wagon 
  • J for coupe 
  • K for cabriolet 
  • M for AMG 
  • V for limousine 
  • W/X for SUV 

VIN Character 6-7: Model

VIN Character 8: Safety restraint mechanism 

  • C for seat belt plus emergency pre-tensioners
  • D for driver front airbag
  • E for passenger front airbag 
  • F for side airbags 

VIN Character 9: Check digit 

This is a verification number calculated by a third party to check the accuracy 

VIN Character 10: Model year 

Typically, model years vary from 1 to 9 and A to Y 

VIN Character 11: Production plant 

  • A to E for Sindelfingen plant 
  • F to H for Bremen 
  • J for Rastatt
  • X for Graz 
  • T for Karmann 
  • V for Valmet Automotive, Finland
  • M for Woking, England 

VIN Character 12-17: Chassis number 

This last set of numbers is the classification in which your vehicle came off the production line. 

N/B: Now that you know what the chassis numbers on your Mercedes-Benz mean, you can go ahead and find out more about your car’s production, year, parts, and production plant. 


What is the importance of chassis numbers?

These numbers are important as they enable the owner or authority to track their car for various reasons. For instance, the authority can use chassis numbers to identify destroyed or stolen vehicles. Besides, the manufacturer can also use these numbers to easily identify cars requiring a recall. 

Why was the chassis number changed to the vehicle identification number? 

Both chassis numbers and VIN act as serial numbers. Before 1989, VIN was known as chassis before it was changed. It was referred to as chassis number because the earliest motor vehicles were made of a body bolted to or based on a chassis or frame. 

As a result, every chassis was provided with a serial number so that it could be simple to identify the car and use it for registration. Nonetheless, when the cars changed to a single body structure design, the name changed to VIN. However, this happened many years after the car was changed to a single body design. 

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What is the main difference between VINs and Chassis numbers?

Despite VIN being the same thing as chassis numbers, they still have several differences. First and foremost, chassis numbers were used before 1st January 1989, while VIN was used after 1st January 1989. So, VIN replaced the chassis number. 

Another difference between VIN and chassis numbers is that chassis numbers contain lesser details compared to VIN. Most chassis numbers contained up to 12 characters, while VIN numbers feature up to 17 characters. 

Why is it vital to check the car’s chassis number before buying? 

This allows you to learn about the history of the vehicle. Additionally, it enables you to find out whether the car is legitimate or not. Besides, this number can also help you know the true identity of the car before buying. 


In short, the Mercedes-Benz chassis number is also the VIN number of your car. It helps to identify your vehicle using the 17 characters that it comes with. Besides, it enables you to know your car manufacturer, type of vehicle, country of production, model year, type of parts, and the production plant. 

The chassis number is very crucial as it also assists to identify stolen cars, separating cars involved in a recall, and enabling authorities to identify cars in a fire or used in a crime. 

Edwin Odipo

Why do you love writing about cars? Cars make our lives easy. You can visit your distant friend, relative or even rush to the grocery store a few miles from your home with a lot of ease. Imagine how life was before the invention of cars?? To me, cars are a blessing that made life more convenient.

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