BMW VIN Lookup

Search Over 142,131 BMW Car Records in Our Database

About BMW Cars

Started as a manufacturer of aircraft engines, BMW (Bayerische Motoren Werke) now makes automobiles using its own name as well as Rolls Royce and Mini. Motorcycles are made under the name BMW Motorrad. It is approximately the 12th largest vehicle manufacturer, turning out about 2.5 million vehicles a year.

The company is headquartered in Munich, Germany, and has manufacturing plants in six other countries. During World War II the company made aircraft engines, and its facilities were bombed by the Allies as a consequence. Under terms of the post-war armistice agreement, it was prohibited from making motor vehicles, so BMW made household items like bicycles and pans. In the late 1950s, the company made bad guesses about the market for vehicles and produced slow-selling microcars and a luxury model, suffering financially until rival Daimler-Benz took the company over. In the late 1970s and 1980s, the company began producing luxury supercars. It acquired brands Mini, Rolls-Royce, and Rover in 1994 but exited the Rover brand after more financial problems. It is about the 14th largest auto manufacturer in the world, producing about 2.5 million vehicles per year.

Quick Facts

  • BMW X5 is the most-recalled BMW vehicle
  • BMW 3-Series is the least expensive car from BMW starting from $ 19,900.00
  • BMW 3-Series has an MPG of 32 miles/gallon / 45 miles/gallon which is the highest gas mileage in the city and on highways
  • BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo has the most trims available with 210 variations released

Number of BMW Sales in the United States

BMW U.S. Sales Reports - By Month

Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2015 18,981 25,201 34,310 26,952 31,003 32,176 26,970 27,755 26,608 29,439 32,003 34,625
2016 18,082 22,498 30,033 24,951 29,017 28,855 25,777 25,531 25,389 24,017 26,189 32,835
2017 18,109 22,558 31,015 22,624 25,818 28,962 21,965 23,553 25,571 23,208 28,049 34,253
2018 19,016 23,508 31,311 23,482 26,662 29,407 21,982 23,789 25,908 23,262 28,330 34,357
2019 18,102 23,558 32,228 23,816 27,109 31,627

BMW Car Sales in The United States from 2015 to 2019

Year Car Sales
2015 346,023
2016 313,174
2017 305,685
2018 311,014
2019 156,440

Average Pricing for BMW Popular models

Popular BMW Models Average Price
5-Series $ 49,787.52
X5 $ 52,144.98
7-Series $ 78,984.20
6-Series $ 75,544.61
Z4 $ 43,430.00
2-Series $ 39,066.74
M Roadster $ 43,209.83
Z4 M $ 50,930.77
Z8 $ 129,675.25
M Coupe $ 42,653.38
8-Series Gran Coupe $ 43,560.00

Interesting Facts About BMW

Airplane engines were the company’s first products, but after World War I German companies were forbidden under terms of the 1919 Treaty of Versailles from producing aircraft or their engines, so BMW switched to making motorcycles. Automobile production started ten years later.
In 2013, the company launched its first electric compact SUV, the i3, which initially was received coolly. Yet sales have continued not only to hold steady after six years but to warm considerably, with 2019 sales outpacing 2018 sales by double digits. This prompted the company to plan for the i3 to remain in production for more than the traditional model lifetime of 7 years. BMW plans for several more electric vehicles in its lineup by 2023.
The BMW company is valued at $42 billion, about $25 billion less than just a year ago. The U.S.-China trade war of 2019 is likely to ding the car maker’s bottom line even more, as it is subject to a 25 percent hike in tariffs on its exports to China.
Rolls-Royce, a division of BMW, has suffered from major setbacks in its aerospace engine manufacturing. Its Trent 1000 TEN engines are in Boeing 787 airplanes and have been beset by poor components that include propellers cracking. It is expected to pay as much as $2 billion to repair and re-equip the aircraft, but the damage to the company’s reputation may linger.
By volume, BMW is about the 14th largest car manufacturer in the world, sending around 2.5 million of its vehicles onto the streets every year.
The Mini Cooper, a BMW product with British roots, turns 60 this year. Over the years the microcar has morphed into a larger, bulkier version of itself but there’s hope that an electric version that’s due out by 2020 will reinvigorate the brand. Yet with sales of the small cars down in the U.S. market by at least 7 percent in the past year, hopes are dimming. In December 2018 alone sales crashed by 40 percent in the U.S. Yet with a future redesign and electrification the manufacturer hopes to continue the cult-like following of Mini owners who parade their vehicles on club outings and rallies.
The company bought back one of their former manufacturing facilities in Germany to enhance a program available for owners of all of its vehicles: made-to-order parts for every BMW ever sold. That means if a person has a 1960 or a 1975 or a 1988 model BMW, he can still get a new grille, exhaust manifold, or authentic replacement part rather than contacting junkyards for inventory.

How to Identify and Decode BMW VINs

BMW began producing cars and motorcycles in the 1920s in Germany. Since 1956, BMW vehicles have been sold in the United States. All U.S. vehicles have a VIN that identifies important information about a vehicle. Since the early 1980s, all VINs have been standardized in the U.S. Standards are created by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Older BMW vehicles are likely to have VINs of varying numbers and characters. Modern BMW vehicles follow the established standard.


The first three digits are called the World Manufacturer Identifier and represent the particular brand that made the vehicle.

NCO BMW South Africa.
WBS Motorsport.

Positions 4-7 are used for model identification. Changes from year-to-year and hundreds of models make it impossible to chart all the possible codes for all BMW vehicles. Currently, BMW markets at least 31 models, each with different engine types, transmissions, and safety equipment. BMW vehicles have been sold in the United States since 1956. The four-digit model identifier codes information that indicates the model, engine, trim level, and safety equipment.


Position Eight is usually used to identify transmissions.


Position Nine is used as a check number. This digit is the result of an algorithm that reveals whether the VIN is valid. Essentially, letters are converted to numbers, and a series of mathematical equations results in a fraction or decimal that relates to one of several coded digits.


The 10th digit is the model year identifier. The year codes are:

A 1980, 2010
B 1981, 2011
C 1982, 2012
D 1983, 2013
E 1984, 2014
F 1985, 2015
G 1986, 2016
H 1987, 2017
J 1988, 2018
K 1989, 2019
L 1990, 2020
M 1991, 2021
N 1992, 2022
P 1993, 2023
R 1994, 2024
S 1995, 2025
T 1996, 2026
U 1997, 2027
W 1998, 2028
X 1999, 2029
Y 2000, 2030
1 2001, 2031
2 2002, 2032
3 2003, 2033
4 2004, 2034
5 2005, 2035
6 2006, 2036
7 2007, 2037
8 2008, 2038
9 2009, 2039

The 11th digit is used to identify the specific plant where the vehicle was built. In some cases, vehicles are built in multiple plants and assembled in other plants. Typically, the assembly plant is recognized as the manufacturing plant.

A, F, K Munich, Germany.
C, B, D, G Dingolfing, Germany.
E, J, P Regensburg, Germany.
L, M Spartanburg, U.S.A.
N Roslyn, South Africa.
W Graz, Austria.
V Leipzig, Germany.

The final digits are the serial number. The serial number identifies where in a production line the vehicle was built. Note that serial numbers are not consecutive and do not necessarily represent the order the vehicle was built in.

Safety and Recalls for BMW Cars

BMW Recalls

BMW had 5892 from 1980 to 2021 of which the most recalled model is 2019 BMW X1 and the least is 1996 BMW M3. BMW had the most recalled during 2020.

Model Number of Recalls
2019 BMW X1 #1 with most recalls 5
2015 BMW M4 #2 with most recalls 2
2014 BMW i8 #3 with most recalls 1
2004 BMW Z4 #4 with most recalls 1
1996 BMW M3 #5 with most recalls 1

Resources for BMW Cars

View All BMW Cars by Year