How To Find the Chassis Number on Your Classic VW Beetle

How To Find the Chassis Number on Your Classic VW Beetle

JK's Head of Marketing
Published 13 November 2023
Josh Reynolds

If you want to check your Beetle’s chassis number, but aren’t totally sure where to find it, then this quick guide will help you track it down and decode it.

You’ll find loads more guides like this here on the Just Kampers website, covering all sorts of different topics to help you make the most of your VW Beetle.

Where Do I Find the Chassis Number On My VW Beetle?

There are multiple places where you may find your VW Beetle’s chassis number. One place to check would be under the back seat, where you may find it just forward of the transmission linkage access cover, stamped on the floor pan.

Another spot you may find this number is on the chassis identification plate found under your VW Beetle’s hood, near the spare tire.

On vehicles produced after the 1st of January 1969, you will be able to find your chassis number on the vehicle ID plate, fixed to the dashboard on the drivers side near your windshield.

The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is on the upper right of this plaque, which is located under the bonnet of the VW Beetle.
It's easy to locate the chassis number under the hood of the Beetle, near the spare wheel well. It's easy to locate the chassis number under the hood of the Beetle, near the spare wheel well.
It's easy to locate the chassis number under the hood of the Beetle, near the spare wheel well.

What Is a Chassis Number?

Your vehicle’s chassis number, also known as the VIN (vehicle identification number) is a way of identifying your VW Beetle’s production year and other key information about your vehicle and its history. All vehicles are given one of these numbers when they’re manufactured, in order to uniquely identify each vehicle.

What Do You Need to Know This Number For?

Knowing your Beetle’s chassis number or VIN is important for a number of different reasons, with the main ones being to ensure that you’re ordering the correct parts and accessories for your Beetle.

Since the chassis number tells you exactly when your Beetle was made, it can be an invaluable tool for making sure you get the correct parts which will fit the model and year of your VW Beetle.

You can also use the chassis number to track your vehicle’s history, including sales, accidents, and repairs.

If the worst comes to worst and your beloved VW Beetle gets stolen, the chassis number can be tracked and identified so it can hopefully be recovered. Although thieves often remove or alter the chassis number, there are multiple hidden places where this number is displayed that they might not find.

When it comes to selling a classic vehicle, proving its authenticity can be a major factor in determining its value. The chassis number can be used to verify the authenticity, so the buyer and the seller can reach a fair price. 

Speaking of selling vehicles, did you know that Just Kampers has a Marketplace, where you can buy or sell classic VW Beetles, as well as classic campervans and modern campers? Click here to check out the Just Kampers Marketplace

You can also find the chassis number under the rear seat, stamped into the metalwork.

How To Decode Your Chassis Number

From first commercial production of the Beetle in 1946 up until the end of 1955, VW Beetle chassis numbers were 6/7 digits with a prefix of ‘1-’. This prefix was dropped from 1956 until 31 July 1964 with the numbers continuing in sequence.

Beetles produced from the 1 August 1964 up to 31 July 1969 have a 9-digit chassis number made up of 3 identification digits, the first being a 1 (signifying the vehicle type), the second outlining the model (e.g. 1 saloon, 3 1303 saloon range, 4 Karmann Ghia, 5 Karmann Cabriolet) and the third showing the last number of the production year, and 6 serial number digits.

After the 1st August 1969, VW Beetles were given 10 digit chassis numbers, with the same 3 identification numbers, followed by 7 digit serial numbers.

Want to learn more about the VW Beetle?

Take a look at our History of the VW Beetle from 1946 to 2003, which covers all sorts of information across the long history of the Beetle.

If you’re looking at buying a VW Beetle, then our Beetle Buyer’s Guide is a great way to brush up on key details and get an idea of what to look our for when reviewing adverts online or checking out a vehicle in person.

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