How to Find Auto Paint Color Code Using a VIN

Written by josh baum
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How to Find Auto Paint Color Code Using a VIN
A typical VIN plate

If you're considering a fresh coat of paint on your car but you want to make sure that you match your current paint job precisely, you'll need to find the colour code. One way you can find this code is by using the vehicle's unique VIN, or vehicle identification number. Once you find the right code, you can confidently order or apply matching auto paint and avoid the uncertainty of matching colours using paint samples.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Pen or pencil
  • Paper
  • Computer with Internet access
  • Phone

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  1. 1

    Look for the VIN plate on the driver's side dashboard, near the bottom of the windshield. It is a long, narrow metal plate, and is usually either black and white or all black with engraved letters and numbers.

    How to Find Auto Paint Color Code Using a VIN
    A typical VIN plate
  2. 2

    Write down the 17-digit VIN.

  3. 3

    Look up a local dealership for your make of vehicle in an online phone directory and call the service department. Alternatively, you can visit a dealership in person.

  4. 4

    Ask for help in the service department, explaining that you have a VIN and want to use it to find the original manufacturer colour code for that vehicle.

  5. 5

    Write down the colour code once it has been looked up for you. If you visit the dealership in person, they may be able to simply print it out for you.

Tips and warnings

  • If you already have a printed vehicle history report for this vehicle, the colour code may be listed. Whether or not the colour code is in your vehicle history report depends on the company from which you purchased the report.

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