Like other vehicles, Range Rovers are distinguished by their Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), which is a 17-digit alphanumeric code as mandated by UK and European law. The VIN of a Range Rover is unique in that it contains coded information about the vehicle's model, body type, engine and transmission. This makes the VIN a valuable source of information.
Locate the number. On all vehicles, the VIN is displayed on a plate attached to the car on the right side of the chassis under the bonnet.
Begin reading the VIN with the first three digits. For Range Rovers, these digits will be SAL, with "S" representing the country the vehicle was manufactured in (United Kingdom), "A" representing the manufacturing company (Jaguar, at the time of writing a division of Ford) and "L" representing the division (Land Rover).
Next read the fourth digit of the VIN, which is the Range Rover's model. This digit will be one of two letters: "H" (Range Rover Classic) or "P" (Range Rover 4.0, 4.6 or Sport edition).
Read the Range Rover VIN's fifth digit, which corresponds to the vehicle's emission system. Several letters (C, E, H, N, V, X, Y) are used to denote whether the vehicle meets emissions standards
Look at the sixth and seventh digits, which are numbers indicating body type and engine type, respectively. For body type, a "1" is a five-door model, a "2" is a two-door model, and a "3" is a three-door model. For engine type, a "1" is a 3.5 litre V8 engine. A "2" is a 2.5 litre V6 engine or a 4.0 litre V8 engine (depending on model). A "3" is a 4.2 litre V8 engine. A "4" is a 4.6 litre V8 engine.
Read the eighth position on the VIN, representing the transmission type. A "2" represents a five-speed automatic. A "4" represents a four-speed automatic. An "8" is a five-speed manual.
Read the ninth digit. This is an internal check code, which a random digit or an "X." Next look at the 10th position, which is the vehicle's model year. For vehicles manufactured before 2001, this is a letter from H to Y, and for vehicles manufactured in 2001 and after, it is a single digit representing the year of manufacture. For example, a "1" is a vehicle manufactured in 2001, and a "2" is a vehicle made in 2002.
Read the 11th position, which represents the assembly plant. This digit is typically "A" for the Solihull, United Kingdom, Land Rover factory. Finally, look at the 12th to the 17th numbers. These are the vehicle's serial numbers, which represent the order in which the Range Rover rolled off the assembly line.
Decoding the VIN of a Range Rover can be a handy tool when buying a used vehicle. Using the VIN, you can learn the model, model year, engine type and transmission, which is useful information for used-car shoppers.