Jaguar Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) System 1978-1998

This is my complete table of Jaguar VIN’s, introduced in 1978. I was convinced that there was method to the Jaguar VIN system, rather than just randomly allocated letters, and this is proven here, by the fact that, for example, ALL Jaguar 2 door coupes from this era share the same letter (E) for character 7 (body).

There are VIN de-coding devices on the internet, but some are inaccurate or incomplete, and I like to know the alternatives!

If you have half as much fun looking through it as I have had researching it, then it has been worth it!

It is not the best quality, I’m afraid, but it has been a long time in the making, continually being interrupted by other projects, so I wanted to get it online for further comments, and for the benefit of those who need it. I will improve the quality of the table in due course, or provide quality printed copies at cost, to those who request them.

Please respect copyright on this work – it has been 4 years in the making!

Please share it, but acknowledge the author!     Letitia Mace – Xclusively Jaguar 2013

Checked, amended as required, and approved by Den Carlow, on behalf of Jaguar Heritage.

Comments, questions and suggestions for additions or improvements to Xclusively Jaguar

Not all characters are in the table, due to space. Please see legend below for further explanation.

For simplicity, characters 1,2,3,4 & 9 are listed below as they are simple and consistent throughout the model range and time-span 1978 – 1998 (unless otherwise stated below)

Characters 1 – 3

Manufacturer    SAD = Daimler 1981-1987    SAJ=Jaguar 1981-1998 (and also Daimler 1988-1998)

Character 4    Marque    D=Daimler    J=Jaguar

Character 9    Transmission and Drive-side      1= manual (4spd) rhd        2=manual (4spd) lhd

3=auto rhd        4=auto lhd       7=manual rhd (5spd & 4spd+o/d)        8=manual lhd (5spd & 4spd+o/d)


Character 5:  F includes XJ40 XJ6 variants, such as Sport (aka 3.2S and 4.0S) and Gold

X308 where listed is up to 1998 only

X100 where listed is up to 1998 only

XJ-S and XJ Series 2 from 1978 only

XJS = all years unless otherwise stated

Character 8 (letters highlighted yellow = engine emission rating

Standard baseline (standard model, as designed for the home market, with no modifications to satisfy local laws/regulations)

Character 10 * 1978 = 8, 1979 = 9. (NB: Brazil = year of manufacture)

Manual seatbelts: DIY

Passive seatbelts: automatically activated by closing the doors

ECS – Emission Control System

*  Information derived from official Jaguar Cars parts catalogue

**Character 11 and 12 – XL = Vanden Plas, London for Limo/Hearse build for 1978 to 1980



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All information correct at time of publishing.