Want to know how to find your car’s paint colour code? You’re in luck. This guide will tell you how to locate the paint code on your car, so you can quickly find an exact colour match for your paintwork.
Why do you need your car’s paint code? Whether you’ve chipped the paintwork and need to buy the right spray paint to finish off a repair or you’re looking to replace a component, you’ll need to know the exact colour of the paint – and the code will tell you this.
Even if two paint colours look the same, car manufacturers make loads of different exterior paint colours and they can all vary from year to year, so you need to make sure the code is right to get an exact paint match.
In this guide, we offer general tips and advice on how to find your car’s paint code. If you need help finding a paint code for a specific make and model, click here.
Where Can I Find My Car’s Paint Code?Search for your paint code
Your colour code is actually located on your car, there are various different points where you might find it depending on your car’s make and model. The image above shows the most likely positions.
In Your Service History
Your car’s service history should tell you the colour code.
In Your Owner’s Manual
Your car colour code will also be in your owner’s manual.
Does My VIN Number Include Paint Code?
No, your VIN number doesn’t contain your car’s paint code. Instead, this is a unique vehicle identifier assigned by the manufacturer which can be used to check a car’s details.
Learn more about your car’s VIN, and how to read it, in our comprehensive guide.
Types of Car Paint Explained
Car paints aren’t created equal. Depending on the manufacturer, the model and the class, you might be dealing with one of a number of different paint types, so it’s important to consider this when buying touch-up paint for repairs and maintenance.
Let’s take a quick look at some of the most prevalent types of car paint used on modern vehicles…
This is the most common and inexpensive type of paint, available in a range of colours. It’s hardwearing and durable, but may not have the same shine or aesthetic appeal as more expensive paint types.
Metallic paints are becoming increasingly common, as manufacturers look to offer customers a more appealing range of paint options for their newer models. Metallic car paint is named as such because it contains powdered aluminium. This not only makes it highly durable, but it also provides an elevated shine, even in low light.
Pearlescent paint is often offered as an optional extra by some manufacturers. These paints are essentially high-end metallics, containing a wider range of paint pigments to provide a richer colour, and can appear different shades depending on the light.
Matte car paint is among the most expensive available, and is often used on high-end cars or as an aftermarket respray. It’s essentially the opposite to metallic paint, with little to no shine depending on the finish. Despite its premium price point, matte paint is susceptible to marks and damage, and may be difficult to repair.
How Do I Find My Car’s Exact Colour?
If you don’t know your colour code and you want to find the right car paint, it’s easy with Paint Match Pro. You can search for your car by make, colour and year, and you’ll see which paints match your car’s colour. Then look for a stockist near you and go and buy your perfect match. If you do know your colour code or the name of your car’s colour, your can search for a paint using these as well.
The colours are matched to the manufacturer’s colours to make it easy for you to find the right colour. If you have a scratch or imperfection on your car that you’re trying to correct, this is the best solution for finding the right car paint.
Car Paint Code Locations – by Manufacturer
Searching for a paint code for your car? You’re in the right place. While you won’t need your car’s colour code when using the Holts Paint Match Pro search function, we’ve collected paint code details and information for the major car manufacturers and provided instructions on where you’re likely to find the code by the make.
Note: While We’ve tried to be as accurate as we can about where you’ll find different manufacturer paint codes, the location of the serial number may differ depending on the model of your car.
Alfa Romeo Paint Codes
Paint code details: Usually a 3 number combination, but can be a letter/number combination.
Location: In most cases, the paint code can be found under the trunk deck. However, in some cases it may be found on the underside of the bonnet.
Audi Paint Codes
Paint code details: The codes can be 2, 3 or 4 number combinations, or number/letter combinations.
Location: Audi paint codes are usually located in the spare wheel well or under the trunk deck lid.
Bentley Paint Codes
Paint code details: The code varies in length and is a combination of numbers and letters. It is clearly indicated on the tag under the “Paint No.” indicator.
Location: The code is often located at the front of the hood, but it can also be found in the doorjamb or the door edge/hinge or in the trunk.
BMW Paint Codes
Paint code details: BMW paint codes are usually made up of 3 numbers, a forward slash and another number. The name of the colour is also shown on the paint code tag, and is listed in both English and German.
Location: The paint code plaque can be found on either the left wheel well, right wheel well or firewall. The exact location of your car’s paint code is listed in the owner’s manual.
Chevrolet Paint Codes
Paint code details: Chevrolet paint codes start with a BC/CC prefix, and are usually 3-4 letters and numbers in length. If your car has two-tone paintwork, there will be two codes preceded by a U (upper) and L (lower).
Location: The paint colour code tag is usually located inside the glove box or in the wheel well, but it can also be found on the driver’s side door jamb, under the driver’s seat or in the passenger sun visor.
Ferrari Paint Codes
Paint code details: Ferrari paint codes are made up of a series of numbers, followed by the name of the paint type listed in Italian. Be sure to check the colour code carefully, however, as Ferrari has recently changed its colour names.
Location: On most Ferrari models, the designated paint code can be found attached under the deck lid.
Fiat Paint Codes
Paint code details: Fiat paint codes comprise 3-4 numbers and letters.
Location: The paint code can normally be found on the driver side door compartment, or on the firewall.
Ford Paint Codes
Paint code details: Ford colour codes comprise of two digits, and contain numbers and/or letters.
Location: The paint code on Ford models can almost always be found on the driver’s side door jamb, or the door edge.
Hyundai Paint Codes
Paint code details: Hyundai paint codes only comprise 2 digits, 1 letter and 1 number.
Location: The paint code can be found in three locations — the firewall, driver’s side door jamb, or in front of the radiator under the bonnet catch.
Honda Paint Codes
Paint code details: Honda paint codes contain letters, numbers, and other symbols like dashes.
Location: On all Honda models, the paint code plaque can be found on the driver’s side door jamb.
Jaguar Paint Codes
Paint code details: Jaguar paint codes differ in their format from model to model. Some contain only 3 digits, others 4, while some are long numbers followed by a letter.
Location: All Jaguar paint codes, across all models, are found on the driver’s side door jamb, so you should have no problem identifying the right code.
Kia Paint Codes
Paint code details: Kia paint codes consist of one letter and one number.
Location: Across every Kia model, the paint code can be found on the driver’s door jamb.
Mazda Paint Codes
Paint code details: Mazda paint codes comprise of 2-3 numbers proceeded by a letter.
Location: On most Mazda models, the paint code is located on the driver’s side door jamb. If you can’t find it there, check the firewall.
Mercedes Benz Paint Codes
Paint code details: Mercedes Benz paint codes comprise a 3-digit number only.
Location: The code can be found on the driver’s side door jamb, the firewall or in front of the radiator under the bonnet release catch.
Mini Paint Codes
Paint code details: Mini paint codes contain 3 digits, and are usually a mix of numbers and letters.
Location: The paint code can be found on the passenger side of the firewall, or on the passenger side strut.
Saab Paint Codes
Paint code details: Saab paint codes are 3 digits long and contain only numbers. Occasionally, the code may be proceeded by a letter.
Location: Start with the driver’s side door jamb. If it’s not there, it may be under the bonnet in front of the radiator, in the glove box or in the spare tyre compartment.
Suzuki Paint Codes
Paint code details: Suzuki paint codes contain 3 digits, and can be made up all numbers, all letters, or a mix.
Location: The code can normally be found on the passenger side firewall, in front of the radiator or on the driver’s side door jamb.
Toyota Paint Codes
Paint code details: Toyota paint codes comprise 3 digits, and can contain both letters and numbers. The letters C/TR will always precede the code.
Location: Across the Toyota model range, the paint code is always found on the driver’s side door jamb.
Volkswagen Paint Codes
Paint code details: Volkswagen paint codes usually comprise 2-4 digits, and can be a combination of both letters and numbers.
Location: Check the rear deck lid first. If it isn’t there, it may be affixed to the spare tyre well, or under the trunk mat.
Our car paint search tool Paint Match Pro helps you find the perfect match for your vehicle. Simply search by make and model and you’ll quickly be able to identify the correct paint for your car, fuss-free. For more motoring tips and advice like this, head over the Holts blog.