Is my car OBD1 or OBD2 (is my car obd2 compliant)

When your check engine light comes on in your car or you are having other problems, an OBD scan tool can help you work out what the problem is. But how do you know what version of OBD your car has? Can an OBD2 scan tool will work with your car? Let us help you determine if your car OBD1 or OBD2? 

Is my car OBD2 compliant?

If your car ends up having OBD1, then it may only have limited information. In addition, for each brand of car, you will need a different tool as they did not use a common communication protocol. So please see our post here on what OBD1 scan tools that we have.

If you want to learn if a car is OBD2-compliant, so you can easily access car data with a common scan tool, there are two (2) questions to ask:

  1. Was your car made before 1995? If yes, then your car will have OBD1.
  2. Does your car have an OBD plug that looks like the one below? If yes, then your car is OBD2 (And might be fully OBD2 compliant). If it has a different-looking plug, then it was made before 1995 and is OBD1.

(However, in some cases with cars between 1995-2005, they can have a plug that looks like the one above but cannot be accessed easily as they did not have the full OBD2 protocol.)

Here in the UK, most of our cars are made locally or from Japan, Europe, or from the US.

When did OBD2 start?

When did they make it compulsory for cars made for these markets to have OBD2? All cars made for the UK market from 2002. So if your car was new in the United Kingdom after 2002, it will have OBD2 and you can use an OBD2 scan tool.

For new and used imported cars into United Kingdom…

  • European Petrol Cars made from 2001 had OBD2
  • European Diesel Cars made from 2003 had OBD2
  • Japanese cars did not have to have OBD2. But if they were made for other markets, then they had to have it. So, if you have a Japanese vehicle between 2001-2005, then it may have OBD2 (more research will need to be done, though).

Please contact us if you would like to find out if your car is OBD2! Just click here to send us your vehicle make and model. We will get back to you ASAP!


To conclude, if you are in the United Kingdom and your vehicle is newer than 2002, you will be ready to use an OBD2 reader to gain information and insights from your car as it is OBD2 compliant.

If not, and you are still unsure, then please get in contact with us or view the OBD2 list on this page.

Get one of our tools now to keep in your glove box for when you need it!

Below are the tools we suggest getting more information from your car if it is OBD2.

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