This paper presents novel vehicle detection and classification method by measuring and processing magnetic signal based on single micro-electro- mechanical system (MEMS) magnetic sensor. When a vehicle moves over the ground, it generates a succession of impacts on the earth's magnetic field, which can be detected by single magnetic sensor. The magnetic signal measured by the magnetic sensor is related to the moving direction and the type of the vehicle. Generally, the recognition rate using single sensor detector is not high. In order to improve the recognition rate, a novel feature extraction algorithm and a novel vehicle classification and recognition algorithm are presented. The concavity and convexity areas, and the angles of concave and convex parts of the waveform are extracted. An improved support vector machine (ISVM) classifier is developed to perform vehicle classification and recognition. The effectiveness of the proposed approach is verified by outdoor experiments.