What’s the Difference? Model Year, Build and Compliance Date banner

What’s the Difference? Model Year, Build and Compliance Date

Posted in Bigbox Motoring Advice

Published Tue 21 Feb 2023

What’s the Difference? Model Year, Build and Compliance Date

Car lingo can be overwhelming, confusing and hard to remember. That’s why it’s important we know which of it is crucial and of that, make sure we understand a bit about them. When it comes to cars, years are important. Knowing what Model Year, Build and Compliance date your car is means knowing whether or not your car is affected by a recall, why it seems to have such low kilometres or what year/line of production your car was actually manufactured in. Here’s a simple breakdown of these terms: 

Model Year (MY)

If you’ve been researching cars, no doubt you would have come across this a fair bit.  For instance, you may find a 2017 Mitsubishi ASX MY18 but what does that mean? 2017 or 2018? Model Year, or as you more commonly see it as, MY, is not referring to the year it was build but actually to the cycle that model is in. In the case of the 2017 Mitsubishi ASX MY18, this could be a result of an update or revision of the model since the MY17.

Build Date

This one is probably exactly what you’re thinking. The build date is both the month and year it rolled out of the factory’s line of production, not just the year.   Therefore, it is quite common for many of the cars manufactured overseas to be built one year (ie. December 2013 or 12/2013) but only arrive here in Australia the following year (June 2014 or 06/2014).

​Compliance Date

The compliance date is referring to the date that is on your car’s compliance plate. 

“What is a compliance plate?” you ask. 

This plate is a compulsory component that every car must have in order to be driven legally on Australian roads. It identifies to authorities that the car has been through its inspection and crash test to meet the requirements of the Australian Design Rules (ADR’s).

Before an internationally manufactured car can be driven on our roads it must be fitted with a compliance plate here in Australia. This means even if the car was built in one year, if it arrives the following year, its compliance date will be different to its build date.

The Year

Above all, the most common date that is used when talking about a car is the year model date. Although it can be confusing with the other dates, this one is very straight forward. It simply communicates that the car was manufactured sometime in that year.

So there you have it. Hopefully this has cleared up the confusion of what these mysterious figures all mean but if you still aren’t 100% sure on any of this, feel free to ask one our friendly team members here at Big Box Cars to walk you through it.

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