That’s is the reaction many potential customers might face when they walk onto the car dealer’s lot and are peppered with “dealership jargon.
New car slang features in the majority of car advertisements, but what does it all mean?
Things like “MY15”, “build 20xx”, “compliance 20xx” or just plain old “20xx” all mean something different apparently and are all used regularly in the car buying arena.
Understanding what they all mean is the first step to ensure that your car ownership gets off on the right foot.
Let’s understand what the difference is between Build Date, Compliance Date and Model Year.
MY or Model Year (e.g. MY00)
Quite possibly the most commonly used acronym in vehicular sales is the MY moniker.
MY stands for Model Year and refers to the model cycle that the car is in, NOT essentially the year it was built. It is perfectly normal and acceptable to have a car that was built in 2012 but is labelled MY13 due to an update or revision of the model since the MY12 edition.
Build (e.g. Build 20xx)
This one is as simple as it sounds, with the build date of the car being the actual month and therefore year that it rolled of the production line at the factory.
For the majority of cars manufactured outside of Australia, it is quite common for the car to be built in one year (e.g. November 2014 or 11/2014) but not actually land ashore in Australia until the next year (e.g. May 2015, or 05/2015.)
Every model driving on Australian roads must be rigorously inspected and crash tested to be worthy of a compliance plate. This states that the car has met the requirements of the Australian Design Rules (ADRs).
The compliance plate is a quick indication to registration authorities that compliance with the ADRs has been demonstrated for the vehicle in question.
When an internationally manufactured car has reached our shores it must be therefore fitted with a compliance plate before it is able to be driven on the road.
This could be done in one year, even if the car arrived in the final months of the previous year, or was built in the previous year.
The same applies for locally manufactured vehicles.
There are certain vehicles that do not have to comply with the ADRs and be fitted with a compliance plate but these are exceptions and you should get the advice of an appropriate authority before buying such a car.
The Year (i.e. 20xx Model Name)
The year of the car can be a somewhat ambiguous term, for example, a “2011 Camry” could technically be built in 2011, or complied in 2011 or be a MY11 car.
However, for the most part the year of the car will refer to the year it was manufactured, so our example 2011 Camry would be a car built at some point during 2011.
This is usually the case when selling the car privately as well – you shouldn’t be finding previous year build cars advertised as current years models, just because they were complied in the current year.
If you do find this is the case, quiz the seller on it and you could even agree to a lower price due the car being older than advertised.