MY17 & MY18 What does it all mean?

You have all heard the term ‘model runout sale’ and some of you may have heard the term ‘End of year plate sale’ but what does it all really mean and what is an MY17 etc.?

The four dates on a car

Well to start the explanation, MY stands for ‘Model Year’ and technically speaking it once meant when the current model was first introduced. If it was used that way today we would have some MY12 vehicles being sold in 2018 brand new off the production line. That means that is how long some vehicles have not actually had a new model or innovation introduced.

To get around that, manufacturers introduce a new model each year even if it is no different to the old model. To make it even more confusing, once upon a time MY18 would be introduced at the beginning of 2018. That makes sense right? But then some manufacturers started trying to get the hop on other manufacturers and now you see MY19 cars being introduced in about July of 2018.

So where does all that leave you the consumer? It leaves you confused and up the creek, that’s where!

So let’s go back to the beginning and try to unravel this to make some sense. There are four dates on a vehicle that all mean different things and three of them matter.

  1. Build date: It is what it says. As the vehicle comes off the production line it is stamped with a build date of month and year. Even though the car may not see its destination country for another 3 months this date for some reason still matters when someone values a car. If the car could be made in Australia (which now it can’t) the build date could even be the same month it is sold but not anymore. Now build dates have a lag time of at least two months.
  2. Model date: This is the date by year only that the manufacturer and sometimes the designer put on the car. In our opinion, if it really is a new design, new mechanically in design, or even with new significant features, it does matter but if not then it doesn’t. A simple way to find that out is to ask an expert ‘How is it different to last years?’
  3. Compliance date: When the vehicle is taken out of bond storage in the port of destination it is stamped with a compliance plate month and year. Big deal, it could have been sitting in Australia for six months and yet have last month’s compliance date on it. For some reason that dates back to the beginning of time, some sectors think this is an important date. We do not.
  4. Registration date: This is a day, month year date and is important. It is when the dealer first registered the vehicle. It is when the Government starts getting its handshake and it is when the warranty for the vehicle begins, even if it is sitting in the showroom.

So from all that, what is an ‘end of year sale’, or ‘plate sale’, or end of ‘MY sale’?

Well unless it really is the end of a model as described above in design, engine or features, then it is a clever marketing ploy. But who cares as long as they give you a good discount.

Should you buy an MY17 in 2018? Absolutely, if there is no difference in the vehicle except a plate that says 2017, and there is likely not to be any other difference.

And so the answers to the perplexing questions are:

  1. Know what all the dates really mean.
  2. Ask all the right questions that matter to you.
  3. Buy end-of-year especially if nothing is changing but a cheaper price.
  4. Take no notice of MY dates unless there are real changes.
  5. And when you buy, write down all the dates and see just how long it took to get from A to B to C and decide if that makes a difference to you.



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