Perusing used cars I have come to understand there is a build date and a compliance date. Some anecdotal stories indicate car dealers want to sell a vehicle as the one of the compliance date (year) but only pay (trade value) on the build date (year). For completeness there are also upgrades for some vehicles adding yet another dimension to nomenclature, but the following is a like-for-like curiosity.
I found two vehicles that suggest there is some skullduggery in the auto industry. Shock horror who would have guessed?! Is government concerned or even consistent? Vicroads for one is not consistent or does not check and takes whatever the new dealer puts in front of them, no questions asked.
Vehicle 1 has a build date in 2013 and a compliance date a full 13 months later (!) in 2014. Vicroads has it registered as a 2013.
Vehicle 2 (same make and model) has a build date in 2012 and a compliance date 4 months later in 2013, and is also registered as a 2013 by Vicroads.
Regardless that buyers look at condition, maintenance history, and other things that are important to them reality is the model year is objectively and factually a part of the vehicle’s value.
The new car buyer who paid for the 2012 build as if it were a 2013 got done as I see it, with Vicroads being complicit in accepting self policing honesty from the business. From Vehicle 1’s ad that it is a 2014 I suspect that buyer also got done over, or got a great deal, or did not pay attention that the (possibly blank) paperwork they signed showed it as a 2013; it could be the buyer was oblivious or might be trying to do the next buyer.
A case of caveat emptor and an unconcerned bureaucracy or doesn’t it matter in practice?