what is the difference between model year and manufacture year

What Is The Difference Between Model Year and Manufacture Year?


Understanding the many levels of information with buying a car is crucial. The more prepared you are, the better deal you’ll find. However, several terms like the model year and manufacture year are worth keeping an eye on carefully. Buyers often mix them up, and that causes unwanted stress. Nevertheless, there’s at least one method to avoid confusion. Read on since we’re answering questions on the differences between the model year and the manufacturing year.

What Is A Model Year?

what is the difference between model year and manufacture year

You will hear more mentions of the specific model year in the North American automotive culture than anywhere else. That’s a widespread term for US-marketed vehicles. Unlike the US, European and Asian countries use the more common indicators of the manufacturing year.

Typically, it’s referred to as the “MY,” and it’s more about marketing than the actual year an auto company made the car. This term denotes a part of a vehicle’s lifecycle, but not necessarily the manufacturing year. The automaker’s desire to create a buzz for a tweaked and improved model before it’s launched to hit the showrooms is the main driver for such naming. A vehicle designated for the next model year gets better trims, updated technology, and a slightly higher price tag. Alternatively, it can be a whole new generation yet to be seen.

What Is A Manufacturing Year?

what is the difference between model year and manufacture year
This generation of the Kia Sorento went on sale in 2020, but it was labeled as a 2021 model for the US market.

This notion is much simpler. It doesn’t refer to the vehicle lifespan and its generation since it just indicates the accurate date of when a car was made. In other words, the manufacturing year will tell you when your car rolled out from the assembly line. In addition, these two years don’t necessarily coincide. 

what is the difference between model year and manufacture year
The 2022 Honda Civic Sedan.

For instance, the all-new generation of the Honda Civic appeared on the market last year, but it was a 2022 model. Why? Because Honda wanted to spice up the anticipation of a new vehicle. The same for the new Nissan Z. First buyers will get it no sooner than in Q3 2022, but it’ll be a 2023 model.

Which Year Is More Accurate To Believe?

what is the difference between model year and manufacture year
Here is a VIN plate of the 2022 Honda Civic Sedan shown above. As you can see, it was produced in 2021.

In our mind, it’s better to trust the manufacturing year. It can give precise information about the vehicle’s age. However, we don’t say you shouldn’t trust the model year. The model year of a car you want can tell you a lot about its trim and standard or optional equipment, as newer models usually have some features that older ones may lack.

What To Do To Learn The Exact Year For Your Car?

The undeniably easiest way is to check the vehicle’s VIN. Car brands must include information about the manufacturing year in it. You can find a VIN behind the windshield, down at the corner on the driver’s side or printed on a door jamb. On top of that, the model year can be shown on the car’s window sticker. 

what is the difference between model year and manufacture year

However, you won’t be likely to have an opportunity of checking it in person if buying from an auction, so we can advise you to get a ClearVIN VIN Check Report for help. They can provide you with the most extensive and up-to-date information about the vehicle’s past, its specifications, title history, and much more. What do you have to do to access it? Just order their vehicle history report online and sit back and relax. Alternatively, you can get a license plate lookup that will also ensure your purchase is safe.

Final Word

Shop for cars confidently without any confusion, as you’ve learned the difference between the model and manufacturing year. Salvagebid welcomes you to explore the thousands of affordable vehicles we’re offering for sale. You determine the prices you’re willing to pay, and we’ll take care of the rest. Ready to get started? Register, upload a copy of your government-issued ID, place a refundable security deposit, and choose the most suitable membership. Contact us online or call us at +1 (360) 347-1300 (6:00 AM – 4:00 PM PST, Monday to Friday), and we’ll be happy to hear and answer any questions you may have.

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