To first determine the build year of your car, you need to find the build plate (or sticker) on your car, this can be confused with the compliance or approval plate (or sticker).
But, why a sticker and why a plate? Older cars had a plate with stamped letters and newer cars had stickers but for the reference of this article, we will call them build plates and compliance plates because its usually the standard wording for it.
So, what’s the difference between the two?
The build plate is created by the vehicle manufacturer at the time your vehicle is manufactured and then it is shipped to your country on a boat and unloaded at the destination port, if you think your the first person to drive the car, its not the case in reality, the car is tested after being made and several people drive it on-and-off the boat and on-and-off the truck.
Once the car is unloaded, it is sent for approvals to ensure it complies with the countries standards and pre-defined rules for safety reasons. After approval, the road authority will issue a compliance plate.
After local approvals, your car is issued with a compliance plate also known as an approvals sticker which has an approval date and is commonly confused as the build year. The biggest difference between the build plate and the compliance plate is the approval number which is found only on the compliance plate.
Its best to familiarize yourself with your vehicle, open all the doors and check all stickers and sometimes the build plate mentions build year, and sometimes it doesnt.
Always the date on the compliance plate will be later than the build plate, meaning your build plate might be 2016 but compliance plate could be 2017 because it takes some time to ship the vehicle to your country and then obtain the inspection, approvals and registration.
We try to make the process of buying wiper blades as easy as possible and include a vehicle photo on every wiper page, you can also refer to this, if anything doesn’t seem right, or your confused about your build year, please reach out to us via the Contact page.