Knowing your car's build date is an important factor when its resale value is calculated. It is important to understand that a build date is not the same as a compliance plate.
A build plate is fixed to your car when it is first assembled at the factory and can usually be found under the bonnet, on the firewall in the car’s engine bay.
A compliance plate is fitted to the vehicle by the car’s importer or manufacturer and confirms that the vehicle complies with Australian design standards for safety and emissions. A compliance plate is usually found in the car’s engine bay, door pillar or footwell.
In some cases, there might be a significant difference between the build and compliance plate dates due to shipping and storage time of the particular vehicle. If a vehicle is made overseas, it could take up to a year for it to make it from the factory to the dealership in Australia.
Always make sure that the vehicle you are considering buying has a compliance plate.
To help differentiate the two plates, it’s handy to remember that a compliance plate will include the words "manufactured to comply with" — similar to the sample image below.
You can read more about different types of plates and why they're important here.