Year model, model year or vehicle year of a car?

The rules about how a car model is specified have changed in recent years, which has created a great conceptual confusion amongst both consumers and car dealers. Is the car of a certain year model or of another model year? It's easy to get lost and be "fooled", for example, when buying a used car. Which concept is most important depends on what you are looking for. In any case, it's important information when buying precut window tint film for your car.

 Previously, the manufacturers decided what year model a car would have, but with harmonization in the EU, this has changed. Nowadays, the car gets its year model on the date it is registered, but the manufacturers give it a model year so that you can see what version the car is.

Year model, model year or vehicle year of a car?

Year model of a car

The year model is now stated as the year when the car was manufactured, meaning to say it only indicates in which year a vehicle was manufactured. Previously, a year model was specified for which year's model the car was manufactured, which led to the possibility of buying a car of next year's model in the autumn. "Next year's model" is now called the model year.

Model year of a car

The model year is the year the manufacturer puts on the car and most often refers to the year in which the car is intended to be launched, meaning to say that a car manufactured during the fall of one year can be given a model year for the following year. Before the concept of model year was introduced, the manufacturer called it a year model, which meant that cars manufactured during the same year could have two different year models. This means that a car can have a model year of, for example, 2010 but have a year model in 2014 if the car was manufactured (registered) in 2014. The model year is important to keep in mind, as a new model year on a car model often involves updates such as a new design, new features or maybe a new engine.

Vehicle year on a car

The vehicle year is the term used in the vehicle register to indicate the year in which the car is manufactured, meaning to say the same as the year model. This is confusing, but the concept is introduced precisely to avoid confusion and mix-ups with the old concept of year model, which can be interpreted differently by consumers and car dealers. So information about the car's vehicle year indicates only the year in which the car is manufactured, not which model year it is. 

The body model is decisive when you buy precut window tint film

Many people are deceived by the fact that a car has "year model X" when ordering precut window tint film for a car that can be of "year model" X or Y. What determines which is right is which model year the car has, meaning to say the car's body model. Regardless of when a car is manufactured (model year or vehicle year), it is how the car's body and windows are designed that determines which precut window tint film is right for your car. A car made in one year can be of a completely new model year, in which case the body may have a different appearance. If you think your car is a 2008 model, it may have been made in 2007 but have a model year of 2009. If the manufacturer made changes and updates to the bodywork for the 2009 model year, the dimensions of the window tint film may be the wrong ones if you order for a 2008 model. Therefore, it is important to know which model year the car has, not what year model it is. Let's call it a body model so it will be easier to understand. So check carefully what body model your car has before ordering precut window tint film.

How do I know which body model (model year) my car has?

This question arises most often on annual models that change model years, meaning to say that the car gets a new updated body. If you think your car is a 2008 model, but you know that a new car of the same model was released the year after (2009), it may be important to look it up. The simplest thing to do is, for example, to Google for images of the older and a newer models of the car. Often, you can easily see which of the bodies corresponds to your own car. Another way is to check Wikipedia, which often has very good information about different car models and about when model changes took place.