When you’re at a dealership, you’ll find a window sticker on every car for sale. These stickers, otherwise called “Monroney stickers” or “Monroney labels,” are labels that are required by law to be displayed on new vehicles for sale. They include official information about the car that many buyers find valuable, for example the price of the vehicle. Let’s go over how to read all the sections of window stickers.

Car dealerships can purchase dealer window stickers as well as other auto dealer supply products from MBR Marketing at https://mbrmarketing.com/dealer-supplies/stock-window-stickers.

Price

There are usually two sections when it comes to the price of a car for sale. The first section is the “Total Price,” which includes the manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP). The MSRP isn’t the price you’ll be paying for the vehicle, as it’s primarily used as a reference during negotiations. You can use think of the MSRP as a fair price for the vehicle. The total cost of the car may also be listed here, if not in its own section.

The second section is the “Pricing Information,” which is where the car’s base price is listed. You’ll also find a complete breakdown of the cost of options, various fees, and destination charges. Destination charges are the cost of transporting the vehicle to the dealership. If you’re looking at a vehicle that doesn’t meet the required fuel economy levels, you will also find gas guzzler tax numbers in this section.

Model Information

Like the title suggests, this section is where you’ll find the basic model information of the vehicle, usually in the upper-left or upper-right corner. This section is where you can read about the engine and transmission combination, the vehicle’s make and model year, trim level, serial number, and the exterior and interior colors.

Read this information and see if it matches with the car in front of you. If you see that the colors on the sticker say red, but the vehicle is blue, you should immediately bring it up to the dealership.

QR Code

Every window sticker will have a QR code that you can scan with your phone. Simply open up your phone’s camera and place it in front of the QR code. This will redirect you to the EPA website, where you receive personalized fuel economy data by inputting your driving stats. You can use this data to compare it with the fuel economy of all the other vehicles you’re looking at.

Warranty Information

Warranties are important to take note of, especially when you’re shopping for a new car. Even used cars may come with warranties, so it’s a good idea to check.

In the Warranty Information section, you’ll find the powertrain warranty lengths as well as all other warranties offered when purchasing the vehicle. You’ll also find the length of the car’s bumper-to-bumper and any notes of roadside assistance packages. The car’s manufacturer will supply these packages. You may also find a free maintenance program that comes with purchasing the vehicle, which should be listed here too.

Optional Equipment

The Optional Equipment section is where you’ll find the lists of how much the automaker of the vehicle recommends that the dealership charges for all the installed features. These could include everything from the factory-installed options, additional accessories, upgrades, and more. Again, keep in mind that the list is a recommendation and that vehicles that are currently high in demand may want more than the MSRP. New cars are usually already discounted, so you don’t want to negotiate unfairly. 

You should also take note that some car manufacturers may bundle factory-installed options into packages. Meanwhile, other manufactures offer them one by one. You should know the vehicle’s options to help you negotiate the price in your favor. You can also use this information to compare it with other cars you’re interested in, too. As a safety check, go through the list of optional equipment and see if everything’s there when inspecting the vehicle. You don’t want to pay for something that isn’t there, such as tinted windows.

Parts Content Information

For those who want to know where the car was produced, take a look at the Parts Content Information section. This is where you’ll learn about how much of the vehicle was made in the United States or elsewhere. For most parts, if they’re made outside the United States, you’ll see a list of the countries of origin.

If you’re confused about why certain parts are coming from various regions of the world, it’s because vehicle manufacturing happens globally. In nearly all cases, you won’t find that everything is entirely designed and produced in one country. When it comes to transmission build and engine production, these will more often than not occur in another country. Don’t forget about the final assembly, too.

Many window stickers will give you percentages of the parts made within and outside the United States. You can go to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for more information.

Standard Equipment

In this section, you’ll also find the MSRP, including all items, features, and extras that are included. All of the standard equipment will be categorized into various categories, including comfort and convenience, mechanical and performance, safety and security, exterior, and interior. You should find that all the items here will be consistent with other vehicles that are close in trim level.

Fuel Economy

Understanding your vehicle’s fuel economy is important, so you won’t want to skip this section. The Fuel Economy Label, otherwise called an “EPA Label,” provides you with an estimate of the vehicle’s fuel efficiency. You’ll also be given data on how many gallons you’re expected to use per mile of driving, on top of annual fuel cost estimates. You will also find a greenhouse gas rating. For Hybrid and electric cars, you’ll find separate information on how much it costs to charge the vehicle and how long it takes, and what the miles per gallon equivalents are.

Safety Ratings

Driving a car with high safety ratings is excellent. The ratings are listed from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) scores are occasionally listed, too. 

Author

Sumit is a Tech and Gadget freak and loves writing about Android and iOS, his favourite past time is playing video games.

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