After you’ve done your research on your desired car model, you may be ready to visit the dealership lot. You’ll be able to see the car in person and take it for a test drive. When you see the model for the first time, you should see a sticker plastered on the car window.
This is called the Monroney Sticker. These stickers are legally required to be placed on the windows of all new vehicles for sale. The sticker typically contains the following information:
• The vehicle’s base price, or MSRP
• List of standard features
• Engine, transmission and drivetrain
• Optional equipment added by the factory, with accompanying costs
• Destination, sipping or delivery cost, figured by car model
• Fuel economy estimates (miles per gallon)
• Annual fuel costs
• Smog and Greenhouse Gas Ratings
• Government Safety Ratings
• Where the car and its parts were assembled
• Warranty information
If you choose to buy the vehicle, keep the information provided by the window sticker. If your chosen car ever becomes the target of a class action for problems in the engine, transmission or other parts of the car, having this information on hand will help you.
Some dealerships will place an “addendum” sticker next to the Monroney sticker. This addendum sticker will include any add-ons and their accompanying costs. Examples of add-ons include paint protection, window tints, wheel locks and remote starters. Not only can you negotiate which add-ons you want on your vehicle, you should also ask which warranties cover these add-ons, if any at all.
Once you gather all of this information, you can take the car for a spin. Read our next post in our Auto Buying Guide to learn what to look out for when you take the car for a test drive.