MSRP and the Monroney Label or Window Sticker

Lets start out with the MSRP where buying cars is concerned. MSRP stands for Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price or in other words list price. This is the price that is posted on the Monroney Label or commonly called the window sticker. In the United States by law every new vehicle must have a Monroney Label or window sticker that is provided by the manufacturer and not the dealership.  The label contains pertinent information regarding he vehicle, which includes the VIN or vehicle identification number (serial number).

The Monroney Label must also include miles per gallon, emissions ratings, model, and trim level and factory options. This factory label will not include any dealer-installed options.  Dealer installed accessories or options must be listed on an addendum sticker, which must be placed in the window next to the factory sticker in plain sight. It must state that the vehicle contains dealer-installed options and the price of those options and this addendum sticker is created by the dealership.

The Monroney Label, Window Sticker Addendum

The addendum window sticker will carry over the MSRP from the factory window sticker and show the addition of options and/or accessories, the price of those accessories and then supply a total price or MSRP of the vehicle. These prices are merely the list price, nobody buying a car wants to pay full price, but you need to know that price and use it as a reference point for your car shopping activities. Some people think that the price shown on the window sticker or Monroney Label of all new cars is the price they must pay, but that is not the case and that is why you can save so much money when buying a car.

Throughout this car-buying guide we will refer to the MSRP of a vehicle for a reference point. You will be using that number to make sure that the vehicles you are shopping and pricing are the same vehicle at all of the dealerships you talk to about pricing. Car dealers are notorious for pricing a lesser model or stripped down version in order to appear as though they have the best price, so we will use the MSRP to assure we are comparing equally equipped vehicles.

Below you will find several different Monroney Labels and links to two other new car window stickers. Click on these links and they will open in a new window so you can take a good look at them and understand what you are reading when you start shopping for your next new car.

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