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How to Read a New Car Window Sticker

Borrowers with problem credit that qualify for a new car loan should know how to read the Monroney label
How to Read a New Car Window Sticker
What we know

Car buyers with problem credit are sometimes offered the auto loan option of financing a new car and, therefore, should know how to read the new car sticker affixed to the vehicle’s window.

Here at Auto Credit Express we think this is important because for more than twenty years we’ve been helping consumers with bad credit that are searching for online auto loans find those dealers offering the best opportunities for auto loan approvals.

New cars

And while not all borrowers will qualify for a new car loan, those that do should know how to read a Monroney Label – although it’s more commonly called a new car window sticker.

Monroney Label information

Up until the late 1950′s, there was no standard sales information on new cars. The Monroney sticker was created as part of the Automobile Information Disclosure Act of 1958 and named after its sponsor, Senator Almer Stillwell “Mike” Monroney from Oklahoma.

Here’s what buyers need to look for on the label:

1. Vehicle identification number (VIN) – be sure the VIN number on the sales contract matches the VIN number on the Monroney label. If they match, the rest of the information should be correct
2. Standard equipment – equipment included in the vehicle’s base price including engine, safety, interior and exterior features
3. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) - the base price of the vehicle before options and destination charges are added
4. Optional equipment – equipment over and above the standard equipment that was added during manufacture
5. Destination charges – this covers the cost of delivering the vehicle from the assembly facility to the dealership
6. Total vehicle price – includes the MSRP plus optional equipment, any option package discounts, and destination charges
7. Fuel economy – if it has been tested all three EPA city/highway/combined fuel economy estimates will appear on the label – annual fuel costs as well as CO2 emissions are also compared in this section
8. Government safety ratings – displays the frontal, side and rollover ratings as well as the overall vehicle score based on the NHTSA’s 5-Star safety ratings system
9. Parts content information – lists the percentage of US/Canadian parts content along with the major sources (countries) of foreign parts content

Other stickers on the window

If the vehicle being sold contains additional equipment or the dealer adds an additional charge to the vehicle’s price (typically done when a car is in high demand or short supply) the dealer is required to post an “addendum sticker” next to the Monroney label reflecting any of these adjustments.

The Bottom Line

Financing a new car comes with its advantages. New vehicles reliable and come with manufacturer warranties and sometimes other nice perks. Understanding the Monroney label can ensure that buyers get both the car and the equipment they are expecting.

Another good tip: Auto Credit Express matches consumers with questionable car credit, even those that believe their only option is a BHPH car loan, with dealers that can offer them their best opportunities for approved auto loans.

So if you’re ready to establish your auto credit, you can begin now by filling out our online auto loan application.

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