Monday, June 19, 2017

How to Read New Car Window Stickers

At Melloy Dodge, we have a large inventory of quality vehicles in a wide range of styles and price points. From timeless muscle cars like the Dodge Charger and performance vehicles like the RAM 2500, to lower cost options like certified preowned and used vehicles, we’re sure to have something for everyone in stock. Because of the wide appeal of our vehicles, we often have first time car buyers visit us, and when we do, we’re always happy to answer their questions and help them make an informed vehicle purchase decision. One of the best ways for experienced and inexperienced car shoppers to compare their options is to read the window sticker. If you’re new to the car buying experience, or if it’s been a while and you just need a refresher, here’s a look at what you can learn about a vehicle by reading the window sticker.

Model Information. In the top left corner, you will find basic information about the vehicle model, year, and trim level. This will tell you the engine and transmission configuration, as well as exterior and interior color. This is the first thing many people look at, to find out if the car they’re looking at has the engine they’re looking for, and if it’s the right color. 

Standard Equipment. This describes all of the features that come standard with the trim level of the vehicle you’re looking at. All features are grouped into categories like Functional/Safety Features, Interior Features, and Exterior Features.

Warranty Coverage. This part of the sticker explains the vehicle’s basic, powertrain and limited warranties. If any roadside assistance packages are offered, you’ll find information about that here too.

Optional Equipment & Pricing Breakdown. Right above the warranty coverage, you’ll find optional equipment offered by the manufacturer. This section provides a pricing breakdown where you can see the base price of the vehicle and a full explanation of options and applicable fees. You’ll also see the “destination charge”, or the cost to transport the vehicle to the dealership. 

Fuel Economy & Environment. The EPA label or fuel economy label, usually located in the top right-hand corner of the sticker, shows estimated fuel costs and gives you information about the fuel efficiency of the vehicle. Consulting this information shows how many miles per gallon one car, truck or SUV might get in comparison to another. The EPA label will also give you an estimate of annual fuel cost, the vehicle’s Fuel Economy and Greenhouse Gas Rating, and the Smog Rating. For more information on these ratings, visit or ask a Melloy Dodge Sales associate.

Government Safety Rating. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration tests vehicles and gives them safety ratings based on their findings. Star ratings are given based on how well the vehicle reacts to different types of crashes, like rollover, side crashes, and frontal crashes. For more information on the safety ratings system, visit

Parts Content Information. Manufacturing a vehicle is a global process. Even if a car’s final assembly point is in the US, many of the parts could have been sourced in foreign countries. This portion of the window sticker tells you the percentage of the parts that were sourced here and the percentage of the parts that were sourced elsewhere.

 Final MSRP. This is the manufacturer’s suggested retail price, not necessarily the actual price you will pay for the vehicle. This figure gives you a starting point for negotiations. Chances are, you will find the best deal on the market when you shop Melloy Dodge, where we always say “Deal”™.

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