What Is a Vehicle Monroney Sticker?

Every new car has a vehicle Monroney sticker. If you’ve ever heard someone talking about cars and they say something like “check the Monroney,” you may wonder what the heck that means. You’ll see them grace many a window if you are buying a new car and shopping models. What is a Monroney decal and where did it come from?

Cars stand on display for sale at a Mercedes-Benz dealership during the coronavirus crisis
Mercedes-Benz models | Sean Gallup/Getty Images

A vehicle Monroney sticker helps both dealers and consumers understand each model and how it is spec’d and priced. The Monroney decal is a tool that’s been around since the 50s, but not everyone knows that it is even called a Monroney. Why is is called that anyway?

Why do they call it a Monroney decal?

History tells us that that the window sticker on a car got its name from a United States Senator from Oklahoma. Decades ago, the Automobile Information Disclosure Act of 1958 received sponsorship from Senator Monroney himself. He mandated that manufacturers and dealers must practice full disclosure. The law required them, from then on, to appropriately advertise the price and equipment list on every new automobile.

Car Sales: A man inspects a car inside a dealership
A man looks at the sticker price of a new Chevrolet | Tim Boyle/Getty Images

RELATED: Taco Tuesday: The Supercharged First-Gen Toyota Tacoma Gets Smoked by the Ram 1500 TRX

So that sticker or decal you see on a new car at the lot is actually called a vehicle Monroney sticker. A Monroney decal plays a large role in consumer protection. In fact, car buying has never been the same since the Automobile Information Disclosure Act of 1958 went into effect.

Is an EPA sticker a Monroney decal?

You may have heard of something called an EPA sticker. This is, in fact, the same as the Monroney decal. A vehicle Monroney sticker shows the fuel economy information from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

This is part of the requirements of a modern Monroney decal. However, fuel economy isn’t the only detail that must be disclosed to the consumer. The vehicle Monroney sticker actually tells us much more.

What is on a vehicle Monroney sticker?

The window sticker on a car tells us anything from where the parts originated, to where the car was assembled, to the EPA fuel economy estimates. According to AutoBlog, we should be glad we have the window sticker history. In fact, before the Automobile Information Disclosure Act, buyers had no way of knowing whether or not they got a good deal.

A vehicle Monroney sticker
Vehicle Monroney Sticker | Via AutoBlog

RELATED: Are We Actually Getting a 2022 Toyota Land Cruiser After All?

Window stickers or Monroney decals, like the one above, offer a wealth of information. Back in the day, buyers had no choice besides taking auto dealers at their word for all of the features and specs. But not just that.

What does MSRP stand for?

MSRP stands for “Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price.” The Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) became a thing as well. Prior to the vehicle Monroney sticker, dealers could sell a vehicle for any price they chose. The MSRP is a helpful tool that helps us to know whether a dealership has marked up a unit too high. This keeps us from paying too much.

In addition, we can learn whether or not a sale is actually as good as the dealer says. Overall, without the Monroney sticker consumers couldn’t trust dealers as much when buying a new car. Thanks to Senator Monroney and the Automobile Information Disclosure Act we are much more well-informed of our purchases.