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The New Car Window Sticker
By Dennis J James
While most consumers never really bother to read the details of a window sticker, except to get a quick glance of the MSRP or to see the fuel economy ratings. What they don’t realize is that they are missing out on valuable information that could actually help them with their car buying decision. What consumers need to understand is that window sticker's provide very important information that includes the vehicle's manufacturer's suggested retail price, and engine specifications. They also provide a comprehensive list of its standard and optional equipment. These statistics officially identify the car or truck for shoppers on a dealer's showroom floor.
Therefore, if you really want to get more information on the vehicles window stickers, I have broken it down for you here. The window sticker is a wealthy resource of essential information about a new automobile. It lets you know exactly what's included with any particular vehicle, as well as helping to ensure that you're getting the exact options you're paying for. New car dealers generally will sell a vehicle for somewhere between MSRP and its invoice price, which is usually higher than the dealer's actual cost for the automobile.
There are exceptions: high-demand models could actually sell for more than MSRP, while less-popular vehicles could be coaxed away for less than the invoice price. Laws in most states require every new car to have a MSRP sticker on their vehicles and there are firm penalties for their absence to the dealers who don’t have these stickers on the window. That underscores the value of window stickers for the car shopper. Of particular value are several other pieces of vital information included with the manufacturer's suggested retail price there are engine and transmission specifications; standard equipment, including warranty details; optional equipment; and fuel economy information.
The sticker will list and break down a cars standard features and its trim level. Most models come in two or more different trim levels, with higher-priced versions having more standard features such as upgraded engines and/or suspensions, larger wheels and tires, and an enhanced interior. Additionally the window sticker shows aggregated prices of all items in an options package will usually be discounted compared with buying each accessory individually. If this occurs, the applicable discount will be noted on the sticker. Even when an options group includes a factory discount, its transaction price is still negotiable at the dealer level.
The manufacturer's warranty coverage is explained which tells you the number of years or months plus how many miles it’s covered for. Included will be a comprehensive coverage, which applies to parts and labor costs for covered repairs; power train coverage, which applies to such major mechanical components as the engine, transmission, and axles; corrosion coverage, which applies to body panels that have completely rusted through and may indicate that an extended warranty is available if a buyer wants additional coverage. (Extended coverage is usually offered in the finance office or asks your salesman for details). Additionally the window sticker supplies consumers with Fuel ratings and static’s that are calculated by the EPA. You can also find the vehicle identification number on the sticker, which you should always compare to the one on the drivers side windshield to make sure they match. Remember the MSRP is the suggested retail price for the car and every dealer in your region of the country has the same MSRP, it’s up to you to make the deal with your car dealer for what you pay.
A good word of advice, if the dealer has added additional charges to the MSRP, such as chrome wheels or window tint, they also need to have it listed next to the window sticker on a separate piece of paper called an addendum. If the addendum is not there then you do not need to pay for the add-on. Also, try to avoid the impulse of asking a dealer his best price while looking at the window sticker, because their answer will almost always be “the best price is on the window”.
Car Buying VS Car Leasing
By Sean Patrick
When it is time to shop for a new car there are many things to take into consideration. One of the biggest decisions is whether you should choose car leasing or car buying. There are many fundamental differences between the two.
To help make your decision easier the following is a list of those differences:
- At the end of the car loan term you will own a car if you opted to buy. At the end of the car lease term you return the car to the dealer and are left with nothing.
- A car loan term is usually four to six years. A car lease term is typically two to four years.
- Monthly car loan payments are generally higher than car leasing payments. This is because you are only really only paying for the car’s depreciation during the car lease term plus interest, taxes and service fees.
- Most car leases limit the amount of mileage you can put on the vehicle. If you plan on traveling a great deal you will have to consider negotiating a higher mileage limit. This will mean slightly higher monthly payments. If you exceed the limit you will be required to pay a charge of between 10 to 15 cents per mile. If you choose to buy the vehicle this is not an issue.
- When leasing a car there are limits to the amount of wear you can cause to the vehicle. Excessive wear will result in extra charges. If you buy you can do what ever you want to your car.
- If you terminate a car lease before the term is over there usually is a charge. In the case of car buying if you buy out the remainder before the car loan term is up you are usually charged a fee as well.
- The up front costs of car leasing include first month’s auto lease payments, a refundable deposit, a capitalized cost reduction( similar to a down payment), taxes and service fees. The up front costs of car buying include a down payment, taxes, registration and other service fees.
- At the end of the car lease term you have to pay any charges for excess wear and mileage then you can either walk away or buy out the car. When you reach the end of the car loan term you have no further payments and you walk away with your car.
Consider all these differences before coming to a decision on whether to buy or lease your next vehicle. Your choice will effect quite a lot over the loan or lease term including your monthly auto loan payments as well as what you can do to your vehicle to a certain extent. If you know what your long term goals are it will allow you to select the right option for your next car.
Sean Patrick develops methods to help consumers succeed in their quest for a new car. Find out more about how to shop for your new vehicle at http://www.findacarlive.com
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