Automotive industry jargon is rarely interesting. ATF means automatic transmission fluid, and an ICE engine actually makes an awful lot of heat. But what about the Monroney sticker?
As you can probably guess, the name belongs to someone in history. For example, we named Winston’s favorite cigar size the Churchill. Thankfully for Anthony Weiner, the former congressman of phallic self-portrait fame, his creation already had a name…
But back to those informative stickers you find on cars in dealer lots. They advertise fuel economy, give an equipment list, a price breakdown and so much more. We take them for granted now, but it wasn’t always like that.
Almer Stillwell “Mike” Monroney, an Oklahoma State Senator, sponsored the Automobile Information Disclosure Act of 1958, which does exactly what it’s name suggests. The act is meant to discourage dishonest car dealers from doing what they do best: overcharging.
With the Monroney sticker, customers are at least aware of what the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) is, so it’s less likely that Betty Bluehair will be fooled into paying $20,000 for a “fully loaded” Nissan Versa sedan.
It doesn’t actually stop dealers from charging crazy markups as “dealer fees,” but at least you won’t be bamboozled unknowingly. For example, the PT Cruiser was in hot demand when it first arrived. Recognizing a chance to chicken hawk some extra cash, many dealers raised prices knowing people would pay. Last year, Toyota some dealers were caught marking the Prius C up by thousands over the suggested price.
Look no further than the 2014 Corvette Stingray if you want an upcoming example of dealership price inflation. Don’t be surprised when many Chevrolet stores start asking between $10,000 and $20,000 over what the Chevrolet retail site advertises.