A window sticker provides lots of information specific to the vehicle, including the MSRP of the original vehicle. It is often used to compare resale prices and to ensure a buyer gets all the information available to them about the vehicle.
But getting them can be challenging. One of the easiest ways to retrieve your window sticker is by the VIN.
The VIN provides information about the vehicle, from the manufacturer, but also has a single identifying serial code that corresponds to other features on the particular car or truck.
There are a few ways to get the window sticker, most of them are paid, but there may be some opportunities to get the sticker free.
What is a window sticker?
A window sticker, also known as a monroney label, is a data sheet for a specific vehicle. Is has all the information related to that particular vehicle. This is more specific than the make, model, and trim level.
Since new vehicles have so many different options, including special features, packages, and adjustments, the need to know the specifics included for one car increase.
The window sticker is provided by sellers. This is standard from a dealership for new cars. Old cars, however, will likely not have the original sticker because they are often removed. So you may need to find or purchase one as either a seller or buyer.
Why you may need a window sticker
Since a window sticker provides all the specific information around a particular vehicle, it gives you all the necessary information needed to conduct a resell of the car.
As a seller, you may want to get the window sticker so that you can allow customers to get all necessary information about the vehicle before purchasing. This will provide greater rapport as a seller.
However, if you are a buyer and the seller has not provided this information, you may need to collect this document to make sure you are getting a reasonable deal. Without knowing the specifics of the original vehicle, it can be difficult to understand the true value of the car.
What is on a window sticker?
An example of a window sticker for a 2012 Chevrolet Volt is shown below.
The defining information that’s on a window sticker is:
- fuel economy
- interior details
- exterior details
- safety rating
- fuel efficiency
- engine specs
What makes a window sticker valuable is that it shows the MSRP for the vehicle. This includes the base price as well as the added features with the associated cost.
The safety rating is also something that is only offered on the window sticker. Then there are standard specs for the engine, interior, and exterior.
Window Sticker vs VIN Decoder information
Some of the information that can be pulled is the same as what can be taken from the VIN, but they are in fact different.
The distinct characteristics of what the window sticker includes is the MSRP. The VIN decoder from any online source cannot identify this information with 100% accuracy.
VIN (or vehicle identification number) provides information about the type of truck and location of manufacturing. This varies slightly be the different brands, but all are followed by a serial number which is what includes the specific information about the vehicle.
Only the manufacturer knows the information specifically coming from that serial number. This is why it is harder to get the window sticker. The window sticker is essentially identified for every car available, so it is specialized. So unfortunately, there aren’t many window stickers publicly available for free.
Where is my VIN Located?
Though there is lots of information that can be taken from the VIN by itself, you will also need the VIN to find your window sticker.
The VIN is located somewhere on the car. The most common places are on the dashboard towards the bottom of the windshield, or on the drivers’ side door sticker.
If you can’t seem to find this information somewhere on your car, there are other places where it can be found. These are:
- Insurance documents
Once you have your VIN, you can go to the next step.
Window sticker by VIN – FREE
There are only two resources which I can find for which free window stickers can be claimed. Even then, there is no guarantee that these will work. Paid versions are the only way to ensure you can claim the original window sticker.
1. Ask the Dealership
Another potential avenue is to go straight to the dealership. I’ve watched a few videos of some people that have gone directly to the dealership and have asked for a copy of the window sticker and they have printed it for them on the spot.
The first is withclutch.com. This resource is a website that offers a window sticker tool that allows you to look up a VIN, enter your email, and view a free window sticker (if available). Unfortunately, it seems that there are very few that are actually free.
3. Online Account
If you are a current owner of a particular vehicle, you may be able to open an account with the dealer/manufacturer. Some manufacturers may make a window sticker available to you based on the VIN.
Window sticker by VIN – Paid
The number 1 resource to get paid window stickers (monroney stickers) is monroneylabels.com. This seems like the go to resource to get window stickers for all car manufacturers.
This resources covers 43 different car and truck manufacturers.
Withclutch.com offers paid window stickers for the ones that aren’t available for free. They must order these in bulk, so they charge their visitors to view them as well.
3. Direct Manufacturer
Some manufacturers, such as Ford allow you to purchase a window sticker directly. This order, however, is much more expensive as it is designed to be decorative accent with a frame included.
How much is a window sticker?
A window sticker purchased online is between $5.00 – $9.99 on withclutch.com and monroneylabels.com respectively.
Regular window stickers are relatively cheap. The information they provide is very valuable and worth the cost. They give you true value by including all the necessary information to value to car at to complete the full picture of the vehicle.
Where to do a VIN lookup
If you don’t think you need a window sticker, you can just look up the VIN and get lots of information from it.
U.S. Department of Transportation
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has a database for looking up the VIN of every street legal vehicle. This should provide the basic information that is included in a VIN by a manufacturer.
If you are looking for historical information about your vehicle, vincheck.info allows you to look up the history of the VIN. This includes previous accident records, sales records, recall information, and more.
A monroney label, or window sticker may be found for free on/at:
- The Dealership
- Manufacturer’s Online Account
It will be found for a fee at a paid service from:
- Direct from the Manufacturer
It is much harder to find a window sticker for free, but for $9.99 at the most, paying to get this information be me really valuable to you if you want to know everything about a specific vehicle.