How to Read a Window Sticker

How to read a car window sticker

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If you’ve ever wandered a car lot, you’ve encountered a new car window sticker: That sheet in the back window covered in text. You might just glance past it, intimidated by the information overload, but knowing what to look for on the sticker can be quite helpful.

At Subaru of Morristown, we encourage all of our customers to be as informed as can be when shopping for a new vehicle. Here’s what to look for on the new car window sticker:

Model Information

This will be the basics like the model and trim level, perhaps a Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i Premium. That will also include interior and exterior color, plus of the basic mechanical information like the engine type and whether it’s a manual or automatic transmission.

Standard Features

Beneath the model rundown you’ll find the standard features. You likely won’t know by memory what exactly is included at the Crosstrek 2.0i Premium, so in this section you’ll see things like interior equipment (think AC, stereo, navigation), exterior equipment (wheel size, sunroof), safety features (backup camera, etc), and more.


The warranty might not be the most exciting thing to think about when buying a car, but it’s extremely important. There will typically be multiple warranties listed, since powertrain and new car warranties cover different components for different lengths of time, so this spot will tell you what’s covered and for how long.

Optional Equipment

Most cars offer additional optional equipment, packages, or upgrades that don’t come standard with a given trim level. These can range from floor mats to roof racks, but they’ll all be found in this section of the car window sticker.

Safety Ratings

Another extremely important thing to check for on a car sticker will be the safety ratings, which tell you how that model performed in different NHTSA and IIHS collision tests. This section will also usually list if the car earned a Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick Plus designation from the IIHS–and you’ll see a lot of those at our Subaru dealer in Morristown.

Fuel Economy

An easy and important thing you’ll be able to identify on the window sticker is fuel economy estimates, usually displayed prominently near a gas pump icon. The sticker will tell you the EPA-estimated highway, city, and combined miles per gallon that the vehicle gets.

Price Information and Final Cost

This is what you’re after, isn’t it? Towards the bottom of the sheet you’ll see the total cost of the car, including base MSRP, additional equipment costs, and additional taxes and fees that may apply.

Shop Smart at Subaru of Morristown

We recommend our shoppers be well informed, so you can choose a Subaru that perfectly fits your New Jersey lifestyle with no surprises. Come stroll through our fantastic Subaru inventory and browse a few window stickers some time, and if you have any questions about our dealership or models, don’t hesitate to contact us!

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