MSRP stands for Manufacturer’s Recommended Retail Price. It is the recommended retail price a manufacturer recommends that a dealer sell a new vehicle for.

But that’s it. A recommendation. Dealers have the option to sell a vehicle at a price below or above MSRP. You’ll find that many cars are selling at a higher price than the MSRP due to shortages of inventory.

What’s included in MSRP?

The MSRP of the vehicle includes any factory-installed options and the base price. However, it does not usually include any handling or destination fees.

You can find the MSRP of a vehicle on a dealer lot using the federally mandated sticker. It is sometimes called the Monroney sticker. This sticker was named after the lawmaker who made it mandatory on new cars.

This definition of MSRP is only a guideline. The MSRP displayed on the window sticker by automakers can be different. Make sure to look closely at what they include.

Ford stickers, for example, list the “Total MSRP”, which includes base price, options and delivery costs. Honda, however, lists the MSRP separately from “Total Vehicle Prices,” which include destination and handling fees.

Sticker Price vs. MSRP

Sticker price refers to the final price printed on the window sticker. Many people interchange this phrase with MSRP. The sticker price may include additional fees that are not included in the MSRP. These could include destination and handling fees as well as the tax on gas consumption for passenger cars that do not meet certain fuel economy standards.

Invoice price vs. MSRP

The dealer invoice price (also known as dealer invoice, dealer cost) is the amount that the automaker charges for the vehicle. The actual price the dealer pays can be different because of rebates and incentives that manufacturers offer dealers to lower that amount.

The invoice price is not listed on the window sticker, unlike the MSRP. You can ask your dealer for the invoice price, or search online through a site like Edmunds for this information.

Out-the-door price vs. MSRP

While it is helpful to have numbers such as the MSRP, sticker prices and invoice prices, the most important figure when negotiating is the out-the-door price .

The total price you pay for the vehicle is called the out-the-door cost. This includes taxes, registration fees and title fees as well as any dealer-installed options. This gives you an accurate picture of what you will spend on a car, as additional costs can add up to several thousand dollars on top.


Always focus on the price at the door and not individual fees when you negotiate. This allows you to focus on the important number, the price you must pay.

Dealer addendum sticker vs. MSRP

Typically, dealer addendum stickers are placed next to the Monroney sticker. The MSRP sticker on the car window lists factory-installed options. However, the supplemental sticker lists any additional costs from the dealer such as additional packages, warranties, and market adjustments. These additional costs are often high-profit items for dealers, so be sure to look at this sticker.

While some add-ons might be helpful to you, others may not. Ask the dealer to get rid of any unnecessary extras. After you have made the purchase, it can be difficult but not impossible to cancel any unwanted dealer extras.

New cars sell for more than MSRP

Many new cars are selling for more than MSRP in the car market . This is a marked change from pre-pandemic, when significant incentives and deals were the norm.

This is because the overall new car inventory is still very low, but it is slowly improving. It’s important that you shop around for the best deals on certain models and makes.

Jessica Caldwell is the executive director of insights for Edmunds, an automotive research company. She says that if you are getting something around MSRP, it’s okay to feel taken advantage of.