What Does MSRP Mean?

by Mary Jane Freeman

The manufacturer suggested retail price, or MSRP, is the price a car manufacturer suggests a vehicle should be sold for once it hits the dealership lot and is sold to the public. To come up with this figure, the manufacturer will consider factors such as the popularity of the vehicle in a particular location, manufacturing costs and trim options. However, dealers are not held to this price. They can charge anything they wish.

MSRP Located on Vehicle's Sale Sticker

It is not difficult to determine a vehicle's MSRP because it is typically listed on the sticker attached to the car window. However, just because the MSRP is attached to the sticker doesn't make it the "sticker price." The sticker price is the final price of the car -- what the dealer is charging the public -- and may include such things as the cost of transporting the vehicle to the lot, prepping the car for sale and installing aftermarket options.

About the Author

Based on the West Coast, Mary Jane Freeman has been writing professionally since 1994, specializing in the topics of business and law. Freeman's work has appeared in a variety of publications, including LegalZoom, Essence, Reuters and Chicago Sun-Times. Freeman holds a Master of Science in public policy and management and Juris Doctor. Freeman is self-employed and works as a policy analyst and legal consultant.

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