So, you are selling your used car? Well, if it were a fuel miser and you want to look really professional, how about your own ‘lite’ version of the Monroney sticker? You can advertise your used car fuel economy to potential buyers. Or try to mildly impress a new girl that your first generation Toyota Prius is a sensible choice. BONUS: If she does not know about cars, you might just be able to trick her into thinking it is a brand new ride with the sticker. Or that you were too lazy to ever remove it. Or you are a practical gentleman. Or smug, depending on how you look at it. Well, I am not usually for government programs governing people, but this one might set your ride apart from the rest if it is sitting in the communal gas station parking lot on Sunday.
Fueleconomy.gov, the official U.S. government source for fuel economy information, has added a new tool to help you advertise your vehicle’s fuel economy to potential buyers. The tool (http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/UsedCarLabel.jsp) helps you create both an electronic fuel economy graphic that you can download for your on-line advertisement and a paper fuel economy label that you can print and affix to your vehicle’s window. The example shown below is for a 2000 Honda Insight, one of the all-time fuel economy leaders among gasoline vehicles, but the database supporting the tool includes most cars and light trucks sold in the United States since 1984.
Both the electronic graphic and the paper label show the EPA fuel economy estimate (city, highway and combined) and CO2 emissions for the vehicle when new. As indicated on the graphic and label, actual fuel economy will vary for many reasons, including driving conditions and how the car was driven, maintained, or modified. Because a vehicle’s fuel economy changes very little over the course of a typical 15-year life, provided it is properly maintained, the original EPA fuel economy estimate remains a good indicator of a used vehicle’s average gas mileage. However, aftermarket modifications to the vehicle can affect fuel economy, especially those that change the vehicle’s weight, aerodynamics, or wheel/tire size.
The graphic/label provides a photo of the vehicle and some important information about the vehicle’s configuration—such as engine size, transmission type, and fuel type— to help identify it. There’s also a Smartphone QR Code, scannable with a free downloadable app, that links directly to the vehicle’s information on the fueleconomy.gov mobile site. This allows the potential buyer to verify the information on the graphic or label and look up other data such as personalized annual fuel cost, greenhouse gas emissions, and petroleum use estimates based on their annual mileage, driving conditions, and fuel costs. They can also view gas mileage estimates from other drivers with the same vehicle year, model, and configuration.