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General Services Administration

Reduce Fleet Costs by updating minimum replacement standards

That “new car smell” may be one of the most expensive scents in the world. Yet the Government replaces vehicles on a schedule that is sorely out of line with the significant extended lifetimes and reliability provided by current vehicle technology. Car makers offer warranties of 10 years and 100,000 miles, yet the government minimum replacement standards fall far short of this. The government may be addicted to that smell to the detriment of the budget. Indeed it’s not uncommon to hear of the interpretation (erroneous) that a vehicle ‘must’ be replaced when it reaches the minimum. With good maintenance and average use, there is usually significant lifetime left when the government retires a vehicle, as evidenced by the ready market for government surplus vehicles. When the taxpayer sees that we replace a vehicle on a much shorter interval than they would, they rightly question if we got full value for our purchase. Recommend: extend the replacement cycle to align with current quality of vehicles, consumer experience, and taxpayer expectation; and provide additional administrative guidance to ensure a reasonable utilization of the government’s investment. Also reference: 41 CFR-34.280

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Idea No. 18056