The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Kansas State Car Sale Proves Profitable

March 04, 2004

The state made more than $500,000 by selling 147 of its vehicles over two weeks at Forbes Field, reported the Associated Press.

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius said the average price paid during the sell-off of high-mileage cars, vans, and trucks was about $3,500. A total of $526,019 was raised by the sales, which ended last week.

The state first offered some of its 729 surplus vehicles to nonprofit organizations. Remaining units were put up for public sale at Forbes Field. Unsold vehicles will be auctioned to auto dealers by Carlson's I-70 Auto Auction.

Topeka-area used-car dealers had expressed concerns that the state's sale would flood the market with used cars. Last month, R.R. Anderson, who owns Anderson RV Sales in Topeka, had said the sale would hurt used-car sales in northeast Kansas for two or three months.

But after the sale, Anderson said that because only about 20 percent of the cars were sold, the sell-off would have less of an impact. Sebelius said that about two-thirds of the car buyers were from outside the Topeka area.

Getting rid of surplus cars is one of several cost-reduction measures that Sebelius says will save the state $8.6 million.

Sebelius also disbanded the state employees' carpooling program in January, and ordered the 20-passenger vans that carried employees to Topeka to be retired once the vehicles hit 90,000 miles. She imposed a two-year moratorium on purchases of new vehicles after an August report revealed 135 cars weren't being used. State agencies are now responsible for buying and maintaining their own vehicles, and the state contracted with Enterprise Rent-a-Car to provide transportation for employees, reported the Associated Press.

Senate President Dave Kerr (R-Hutchinson) said the governor should not have had the sale before costs and savings were researched more thoroughly. "We're already hearing from state employees the difficulties they're having with the Enterprise idea and trying to get to the airport and things like that," Kerr said. "It raises real questions about the future efficiency and the future costs."

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