South Carolina’s Fleet of State Vehicles is Shrinking and Aging
The state of South Carolina owns nearly 21,000 vehicles with a purchase value of more than $400 million, according to the State Budget and Control Board’s latest review of the state-owned fleet. Another $60 million a year is spent to maintain them. Government budget cuts have brought the numbers down.
The reductions are being seen across the board:
• The governor’s office saw its allotment of autos drop from 13 to four — a 69 percent reduction.
• The S.C. Housing Authority lost all of its 19 vehicles.
• The Department of Education ended up with 1,800 fewer vehicles — a 30 percent drop from 1999, when it owned more than 6,000 buses and service vehicles. Today, that number is 4,290.
“In the wake of agency budget reductions, the state fleet has been getting both smaller and older,” said Michael Sponhour, spokesman for the board. “We expect that trend to continue.”
In fiscal 2002, South Carolina bought 898 vehicles at a cost of nearly $15 million — half paid for with state money and half covered by the federal government and a combination of other funds.
Despite the cutbacks, state agencies have an adequate, but not excessive, number of vehicles, the board said. State vehicles put in 189 million miles during fiscal 2002.