South Carolina State Fleet Hopes to Save Millions with High-Mileage Leases
The state of South Carolina expects to save $2.5 million a year by operating state cars and vans past the traditional 100,000-mile lifespan. Starting Jan. 1, 2004, agencies will pay discounted rates to lease high-mileage cars from the state fleet through a new program created by the state Budget and Control Board called Golden Cars.
The Department of Revenue, which has seen its budgets cut by more than a third in three years, was the first to sign up for the program. The department spends $82,000 a year now leasing 11 cars and two vans from the fleet. The plan is to turn in three of the cars and one van in exchange for some of the older cars. This would be a savings of about $12,000 a year. The program would affect about 1,800 of the 18,000 vehicles owned by the state. The vehicles affected are controlled by the state Budget and Control Board's Fleet Management office and are leased out to more than 50 agencies on a long-term basis.
The Golden Cars program would spare the state the expense of buying new cars right away and save agencies money with the lower rates on older cars. The state keeps track of its vehicles on a computerized system. If a car breaks down frequently, it will be pulled from the program. These changes were recommended by Gov. Mark Sanford's Management, Accountability and Performance Commission as part of a 190-page study on cutting waste in state government.