Local Vehicle Leasing Options Have Not Been Adequately Considered

GGD-77-71: Published: Aug 5, 1977. Publicly Released: Aug 5, 1977.

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Although Postal Service policy requires local vehicle managers to consider leasing for meeting vehicle needs, many managers are not doing so.

The Postal Service owns about 117,000 vehicles, which it supplements by leasing over 32,000 vehicles. About 97% of these vehicles are used for collecting, transporting, and delivering mail. Vehicles range in size from 1/4-ton jeeps to tractor-trailers. To meet its needs, the Service generally purchases postal vehicles rather than leasing them. Future requests will be primarily for replacement vehicles. Existing Postal Service policies require fleet managers to consider leasing vehicles and to make an economic analysis when replacement and/or new service vehicles are needed. However, these policies are not consistently followed. About 70 percent of the fleet managers contacted by GAO did not consider leasing at all and only 25 percent of those managers who said they considered leasing made economic analyses. Although the Service's cost data on leased and owned vehicles are adequate, there are differences in report formats which make valid cost comparisons difficult. In some cases leasing appears to be more economical and in other cases purchase appears to be cost beneficial. Both leasing and purchasing should be considered locally if the Service is to insure that the most economical choice is made.

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