Merits of Using Privately Owned Vehicles Instead of Leased Vehicles

LCD-78-238: Published: Jul 26, 1978. Publicly Released: Aug 7, 1978.

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A constituent employed in a Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) regional office made allegations concerning the use of General Services Administration (GSA) vehicles for official business. The allegations involved: the cost of GSA vehicles versus privately owned vehicles on official business, GSA costs to lease vehicles commercially, whether GSA motor pools are losing money at various locations, and time wasted by users of GSA vehicles in picking up and returning vehicles to motor pools. Federal Travel Regulations authorize use of a privately owned vehicle only when it is determined to be the most advantageous mode of transportation. At the HUD regional office where the constitutent is employed, it appears that when all six personnel travel at the same time and each needs a vehicle, the four personnel who use their own vehicles should be reimbursed at 17 cents per mile. If the travelers use their own vehicles as a matter of personal preference, the agency is justified in reimbursing them at a lower rate. GSA realizes that leasing is usually more expensive than ownership; the practice of leasing vehicles is an interim measure to accommodate agency vehicle needs until sufficient funds can be obtained to purchase the necessary vehicles. Operating losses experienced by motor pools in high-cost areas may be offset by gains in other areas. In fiscal year 1977, the total motor pool system experienced a net gain even though 41 of the motor pools operated at a loss.

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