Get the Most from Remarketing Government Fleet Vehicles

Remarketing fleet vehicles can be a time-intensive process. The State of Utah offers several tips to help remarket vehicles profitably.

September 2010, Government Fleet - Feature

by Shelley Mika - Also by this author

Remarketing fleet vehicles can earn valuable dollars for units reaching set mileage limits — and can buttress new purchase budgets as well.

Typically, fleets will contract with auction houses to sell aged units, a process proven successful for many agencies. However, sometimes more dollars can be earned by keeping the process in-house. In an effort to increase efficiency and earnings from aging fleet vehicles, the State of Utah created its own state-run sales lot.

Surplus Sales Lot Boosts Budgets

Sticking to a regular maintenance schedule to keep a fleet in top cosmetic and mechanically sound condition is the simplest way to recoup the most dollars from remarketed fleet units, according to Dan Martinez, surplus property program manager for the State of Utah.

The State fleet also realized it could save big money by operating its very own sales lot for surplus units.

"We are able to operate more efficiently and at a lower cost compared to a private vendor, allowing a significant savings for the State of Utah," Martinez said. "On a consistent basis we have obtained a higher rate of return — approximately 19 percent higher — when selling vehicles compared to live auctions conducted by a private vendor. Based on sales data, in approximately an 18-month period, the revenue that would have been lost was just under $500,000."

Surplus fleet units — both passenger vehicles and heavy-duty equipment — are first offered to state and other government agencies for reutilization. Next, vehicles are offered to the public for purchase. In all, the State sells approximately 500 vehicles per year, and earns approximately $2.8 million in revenue.

Once earned, revenue for each unit is passed back to the agency that disposed of the unit, minus an approved rate.

"This [process] allows the disposing agency to lower service rates associated with leasing vehicles," Martinez said. "It is a cost savings to each agency of state government that leases vehicles from the state fleet."

The State also extends its surplus sale services to non-state entities, such as educational institutions, counties, and cities.

"Some of these non-state entities found it more efficient and experienced a better return on investment by using our agency," Martinez said. "This also answers any questions in regards to ethical disposal." 

Combine On-the-Lot and Online Sales

Part of what makes the State's lot so successful is its commitment to selling vehicles both off the sales lot and online. Potential buyers can view cars in person at the actual lot or visit one of four Web sites listing the units.

The sites include:

At the State of Utah Surplus site, potential customers can view vehicle and heavy equipment inventories, listed by year, make, and model. These reports include the serial number, mileage, original asking price, current discounted price, images, and maintenance history of each vehicle. In addition, customers can also access sites for other vendors where Utah's fleet units are listed, such as Fleet Surplus.

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