WTC looks at cutting cost of Town’s vehicle fleet

WINNSBORO – Concerned over the efficiency of the Town’s aging vehicle fleet, Town Manager Jason Taylor invited Matt Plyler, area sales manager for Enterprise Fleet Management, to analyze the Town’s fleet and make suggestions for management and cost savings.

Plyler said an analysis was run only on 50 of the Town’s 75 or so vehicles because 25 of them are so old that the VIN numbers do not decode to be able to issue values.  He said the average age of the Town’s vehicles is around 15 years.

“Twenty-nine of the 50 vehicles are greater than 10 years old,” Plyler said. “Vehicles of this age contribute to the Town’s annual fleet expenditures of $200,000 in fuel and $160,000 for maintenance.”

Because seven of the Town’s vehicles average 3,000 miles or less per year, Plyler suggested the Town reduce its fleet by seven to 43.

The concept is to have newer vehicles that will reduce the overall cost to operate them.

Plyler explained that the program is something like a lease-to-own plan.

“This program is not placed on the Town to handle,” Plyler said. “Everything is handled for the client from start to finish. Part of our partnership consists of us acquiring the vehicles for the Town, funding the vehicles, having maintenance programs available or utilizing some of the local partners in the area and then selling the vehicles at the end. The program has technology and software and a team of people to help facilitate it.”

He explained that Enterprise’s recommendations can be tweaked a number of different ways.

“The current fleet cycle based on the trends of acquiring vehicles today is about 17 years,” he said. “Average age is 15 years, but it takes about 17 years to cycle through the vehicles. The proposal is to be on the 3.5 to 4 year cycle.”

Plyler explained how, through Enterprise’s program, the Town could realize a 10-year savings of as much as $553,000. He said that by being in the program, the Town would have better data with which to manage and monitor fleet expenses.

“You will build a more reliable and efficient fleet as vehicles would be rotated in and out of service every three to five years,” he said. “You could also increase your equity if you opted to recapture the resale value of some vehicles that are in high demand, like pickup trucks.”

“To be fully in the proposed program the town would need to replace 26 vehicles. By 2027, you would be all in with this program,” he said. “By then, the maintenance would be drastically lower on our fixed maintenance program. And there’s the net sustainable impact. This is after full implementation into the program or the last five years of the 10-year model. The Town would be replacing vehicles more often.”

“That’s a lot to digest,” Mayor John McMeekin said.

Plyler pointed to the success of the program.

“Most of our clients are five to six year clients,” he said. “A vehicle is not just bought from a dealership. The company has the ability to do this, but instead it takes it further. The order can be done directly through the manufacturer with a lead time of around 9-12 months.  The benefit is that the Town would not be subject to what is sitting on the lot.”

Plyler stated that every vehicle is set up on its own individual lease and that the Town could get out of the program at any time.

Plyler suggested that he would get a list of other clients for administration to contact about the program before making a decision.

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