$300k in Fleet Savings with Car Sharing

The City of Loveland will save $300,000 annually by moving to a car sharing service for its municipal fleet. Inside we detail Loveland’s efforts as well as comparisons to other cities and alternative car sharing services, including RFPs and reports.

What Happened?
The City of Loveland, CO, is implementing a car sharing system that will enable it to eliminate 40 vehicles, replacing them with 15 shared vehicles that have built-in automated rental technology.

How it Works
City employees needing a vehicle reserve cars through a web-based system that allows them to use the vehicle for as little as a few hours, or a few days. The technology, provided to Loveland by Enterprise Car Share, is similar to systems operated in major cities like Houston by Zipcar (covered previously by EfficientGov), Connect by Hertz and car2go.

Employees are given a membership card they can use to access the vehicles, and then are charged to their particular department based on time/mileage. In the case of Enterprise, the cars are provided to the city on a lease arrangement and serviced through the company’s local network affiliate of rental locations.

According to the Transportation Sustainability Research Center, each car share membership results in nine vehicles either being removed, sold, or having a purchase postponed.

Loveland expects to see approximately $300,000 in savings annually once the program has been fully implemented, primarily through lower maintenance costs (Enterprise will provide all maintenance and repairs) and overhead, as well as a reduction in insurance expenses.

In the case of Philadelphia’s car sharing program, the city removed 330 vehicles from its fleet. Now, more than 312 employees from 16 separate city departments are using Zipcar’s Fastfleet service.  Overall vehicle usage dropped by 50 percent once employees knew vehicle use was being monitored.

Is Your Town a Candidate?
According to Zipcar, if your fleet has at least 20 vehicles, you may be a candidate for a car sharing system.

A widely cited study of municipal car sharing was funded by the City of San Antonio, which hired PFM to survey other cities currently offering the service.

Some of the key takeaways are:

  • Car sharing offers numerous economic, environmental and community benefits
  • Downtown city areas are the most promising in terms of implementation
  • Success is based on the city taking an active role in promotion
  • Five car pilot programs may be the best way to start
  • Programs offering car shares for municipal employees, private companies and residents are successful
  • RFIs are a smart way to learn what business models may be available
  • Potential savings of up to $160,000 over a five-year period
  • Five car pilot program will save 55 tons of greenhouse emissions annually
  • Breakeven point for car sharing vs. owning is 5,947 miles or $6,872

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About the author

Barry Greenfield

Barry Greenfield is Director of Government Cloud at Praetorian Digital and formerly founder and publisher of EfficientGov.com.

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