Slashing Cars to Increase Revenue

Thousands of state vehicles will be auctioned off with proceeds going back to California.

California’s budget has been less than stellar, but its monetary mishaps could mean big savings for residents in the market for a car.

Thousands of state vehicles deemed non-essential will be auctioned off at the end of the year as part of Gov. Jerry Brown’s efforts to cut government spending.

“We’ve done an incredibly analytical look at the entire state fleet,” said Eric Lamoureux, spokesman for the California Department of General Services. “We’re getting rid of basically anything that moves.”

Potential bidders pay a yet-to-be-determined fee to participate in the reduction sale, which will put passenger vehicles, light duty trucks, heavy-duty equipment and ATVs on the auction block.

If bidders come in with a paddle but don’t leave with a car, they will be reimbursed for the registration cost, Lamoureux said.

Officials expect cars to earn between $1,000 to $3,000 for the nicer vehicles, and project at least $5 million in revenue, a number expected to grow as the state continues to weed out unnecessary vehicles.

Dates, times and locations of the auctions are unknown as vehicles are still being turned in, said Evan Westrup, spokesman with Gov. Brown’s office. But he said there will be at least two sites, one in Northern California and another in the southern portion of the state.

State vehicles are useful for five years and cost about $3,000 annually in maintenance, insurance and depreciation costs, according to a press release from the governor’s office.

Over five years, these reductions are expected to save the state roughly $57 million, according to the press release.

Efforts by Brown to close the budget deficit include a state-government hiring freeze and massive spending cuts across the board, including his office by more than 25 percent. In addition to unnecessary vehicles, Brown has set out to eliminate 30,000 state-funded cell phones.

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