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PREFACE 0. Preface
Fleet Organization, Mission, and Responsibilities 1. Fleet Organization, Mission, and Responsibilities
Performance Metrics 2. Performance Metrics
Official Use of Vehicles 3. Official Use of Vehicles
Asset Management 4. Asset Management
Vehicle Acquisition 5. Vehicle Acquisition
5.1 Acquisition Alternatives
5.1.1 Purchase Versus Lease
5.1.2 Purchasing New Vehicles
5.1.3 Purchasing Used Vehicles
5.1.4 GSA Leasing
5.1.5 Commercial Leasing
5.1.6 Rentals
5.1.7 Demonstration Equipment
5.2 Ordering Vehicles
5.2.1 Vehicle Size
5.2.2 Vehicle Specifications
5.2.3 Alternative Fuel Vehicle Program
5.2.4 Vehicle Replacement Schedule by Class
5.3 New Vehicle Deliveries, Marking, and Registration
5.3.1 In-Servicing
5.3.2 Exchange of Old Vehicle for New Replacement
5.3.3 Record-Keeping Requirements
5.3.4 New Vehicle Acceptance
5.3.5 Vehicle Identification Systems
5.3.6 New Vehicle Quality Assurance
5.4 Acquisition of Medium and Heavy Duty Versus Light Duty Vehicles
Alternative Fueled Vehicles 6. Alternative Fueled Vehicles
Fleet Maintenance 7. Fleet Maintenance
Vehicle Disposal 8. Vehicle Disposal
Fuel Management 9. Fuel Management
Contractor Use of Government Vehicles 10. Contractor Use of Government Vehicles
Forms and Reports   Driver's Handbook
Forms and Reports   Forms and Reports
Reference Materials   References
Abbreviations, Acronyms, and Definitions   Abbreviations, Acronyms, and Definitions
Useful Web Links   Web Links
Frequently Asked Questions   FAQ


NASA Official Fleet Management Handbook

Vehicle Acquisition

Acquisition Alternatives

Purchase Versus Lease

The decision whether to purchase or lease can involve several factors, but the key things that affect the decision are expected utilization, and expected retention cycle. If a vehicle has moderate to high utilization, then a GSA lease with a relatively short term (3 to 6 years) may be the best approach. If, however, utilization is fairly low and retention cycles are expected to be longer than GSA leasing cycles, it may be better to purchase the vehicle because the acquisition cost is spread over a long period of time. The NASA Agency Transportation Manager can provide guidance to help perform a detailed purchase versus lease analysis.

Purchasing New Vehicles

New vehicle requirements shall be coordinated with the CTO, who can assist with the evaluation of the job to be performed with the vehicle and the development of appropriate vehicle specifications. As stated in NPR 6200.1B, the CTO will annually validate the type and quantity of vehicles for Government-owned, contractor-operated vehicles. Contractors shall coordinate new vehicle requirements through the CTO.

Purchasing Used Vehicles

Procurement of used vehicles may be appropriate in cases where expected utilization does not justify the initial cost of a new vehicle. For example, if a large crane truck is essential to the Center’s mission but only needed for an hour each day, and rental units are either unavailable or very inconvenient to obtain and return, it may be better to purchase a used crane truck that is in good condition. Purchase of used vehicles will be processed in the same manner as new vehicle procurement.

GSA Leasing

The CTO authorizes the use of Government-owned or leased vehicles to support NASA customers. The most economical and efficient means of transportation shall be provided in all cases. Contractor use of GSA vehicles will be addressed in Chapters 9 and 10.

Commercial Leasing

Commercial leases shall only be used when that approach has been determined to be the most cost-effective alternative to providing customer support. Otherwise, only NASA-owned and GSA vehicles will be utilized. Commercial leases should be established when determined to be cost effective Recurrent use of commercial rentals/leases (i.e. “back to back”) to bypass standard acquisition procedures and TV standards is strictly prohibited. The CTO shall be notified regarding all commercial leases and shall track the types, quantities, and duration of such leases in order to evaluate the need for additional vehicle resources for the Center. See paragraph 1.3.6 and chapter 10 and 11 for more details on vehicle assignment for contractors.


A rental is normally classified as a contractual arrangement for less than 60 days. Centers may use these arrangements to meet emergent or peak work-load requirements without regard to established vehicle allowances. Other customer requirements should also be met with rentals especially where utilization does not justify a full time assignment. The CTO shall be notified regarding all vehicle rentals and shall track the types, quantities, and duration of rentals in order to evaluate the need for additional vehicle resources for the Center.

Demonstration Equipment

Demonstrations of new types of vehicles by vendors for the purpose of evaluating their functionality is highly discouraged.

Page: 5.1 Vehicle Acquisition\Acquisition Alternatives

Last Updated: 08/30/2005 07:44 PM