Government Vehicles - Agency Assigned Vehicles

General Agency Assigned Vehicle Questions

What types of vehicles must be purchased?
The NIH is not under the GSA Vehicle lease program; therefore, all vehicles must be purchased.

What are the things that I need to consider prior to purchasing a vehicle?
You need to consider the following:

  1. Do I really need an agency assigned vehicle or will the use of a daily rental vehicle, the NIH shuttle or metro accommodate my requirements?
    You should consider whether your vehicle needs are short term or long term. You should also consider the current resources available for transport (including daily use rental vehicle, etc.) and why these may or may not be appropriate for use for your institute’s needs
  2. Can I justify the purchase of an agency assigned vehicle based on my institute’s mission needs?
    You should consider your institute’s mission, the amount of time you expect to be using the vehicle on a daily or weekly basis (over the life of the vehicle) and what you will be using the vehicle to transport (i.e. personnel, animals).
  3. What type of vehicle should I order?
    The vehicle being considered should address the mission needs of your program.  This could be a car, station wagon, minivan, van, pick up truck, truck, trailer or special vehicle for medical, fire or maintenance services.  Please note that vehicles must be alternative fueled.
  4. Do I need a passenger vehicle only or one that allows me to transport animals?
    Consider this based on your institute’s needs.
  5. How much is the vehicle going to cost me?
    Sedans average $20,000, minivans/SUVs average $25,000 and trucks average $35,000  to purchase.  This does not take into consideration any special upgrades to accommodate your specific program needs.
  6. How much is it going to cost to maintain this vehicle?
    You can anticipate spending anywhere between $100 and $400 per month for your vehicle’s maintenance.  This cost includes gas, oil changes, and all maintenance and repair work that is not currently under warranty.  In addition, you are assessed a monthly administrative fee of $ 300.00 to cover the administration of NIH's fleet management program.

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Pre-Purchase Considerations

How do vehicle purchases occur?
When an IC makes a determination that an Agency assigned vehicle is required to support their mission needs, they can submit a request to the Fleet Management Office to purchase a vehicle.  In addition, should the IC determine that their current agency assigned vehicle no longer supports their mission due to progam changes or the vehicle becoming obsolete, purchases occur through a one-for-one vehicle exchange.  In both instances, you will be required to submit a "needs justification" to justify your new or continuing need for an agency assigned vehicle.

What is a one-for-one vehicle exchange?
This means that you can generally purchase a vehicle when you turn one in. Vehicles should be turned into the Fleet Management Section.  Turning a vehicle in, does not guarantee that you will be able to get another one. You must provide a needs justification for obtaining another vehicle.

What is a needs justification and when it is required?
A needs justification is a detailed explanation supporting your need for a new or replacement vehicle. A needs justification must adequately present your case for purchasing a vehicle.

What should I include in a vehicle justification?
Your justification must include a 1) memo header, 2) background institute information, 3) a vehicle justification, 4) contact information. and 5) CAN and estimated cost. A sample justification is provided below. You need only complete the areas in parentheses. *Italicized headings are included to assist you and should not be included with your justification.

SAMPLE JUSTIFICATION (on institute letterhead)
memo header
background institute information

The National Institute of (name of institute) at (location including building and city) is requesting that the Fleet Management Section(purchase) a (vehicle year-i.e. 2005) (vehicle type – i.e. sedan, minivan, truck…).

vehicle justification information

The vehicle will fulfill (types of mission oriented requirements – i.e. contractual requirements, transport supplies, equipment, and correspondence, live or dead animals, and/or patients). The vehicle will be used (for what purposes – i.e. to travel from one location to the other, to pickup…, to deliver…). We anticipate vehicle usage to be (how often- quantify in days of week or month or by anticipated mileage or other usage amount).

pricing information

The estimated price of the vehicle is (provide amount obtained from Fleet Management). The (vehicle type-i.e. car, truck) purchase is to be charged to (CAN), (custodial code). Please notify me by (date of your choice) if the actual price differs from this amount so that funding can be adjusted as necessary.

contact information

If any further information is required, please call me or name of vehicle ordering contact at (ten digit phone number). My fax number is (ten digit fax number). My email address is (email address). I (or vehicle ordering contact) will be actively handling this vehicle's purchase during the ordering process. After the vehicle is delivered, the contact person will be (name, phone, fax, and e-mail). (Please list anything else that you feel may be necessary.)

Printed Name

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Vehicle Ordering and Delivery/Pick Up

How do I purchase a vehicle?
Carefully consider the General Agency Assigned Vehicle Questions and the Pre-Purchase Considerations.  Email your request for a vehicle purchase noting how you plan to obtain this vehicle (new requirement or one-for-one exchange). Include your name, phone, email address, vehicle type (for passenger or animal transport) and vehicle justification to or contact  Mark Minnick at 301-402-6768 or Mike Jones at 301-496-4511.

How long does it take to approve/disapprove my request once the needs justification is received?
The Fleet Management Team will approve/disapprove your request within 48 hours of receipt of your needs justification. If your request is disapproved, we will send you a response with our reason.

If my vehicle request is approved, how long will it take before I receive the vehicle?
Once your request is approved then your order is placed. The administrative process prior to sending the order usually takes about two weeks. Once the order is sent, it should arrive with the manufacturer within one week. After manufacturer’s receipt

  1. Sedans and wagons generally take about 90 days to delivery/pick up.
  2. Pickup trucks and vans generally take about 120 days to delivery/pick up.
  3. Medium, heavy trucks, and buses take about 120 to150 days to delivery/pick up.
  4. Vehicles that have special equipment can take longer (i.e. police, fire) than 150 days.

Please know that vehicles with complex options or modifications can take upward from two years from drawing board to finish. These are general guidelines and neither NIH, GSA nor the manufacturer can be held responsible if your vehicle's manufacturing takes longer.

How can I get my standard vehicle in less than 90 days?
When the institute feels the vehicle is needed and can’t wait, we can place an order on your behalf through the GSA Express Desk. Delivery of the vehicle is generally within 30 days of order placement. An express order must be justified with special circumstances (i.e. 9/11) and is very costly compared to standard delivery. You cannot order sedans and station wagons through the GSA Express Desk.

What happens when my vehicle arrives?
The Fleet Maintenance team performs "prep" services for your vehicle that are covered under your monthly administrative fee. These "prep" services include installing new license plates, purchasing and affixing NIH property decals, performing inspections and a test drive to ensure your vehicle’s operation and safety. At the completion of the "prep" services, the Fleet team will contact you to arrange vehicle pick up or delivery.

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Vehicle Usage, Operation, Violations, Accidents, Insurance and Disposal

How should I track my vehicle’s usage?
Motor vehicle trip tickets are required for vehicle usage. You will need to complete a Form 1382-2 Motor Vehicle Trip Ticket. It is also best to make sure that a daily manifest is used to keep track of employee vehicle usage. Information that should be collected on the manifest includes the date, time out, time-in, mileage out, mileage in, name of operator, and checkboxes to note if the vehicle has been in an accident. Vehicle usage logs assist with vehicle justification and helps ensure accountability in the event of usage violations.

Are there policies and procedures regulating the use of agency assigned government vehicles?
Yes. These policies and procedures are included in the Official Use of Government Motor Vehicles. This manual issuance reviews policy including who can operate a government vehicle and under what conditions, what vehicle operators are required to possess when operating a government vehicle, things that are prohibited when operating a government vehicle and operator responsibilities during vehicle operation. This manual issuance also reviews the procedures for obtaining a vehicle, returning a vehicle, obtaining fuel for vehicles, obtaining repair service for government vehicles, the Preventive Maintenance Inspection (PMI) Program, and security procedures for vehicles.

Are there other policies and procedures that I should know about when operating a vehicle?
Yes. Included in every vehicle is the Government Vehicle Operator’s Guide – Responsibility, Service Requirements and Emergency Procedures. This guide provides information on the driver’s responsibilities, fueling and servicing, emergency repair procedure, accident reporting procedure and what to do if there is damage to your government owned vehicle.

What if I get a ticket while I am using the vehicle?
The employee who is operating the vehicle is responsible for parking violations and any other moving violations.

What happens if I am in an accident in my agency assigned vehicle?
If there is damage to you or your vehicle, contact the police, inform your institute, contact the NIH Fleet Management Section at 301-496-4511 and complete the accident report (Form SF-91) which is located in the glove compartment of your vehicle. Turn in your completed SF-91 and accident report to the NIH Fleet Management Section at Building 12 (301-496-3426)

Is my agency assigned vehicle insured? Are my employees insured?
The Government is self-insured and government employees are covered under workers compensation. If a Government vehicle is involved in an accident and the Government is found to be at fault, then your institute is responsible for having the vehicle repaired/replaced and for any other damages incurred. If the Government is not at fault then the Government will ask for damages from the other party’s insurance company.

What happens if I want to dispose of my vehicle?
Vehicle disposal should be arranged by contacting the NIH Fleet Management Section at 301-496-4511. Turning a vehicle in, does not guarantee that you will be able to get another one. You must provide a needs justification for obtaining another vehicle.

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Temporary Vehicle Loaners

When can I get a temporary loaner?
When your agency assigned vehicle has a breakdown or is undergoing maintenance or repair work.

Does a loaner cost me anything?
Yes.  Loaners are supplied through our Enterprise contract.  Sedans are $64.80 daily and minivans are $91.80 daily.

What do I need to do to get a temporary loaner?
Loaners can be arranged through the NIH Fleet Management Section.  You can email your request for a loaner along with your

  1. current tag number,
  2. name,
  3. email address and
  4. phone to your Fleet Support Team at or call the Fleet Support Team at 301-496-3426 or 301-496-4511
Arrangements for loaners should be made at least 24 hours in advance of need.


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Feedback and Contact Information

How can I provide feedback on the services that I received from the Fleet Support Team? You may email your comments to .

How do I contact…?

Mark Minnick Chief, TMB 301-402-6768 301-402-1280
Enrique Flores Supervisor, FMS 301-496-1373 301-402-1280

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