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Local authorities ‘wasting’ tax money on hire cars, reckons Flexed

Car leasing firm Flexed.co.uk claims that council officials have admitted to turning too quickly to hire cars when needing wheels in a hurry and says one senior council official confided: "We have to spend the budget or we risk being noticed by the auditors, who'll recommend cuts in coming years. We try to look efficient, but we'd prefer to have that gap, even if we have to splash it all out in April."

Another local authority worker said: "It's common knowledge that we get hire cars whenever we need one. Everybody knows it's a perk of the job, even though we should be green and taking the bus." 

Flexed also added that drivers of authority-owned cars say that wasteful journeys are taken on a daily basis. 

"We'd even take the car down to the supermarket just to buy ice creams for the team," one police employee told Flexed. "And then we'd trundle back with the air con blasting and the radio up loud." 

"Of course, there's a lot of personal use, even though we're not supposed to. Actually, I'd use the car for furtive journeys every day," a council official admitted.

"Local authorities, police services and health trusts all have questions to answer on their use of cars for staff," said Flexed.co.uk's Mark Hall. "We're not saying people don't deserve to use these vehicles, but it appears to us that budgets are spent unwisely simply because the money is available."

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.