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Police cars are frequently among those issued as take-home vehicles

A take-home vehicle is a vehicle issued to an employee by one's employer (such as a private corporation or government agency) that is intended to be used for the purpose of fulfilling one's job duties, but that the employee is also permitted to drive to their residence while off duty. Depending on the employer's policies, the employee may or may not be permitted to use the vehicle while off-duty for non-work-related use.

Take-home vehicles, often considered a perk for their employees, provides the employees the benefit of not requiring their own vehicle for commuting purposes (thereby sparing them this expense). The employer benefits from having the employee being able to perform their job duties more efficiently[1].


Usage by police departments

Police departments are among frequent participants in take-home vehicle programs, allowing officers to take home the police cars they use while on duty. It is considered to be a fringe benefit by the departments[2]. It has viewed by some departments as a crime-fighting tool, given its cost[3].

Issues with take-home vehicles

When issued by a government agency, concern has been brought up by citizens and advocates over taxpayer money used to fund take-home vehicles. This has led some cities to cutting or reducing the number of employees to whom vehicles are offered.

In Sacramento, California, the issuing of take-home vehicles has come under scrutiny as the city has faced a budget deficit[4].

In the city of Baltimore, the use of take-home vehicles by city employees has been questioned due to the distance that city employees drive them to their homes. It was determined in a report that ⅔ of city employees drive their vehicles outside city limits, some more than 100 miles from the city, and the cost to taxpayers, which included fuel, was high[5].

Baltimore's mayor Sheila Dixon has also been criticized for having three tax-funded take-home vehicles parked at her house[6]

In Dallas, the city was having trouble obtaining data in attempting to determine the cost of take-home vehicles to taxpayers[7].

The city of Los Angeles was criticized for issuing take-home vehicles to utility employees while raising rates to customers, though the city stated it would be a minuscule part of the budget[8].

The city of Evansville, Indiana reduced the number of take-home vehicles offered to city employees, but allowed public safety employees to keep theirs[9].

See also




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