Vehicle administration: parliamentarians

Last updated
07 January 2021

Commonwealth-leased vehicles are provided to parliamentarians through the whole-of-government fleet provider, currently sgfleet.

Requesting a vehicle

Contact your MaPS state or territory manager if you wish to request a private-plated vehicle (PPV) or Canberra-based self-drive vehicle (SDV).

To ensure value for money, you will be provided with an existing vehicle until the end of its lease. In the case of a PPV, if you are a new parliamentarian, this will typically be your predecessor’s PPV. For an SDV, you will be provided with an available leased vehicle.

At the end of the lease, or where there are no Commonwealth-leased vehicles available, you may request a vehicle from the Minister-approved list of standard vehicles (see related resources). The list includes small, medium and large cars, four-wheel drive vehicles and people movers. All vehicles have a 5-star ANCAP safety rating and a purchase price below the luxury car tax threshold for non-fuel efficient vehicles (the threshold), as determined by the Australian Taxation Office. The list of standard vehicles is regularly updated, based on the latest manufacturers’ pricing.

Non-standard vehicles

If you cannot identify a standard vehicle that meets your specific needs, you may make a written request for a non-standard vehicle. For:

  • a PPV, the request should be made to your MaPS state or territory manager.
  • an SDV, a non-standard vehicle is subject to the approval of the Minister. Your request must detail the workplace health and safety, or other factors, which mean that the provision of the non-standard vehicle is appropriate in your circumstances.

You will be required to reimburse the Commonwealth for the additional lease cost of a non-standard vehicle. For a PPV, you may nominate for the additional lease cost to be deducted from your electorate allowance and/or your limit for transport costs for unscheduled commercial transport. Contact the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority (IPEA) in relation to this limit. The additional lease cost will be determined when the final contract supplement for the lease is issued, and remains fixed for the term of the lease. Prior to the issue of the final contract supplement, MaPS state and territory managers are able to provide indicative costs only.

Lease request and term

sgfleet will contact you directly and provide you with a Request for lease quote (fleet management agreement) form to be completed. This form is then approved by your MaPS state or territory manager. Vehicle orders are placed with the fleet provider and may take some months to fill. For queries relating to the progress of vehicle orders contact the sgfleet MaPS Manager on 03 6242 2102 or by email at MPSVIP@sgfleet.com.

When determining the term of a lease, sgfleet considers the projected use of the vehicle (i.e. the number of kilometres (km) likely to be driven), as well as factors such as the warranty provided for the vehicle and local road and weather conditions. The lease term will be reviewed regularly against these projections and may be adjusted to ensure the lease achieves value for money. Lease periods are typically 100,000km/3 years for a PPV or 30,000km/3 years for an SDV. It is expected that you will retain the vehicle for the entire lease term or, in the case of an SDV, the period that you are eligible for the Canberra-based vehicle.

You should seek to achieve value for money by requesting a vehicle that meets your needs and has the lowest estimated monthly lease cost. The lease cost includes running costs and reflects likely resale value. This information will be provided to you as part of the vehicle selection process.

Optional extras and safety equipment

A number of dealer-fitted optional extras are provided with the vehicle and do not count towards the threshold, such as automatic transmission, carpet mats, car protection, and tow packs. These and other options are listed on the order form you complete for sgfleet. If you request further optional extras that bring the total value of the vehicle above the threshold, you will be personally responsible for paying the difference as a lump sum payment. All optional extras included in the cost of the lease must be kept with the vehicle, and returned with the vehicle.

Requests for optional extras to be added to a vehicle should only be made at the time the vehicle order is placed. Optional extras that can be fitted by the vehicle’s dealer and which were overlooked at the time the vehicle was ordered may only be added until the time of the vehicle’s first scheduled service.

Should you wish to add dealer-fitted optional extras after the original order is placed, you must discuss the matter with sgfleet. This will allow sgfleet to make arrangements with the contracted vehicle supplier and ensure that the fitting dealer is given the required advance notice.

Upon request, you may be provided with a satellite phone and an emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) or a hand-held personal locator beacon.

Mobile electorate office signage

Where you use your PPV as a mobile electorate office, you may claim from your annual budget for office expenses:

  • vinyl wrap signage
  • flat magnetised material for signage purposes.

Any vehicle damage resulting from the application or use of signage needs to be rectified prior to returning your vehicle.

Mobile office signage:

  • may include wording and/or symbols for the purpose of identifying or directing constituents to the mobile office location
  • must not contain issues-based or election campaign material (for example, ‘Say yes/no to [issue]’ or ‘Vote for [name of member]’).

Your responsibilities, including servicing, maintenance and repairs

When requesting a vehicle, you will be asked to sign a vehicle certification form (see related resources) that sets out your responsibilities.

All Commonwealth-leased vehicles must be maintained and returned in good condition. To assist with this:

  • scheduled services should be performed when due. See the windscreen sticker for due date and organise directly with your local sgfleet-associated service agent
  • damage, however minor, must be reported promptly to sgfleet’s 24 hour line 1800 009 082
  • the vehicle should be washed regularly noting that the cost for standard car washing services is paid by the Commonwealth using the fuel cards provided.

For queries relating to vehicle operation and maintenance, please contact the sgfleet MaPS Manager on 03 6242 2102 or by email at MPSVIP@sgfleet.com.

Any theft or malicious damage involving the vehicle must be reported promptly to police.

MaPS and fleet provider vehicle responsibilities

MaPS is responsible for:

  • advice on use of vehicles under the PBR framework
  • advice on the approval process for non-standard of vehicles
  • invoicing for certain administration fees incurred
  • remaining a contact point for escalation of issues.

sgfleet is responsible for administering all other Commonwealth-leased vehicle functions during the life of each vehicle lease including:

  • vehicle renewal emails and telephone follow up
  • processing quotes and orders
  • paying reimbursements for out-of-pocket costs (such as when a fuel card is lost or not working)
  • contacting parliamentarians and their staff regarding due and overdue servicing
  • dealing with accident management
  • forwarding infringement notices.

Permitted drivers

Anyone may drive your PPV with your authorisation.

You may authorise others who are assisting you to drive your SDV for the conduct of your parliamentary business – including an employee, a family member or a volunteer.

There is no requirement to notify MaPS or the fleet provider of those nominated to drive your vehicle.

It is your responsibility to ensure all drivers have an appropriate licence and only use your Commonwealth-leased vehicle for non-commercial purposes. Additionally, for an SDV, you must ensure the use of your SDV (including when driven by another person) complies with conditions and your PBR obligations.

You should ensure all drivers of your vehicle are aware of the sgfleet driver card (see related resources) which is left in each vehicle.

Fuel cards

Fuel cards are issued by sgfleet and also cover standard car washing services. Fuel cards do not cover premium unleaded fuel, unless the fuel type is required for the vehicle (as specified by the manufacturer). You must advise of your odometer reading each time you refuel.

If you are unable to use the fuel card (for example, because of a technical failure), an sgfleet reimbursement form can be downloaded from their website and returned with the receipt and odometer reading.

Fuel cards must be kept in a secure place when not in use; and must not be used for any vehicle other than the Commonwealth-leased vehicle with which it is associated.

Vehicle driver card

The sgfleet driver card (see related resources) has details on what to do following an accident, as well as information about roadside assistance, tyres, windscreens, batteries, maintenance, fuel cards, repairs and servicing.

Traffic infringements and tolls

sgfleet will notify you of any infringements recorded against your vehicle. You are personally responsible for payment of any fine specified on an infringement notice, other than where a statutory declaration has been returned to the issuing authority identifying another person as the driver of the vehicle at the time of the infringement. Where an administrative charge for processing an infringement notice is levied, MaPS will obtain reimbursement from you.

You are personally responsible for all road tolls, any fines or penalties for the non-payment or late payment of road tolls, and for any associated administration costs incurred in relation to a Commonwealth-leased vehicle provided to you. Toll infringements and administrative fees can be avoided by supplying a personal e-tag to fit your vehicle (these are not provided or reimbursable by MaPS.

It is unlikely that you would incur toll charges in relation to an SDV as there are no toll roads in or around Canberra.

Parking

Parking at Parliament House is organised through the Office of the Usher of the Black Rod (for senators) and the Office of the Serjeant-at-Arms (for members of the House of Representatives).

Please direct any other queries relating to parking fees for your vehicle to IPEA.

Return of vehicle

You are required to immediately return your Commonwealth-leased vehicle to MaPS, or an authorised agent, when your eligibility for the vehicle ceases or the lease expires.

The vehicle should be in a sound, serviceable condition to ensure that the Commonwealth does not incur additional charges for excess wear and tear and achieves the best possible sale price when the vehicle is sold.

When assessing a vehicle’s condition at the end of its lease term, sgfleet takes into account any deterioration in the vehicle’s overall condition that is considered fair wear and tear for the distances travelled and the age of the vehicle. Unfair wear and tear is any deterioration judged as unacceptable against industry standards that may require refurbishment prior to sale.

For an SDV, returning a vehicle in a poor or unreasonable condition that negatively affects the Commonwealth’s ability to achieve a reasonable sale price may result in the contravention of your value for money obligation. You are also required to return all accessories, the vehicle manual and fuel cards.

Where a vehicle that is due for return is not returned immediately, any costs incurred will be recovered from you as a debt due to the Commonwealth.

Purchase of vehicle

You may purchase the vehicle from sgfleet provided it is within three months of the end of the lease. The sale is a private matter between you and sgfleet and is arranged through the sgfleet VIP manager assigned to MaPS. The VIP manager will advise MaPS if a sale is to occur.

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