Public fleet vehicles: A simpler way to purchase

public fleet vehicles

The procurement of public fleet vehicles is more time consuming than ever. According to recent statistics, the average RFP process can take anywhere from nine months to three years to write.

Perhaps you have simply accepted the fact that a single public fleet vehicle could take years to reach your organization. But what if your agency could delegate the creation of RFPs to an entirely different set of experts? Better yet, what if you could finalize your purchases in weeks rather than months?

All this is possible with the help of cooperative contracts.

Purchasing public fleet vehicles via RFPs

Traditional requests for proposal (RFPs) are the industry standard for public fleet managers. However, they are rarely viewed as fast or efficient purchasing mediums for the average organization. It takes up to seven people to write a single RFP and hours of additional time and effort. It can be unfeasible for small agencies to manage the process on their own.

Here’s an example timeline for purchasing public fleet vehicles through traditional methods:

  • Evaluate project: One to three months
  • Plan and document the project: One to three weeks
  • Research and target your vendors: One to three weeks
  • Write your RFP: One to two weeks
  • Distribute RFP: One to two weeks
  • Wait for vendors to return proposals: Two to four weeks
  • Evaluate proposals: One to three weeks
  • Select favorable vendors: One to three weeks
  • Select vendor: One day to one week
  • Develop contract: Two to four weeks

When you add up all these details into a single timeline, you'll see that the average time to completion for an RFP ranges between three and eight months. This bars any potential missteps in the process or unexpected issues that may slow down the pipeline (including global pandemics). Keep in mind that the smaller your organization is, the longer it will take to complete the process.

The traditional RFP is a frustrating purchasing method for public fleet vehicles. Thankfully, it's not the only one available. Cooperative contracts are much faster to complete and give your organization greater purchasing power.

Buying public fleet vehicles via cooperative contracts

Cooperative contracts are joint purchasing agreements that help CPOs purchase public fleet vehicles in less time. The goal is to leverage economies of scale and reduce the time-consuming process of writing an RFP. Only one person is needed to begin the process, though multiple stakeholders can still be involved in the decision-making.

The process is far quicker and easier to complete than a traditional RFP:

  • Search for a contract online: One to five days
  • Contact the supplier: Four to five days
  • Finalize the purchase locally or through the supplier: Five to ten days

The process of completing a cooperative contract could take just one month or less. This is a minimum of three times faster than traditional procurement and up to eight times faster depending on your specific needs. While you do need to know your laws in order to properly use the contracts, you can use them with confidence because other agencies are using them too. You can get started and make a decision as quickly as desired.

Do you want to see how cooperative contracts and traditional RFPs measure up side by side? Here's a collective graph showing all the details in order:


Traditional RFP Timeline Cooperative Contract Timeline
Evaluate project (1-2 months) Search for a contract online (1-5 days)
Plan and document the project (1-3 weeks) Contact the supplier (4-5 days)
Research and target your vendors (1-3 weeks) Finalize the purchase locally or through the supplier (5-10 days)
Write your RFP (1-2 weeks)  
Distribute RFP (1-2 weeks)  
Wait for vendors to return proposals (2-4 weeks)  
Evaluate proposals (1-3 weeks)  
Select favorable vendors (1-3 weeks)  
Select vendor (1 day to 1 week)  
Develop contract (2-4 weeks)  

As you can see, cooperative contracts take a fraction of the time to complete compared to traditional RFPs. This is a winning strategy for public fleet vehicle managers in any organization and a simpler way to perform procurement overall.

Getting cooperative contracts through Sourcewell for free

Cooperative contracts are the future of public fleet vehicle purchasing. As long as you are located within the United States, you can start using Sourcewell to leverage cooperative contracts in minutes. This comes at no cost to you on the publicly accessible platform.

Here's how you can get started.

  • Determine if your agency is eligible. Sourcewell serves schools and government organizations all over the United States.
  • Register online to get started with cooperative contracts right away. Online, you’ll need to supply your organization's name, city, state, or territory. You can also download a blank registration form to view the participation agreement separately.
  • At this point, you are completely registered with Sourcewell and ready to explore cooperative contracts. You can search via keyword, supplier, or category.

If you still aren’t sure how to get started with Sourcewell, you can access its free guides for help.

Here at Sourcewell, we help public agency buyers procure fleet vehicles faster by fulfilling the time-consuming bid process for them. Through cooperative contracts, we expedite the fleet vehicle procurement process so you can better serve your teams.

Want a faster procurement process? Contact one of our specialists today to buy the fleet solutions you need!