What can you even say to defend a financial decision like this one? According to a report by Detroit's WXYZ television news team, the City of Detroit has been leasing a 2004 Dodge Intrepid since September 2003, over six years after the original two-year-lease expired. Since the City did not return the car, it has continued to make the $608 per month lease payments, even as it racked up miles well beyond the 40,000 in the original agreement, for which it now must pay 15 cents per mile. According to the report, the City has spent over $65,000 for the car, which it doesn't even own.

But that's not all. WXYZ says that Detroit has 110 of these expired lease agreements on 2004 through 2007 models, and all of the cars are still on the road, wasting money with every tick of the odometer. And remember, the City still has to turn in all 110 cars, and pay for excess wear and tear. An estimate of the city's losses incurred by this leasing scheme is well over $4 million, according to the report. The cars are all being used by the Detroit Police Department, and though they're not quite full-zoot police cruisers like the 2002 Intrepid pictured above, they see action for undercover work. That means it's not just the taxpayers who are getting a bad deal here, but the cops themselves, as we're pretty sure none of them are particularly happy to be out risking their lives in an eight-year-old Dodge.

If we can attempt to find the faintest silver lining to this epic thunderstorm of mismanagement, it would be that perhaps in the publicity sure to follow, a few of Detroit's residents might better understand why and how leasing can cost more than financing a new car purchase. And at least the City of Detroit has been using these cars, rather than leaving them in a parking structure to sit and rot. Scroll down for a video report from WXYZ.


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  • 76 Comments
      Ocada
      • 2 Years Ago
      Government at its best!
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Mike
        • 2 Years Ago
        you say "you are being run by idiots" as in your not from the US? I was born and raised in the US and i feel that way every day...
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Mike
          [blocked]
        untitledfolder
        • 2 Years Ago
        State vs Federal.
          Mike
          • 2 Years Ago
          @untitledfolder
          Doesn't make a difference. MI state gov't is out of control too..
      SethG
      • 2 Years Ago
      More investigating should be done. Who are they making to the lease payments to? And let's check to see if there may be some political contributions flowing the other way.
        TMTexas
        • 2 Years Ago
        @SethG
        The deal was inked under Kwame so there's a good chance one of his party buddies or slumlord contributors is getting rich off these leases.
      Bill K
      • 2 Years Ago
      Why in the hell did government auditors not find this stuff???? It's their duty to find this kind of waste and report it to the proper officials... and continue to report it until corrective action is taken. I believe the Auditor General, Loren Monroe, has some explaining to do. Does this not seem like common sense to anyone or do I just expect government to work the same way it does in the private sector?? Ok... I'm even laughing over that last statement.
      postpast
      • 2 Years Ago
      WOW, thats a deal that would almost make a used car dealer feel guilty!
      protovici
      • 2 Years Ago
      Waste.
      Jeremy Pennini
      • 2 Years Ago
      I hear Miami has some unused municipal vehicles that are bought and paid for. Maybe Detroit can get them for a good deal? http://www.autoblog.com/2012/04/25/hundreds-of-5-year-old-municipal-vehicles-found-in-miami-that-we/
      FHP11
      • 2 Years Ago
      A definate waste of money. But I don't argue with the logic that they probably have some value as undercover vehicles. I'm guessing in some of the worst neighborhoods, they blend in reasonably well, as opposed to if they were sat in brand new Chargers.
      Jason Sieben
      • 2 Years Ago
      I wonder how many of these are also the personal cars for many of those using them? So not only are the taxpayers helping the city pay for the expired leases/maintainance/mileage/eventual turn in wear and tear costs, but there are people *possibly* getting a free hand out as well. I'm making a very unresearched assumption here, so could be completely untrue. Don't go flaming me for my comments...as unproved they may be, it has to make you at least wonder.
      jamiescale
      • 2 Years Ago
      Its truly sad that this isn't shocking...its almost expected. A lot of country is asleep at the wheel.
      michigan
      • 2 Years Ago
      As we all know, leasing is an absolutely horrible financial decision. Buy used and pay cash
      Hazdaz
      • 2 Years Ago
      Hurray for privatization! Its sooo "cost effective" to tax payers! :rolleyes: There is no goddamn reason that these cars should not have been BOUGHT (not leased) from day-one. Instead, the idiotic rush to privatize everything - get all costs off the books and have them be handled by a 3rd private company (i.e. a lease) - gets you into messes like these. Privatization breeds corruption and when you sprinkle in regular old stupidity leaves you with a $4 million waste of money.
        TMTexas
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Hazdaz
        Huh? If the city GOVERNMENT would have turned in the lease cars on time, no story. Instead the inefficient GOVERNMENT just kept pumping money from the PUBLIC well. Nothing to do with private anything here, this is government abuse and negligence at its' finest.
        rlog100
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Hazdaz
        The city government had a choice, buy or lease. I don't see how either route is 'privatization'. They leased because over the next 12 months, it was cheaper than buying. And every year, it was the same story. An inability of the government to sacrifice in the short term for the benefit of the long term is the problem. And at all levels of government it seems.
          Wunderbird
          • 2 Years Ago
          @rlog100
          RLOG, Thanks for making sense. Hazdaz, Your an idiot. This has more to do with an inept government than a corrupt business.
          TrueDat
          • 2 Years Ago
          @rlog100
          "An inability of the government to sacrifice in the short term for the benefit of the long term is the problem. And at all levels of government it seems." love it dude! the way you said that is brilliant. that's exactly how the obama admin. seems to be operating, along with the rest of his party.
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