How to Sell a Car to the Government

by Kenneth Black

Selling a car to the government is not something many people will have the chance to do. Usually, governments, be they local, state or national, buy vehicles new from dealerships. However, for those dealerships who are able to sell cars to the government, there are definite advantages. Among those are there is no need to worry about financing and, in many cases, multiple vehicles will be purchased at the same time, which can turn an ordinary month of sales into an extraordinary sales month. However, selling a car to the government, no matter which branch or at what level, often means meeting that government's rules and requirements, something many dealerships may not be accustomed to doing.

Check for bid requests. The first step in selling a car to the government is to be aware of when they may ask for bid requests. Usually, the mid to late summer, after the new fiscal year starts in July, is the prime time for governments to buy, when their funding has been recharged.

Review bid requirements. In some cases, the car will need to come with a special package. Many manufacturers, for example, offer police packages, where the cars come specially equipped for the job that will be required of them.

Contact the supplier. In many cases, the supplier will be able to give you delivery dates and other important information, especially if a special package is requested.

Prepare the bid. This will include listing the price for each unit, any alternatives, plus a total price including all units sold. Remember, governments are exempted from sales tax so there is no need to add it to the final price.

Send the bid to the specified address by the deadline. This may be city hall, a state agency or some similar destination. Always double check to make sure that you send the bid to the proper address. The address the bid request is sent from may not necessarily be where the bids should go.

Maintain awareness of the process and check on the bid results. If you are awarded the bid, you may have very little turn-around time in which to fulfill the order. While you will, no doubt, be contacted if you are awarded the bid, it is always good to take the intiative and check yourself.

Review the products before delivery to make sure they are as specified. The government agency taking delivery will certainly check, and this way it may be possible to make any corrections beforehand.


  • check Be aware of all deadlines. Many times there is no flexibility. Bid all alternatives possible. This can only increase your chance of being awarded the bid.


  • close Do not misrepresent what you can deliver. You may not ever get another chance.

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About the Author

Kenneth Black has been a freelance writer since 2008. He currently works as a staff writer for "The Times Republican" in Central Iowa. He has written extensively on a variety of topics, including business, politics, family life and travel. Black holds a bachelor's degree in business marketing from the University of Phoenix.

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