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Government Recommends Subcompact Cars, But Doesn’t Use Them

Government Recommends Subcompact Cars, But Doesn’t Use Them

Posted November. 19, 2007 03:11,   


The government, which has encouraged the public to drive subcompact cars to conserve energy amid the oil price hike, reportedly uses few such cars itself.

Out of 100 cars that 43 government agencies have purchased or rented recently, less than two were subcompact models. In particular, 30 agencies, including the Office of the President and the Office for Government Policy Coordination, have not used a single subcompact car.

According to Grand National Party Rep. Lee Han-koo’s analysis of data submitted by the Public Procurement Service (PPS), of the 9,180 cars purchased or rented by 43 government offices through the PPS from 2003 through the end of June this year, only 1.6 percent, or 147, were subcompact cars.

That is only a third of 4.7 percent, the ratio of subcompact car sales in the Korean auto market.

In particular, 69.7 percent, or 30 out of 43 government offices, have not included a single subcompact car among the 7,338 cars they have purchased or rented over the last 4.5 years.

The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy has not used a subcompact car as well, even though it is responsible for Korean energy management policy. Also, the Environment Ministry itself has used only two subcompact cars, or 2.2 percent of the 92 cars it used over the same period.

The Presidential Security Service and the Office of the Prime Minister ranked first and second in terms of average engine size, with 3,014cc and 2,816cc sized engines in their cars on average, respectively, followed by the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family (2,800cc), Korea Forest Service (2,619cc), the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy (2,590cc), and Ministry of Government Legislation (2,566cc).

Despite its aversion to subcompact cars, the government is encouraging the public to use such cars to conserve energy and protect the environment.

The government exempts special excise tax and acquisition tax for subcompact purchases, granting various benefits, such as exemptions on the mandatory purchase of subway-related bonds, a 50-percent discount on highway toll fees, a 50-percent discount on public parking lot fees, and an 80-percent discount on parking lot fees when drivers transfer to subways.

Lee said, “We need to set a quota of subcompact cars when government offices purchase or rent cars.”