NEW CAR anyone w/ experience buying police, SSV or taxi package?

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Bongleur
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NEW CAR anyone w/ experience buying police, SSV or taxi package?

Post by Bongleur » Wed Dec 12, 2018 1:28 am

My 1994 Taurus has lasted this long because I added heavy duty line items from the police package. Seems you cannot do this anymore (?).
But I can't get critical parts anymore, so I'm forced to go shopping.

So I have found the "fleet sales" websites for Ford & Chevy & Chrysler.
But I have the impression that walking into the dealer lot, those salesmen are not trained in this line.
What's the way to go about this?
Police & taxi vehicles are not listed on the new car buying sites.
They have something they call "Special Service Vehicles" for support roles, but don't say exactly what upgrades they have from the consumer version. Maybe its just a label.

I've seen the 2017 Ford PPV listed at about $31k in the literature, but OTOH a small police dept with 15 vehicles got them for $15k each.
So there seems to be a huger than usual markup.
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bob60014
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Re: NEW CAR anyone w/ experience buying police, SSV or tax package?

Post by bob60014 » Wed Dec 12, 2018 8:42 am

You need to talk to fleet sales. For local, county, state and feds there are usually special fleet volume pricing programs/contracts set up. The public won't normally get those prices.
For vehicle comparison, in this case Ford, take the info from Fleet and drill down to specs and brochure, you can take the info go to consumer vehicles and compare. Most police/fire upgrades are to heavy duty cooling, electrical, suspension, some enhanced protection and a few other items. Its not just a label.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: NEW CAR anyone w/ experience buying police, SSV or tax package?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Wed Dec 12, 2018 9:09 am

I can't say that this is universal, but a coworker really, really wanted to buy a new police package car. I went with him as he spoke with a Ford factory product manager. He was told that unless he was a police department, they would not sell one of these cars to him under any condition. There are DOT/EPA exemptions that aren't allowed for non-police use.

Used.....sure. I have several friend mechanics who regularly buy police vehicles at auction. They are typically fairly new and usually look good. They tell me that to make one good car, they need to buy 2 and they use one as a parts car as the things that wear out aren't consistent.

I'm curious what parts have worn out that you can't get. Things like shocks, radiator and oil cooler can be special for the police package cars, but all are easily replaced with either normal car parts or by going aftermarket.
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NHRATA01
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Re: NEW CAR anyone w/ experience buying police, SSV or tax package?

Post by NHRATA01 » Wed Dec 12, 2018 3:22 pm

You won't find a dealer that will sell the public a fleet vehicle because the manufacturer will not allow it. Primarily because the margins are slim so batch orders are typically required, but also in the case of police/fire vehicles, etc they are outfit in spartan fashion. As anyone who's bought a car in the past two decades can attest, neither the manufacturer nor dealer desires to sell sparsely equipped base model vehicles.

After Pontiac disappeared taking with it the G8 and before GM announced the SS Sedan, they were selling a version of those cars as the Chevy PPV (Police Patrol Vehicle). As much as fans of a V8 big sedan tried, Chevy would only sell them to law enforcement agencies. But they do pop up on the used market and will go for a decent amount - particularly the more civilian-ized detective's versions.

But there's really not a huge difference between police vehicles anymore and the civilian counterparts, beyond lack of amenities. Even back in the 90s the packages for similar cars sold to the public (think Caprice, Crown Victoria, Tahoe, Camaro) were not typically much beyond a heavy duty suspension (bigger sway bars/stiffer springs), larger brakes if available, sometimes a bigger radiator and trans cooler, and a bigger alternator (to run all the gear). It's not the stuff of lore like it was back in the 60s and 70s where the cop cars were packing high output big blocks and a beefed up drivetrain.

badger42
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Re: NEW CAR anyone w/ experience buying police, SSV or tax package?

Post by badger42 » Wed Dec 12, 2018 3:29 pm

And nobody has mentioned taxis - most Taxis and Ubers around here are a Toyota Prius or 4-cylinder Camry, basically stock base-ish models. They seem to hold up pretty well to the rigors of taxi service.

NextMil
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Re: NEW CAR anyone w/ experience buying police, SSV or tax package?

Post by NextMil » Wed Dec 12, 2018 3:32 pm

Just really curious, is this just because you want a safer vehicle?

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midareff
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Re: NEW CAR anyone w/ experience buying police, SSV or tax package?

Post by midareff » Wed Dec 12, 2018 3:39 pm

Bongleur wrote:
Wed Dec 12, 2018 1:28 am
My 1994 Taurus has lasted this long because I added heavy duty line items from the police package. Seems you cannot do this anymore (?).
But I can't get critical parts anymore, so I'm forced to go shopping.

So I have found the "fleet sales" websites for Ford & Chevy & Chrysler.
But I have the impression that walking into the dealer lot, those salesmen are not trained in this line.
What's the way to go about this?
Police & taxi vehicles are not listed on the new car buying sites.
They have something they call "Special Service Vehicles" for support roles, but don't say exactly what upgrades they have from the consumer version. Maybe its just a label.

I've seen the 2017 Ford PPV listed at about $31k in the literature, but OTOH a small police dept with 15 vehicles got them for $15k each.
So there seems to be a huger than usual markup.
Generally, you have to be a police department o buy a new police vehicle. In Florida it is a requirement. Many police purchases are manufacturer supported to get the brand in front of the public, in many cases 24/365 while vehicles are assigned in some other cases. Manufacturer's support can be very large and competitive as Ford, Chrysler and Chevrolet make (or did make) police cars. Also gebnerally, when a police car has reached the end of it's useful life it is purchased at municipal auction by a cab company who do an engine and trans rebuild, replace all suspension joints, shocks etc., and run the vehicle another $400K miles or so, depending on the taxi age restriction laws in the municipality the vehicle is in.

quantAndHold
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Re: NEW CAR anyone w/ experience buying police, SSV or tax package?

Post by quantAndHold » Wed Dec 12, 2018 3:47 pm

So you asked this same question almost exactly a year ago. I believe at that time I googled and found that you could get a Ford Police Interceptor, which is a Explorer body and Crown Vic chassis with a hard plastic back seat. And you were also told then that most taxis are Toyota Prius’.

What research have you done yourself since then?

sport
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Re: NEW CAR anyone w/ experience buying police, SSV or tax package?

Post by sport » Wed Dec 12, 2018 4:55 pm

Many years ago, I knew of a used car dealer that specialized in selling former police and highway patrol cars. The cars sat on the lot with the police markings scratched off. If you bought one, they would have it repainted the color of your choice. They would also fill in the holes where the police lights were mounted. The highway patrol cars, while high mileage, had mostly highway miles and could be good purchases. Perhaps such dealers still exist. The one I saw was in Dayton OH, back in the 1960's.

I found this on the internet: https://www.swps.com/used-police-cars---vehicles.html

NHRATA01
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Re: NEW CAR anyone w/ experience buying police, SSV or tax package?

Post by NHRATA01 » Thu Dec 13, 2018 9:56 am

quantAndHold wrote:
Wed Dec 12, 2018 3:47 pm
So you asked this same question almost exactly a year ago. I believe at that time I googled and found that you could get a Ford Police Interceptor, which is a Explorer body and Crown Vic chassis with a hard plastic back seat. And you were also told then that most taxis are Toyota Prius’.

What research have you done yourself since then?
That's strange direction.

The Crown Vic chassis, which was a body-on-frame solid rear axle and dated back to the 70s was killed off in '12 or so. The Explorer Police Interceptor, which is basically the same as the civilian Explorer, is a unibody FWD based CUV.

rooms222
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Re: NEW CAR anyone w/ experience buying police, SSV or taxi package?

Post by rooms222 » Thu Dec 13, 2018 10:19 am

This car sales lot also has a wide variety of cherry picked police vehicles. www.chicagomotors.com

Broken Man 1999
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Re: NEW CAR anyone w/ experience buying police, SSV or tax package?

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Thu Dec 13, 2018 10:58 am

bob60014 wrote:
Wed Dec 12, 2018 8:42 am
You need to talk to fleet sales. For local, county, state and feds there are usually special fleet volume pricing programs/contracts set up. The public won't normally get those prices.
For vehicle comparison, in this case Ford, take the info from Fleet and drill down to specs and brochure, you can take the info go to consumer vehicles and compare. Most police/fire upgrades are to heavy duty cooling, electrical, suspension, some enhanced protection and a few other items. Its not just a label.
This!

My wheelchair van is a vehicle that was built to sell to state/county agencies for transporting people. It came with fire extinguisher, first aid kit, reflective tape on the door jams, tie down straps, heavy-duty suspension, etc. Florida's state government has approved contracts to supply various vehicles to state and county agencies, the entities get better pricing, and they don't have to put out bids on so many items. I didn't get the state contract pricing, but I did get a pretty stout vehicle with everything I needed for a very good price.

If you have any friends in law enforcement, you might ask them for a lead to their fleet purchasing.

As well, some of the extra-heavy equipment you want might be offered as a towing package.

Good luck!
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven than I shall not go. " -Mark Twain

Jack FFR1846
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Re: NEW CAR anyone w/ experience buying police, SSV or tax package?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Thu Dec 13, 2018 11:17 am

sport wrote:
Wed Dec 12, 2018 4:55 pm
Many years ago, I knew of a used car dealer that specialized in selling former police and highway patrol cars. The cars sat on the lot with the police markings scratched off. If you bought one, they would have it repainted the color of your choice. They would also fill in the holes where the police lights were mounted. The highway patrol cars, while high mileage, had mostly highway miles and could be good purchases. Perhaps such dealers still exist. The one I saw was in Dayton OH, back in the 1960's.

I found this on the internet: https://www.swps.com/used-police-cars---vehicles.html
Here's the risk in buying one of these used. A nice, what you think is all highway miles state police car was used for detail work for 3 years. So the officer left in the morning to drive 6 to 50 miles on the highway to get to the construction site. He then sat there with his engine and emergency lights running for 8 hours. He then drove home. Since cars don't have hour meters, you won't know this until you check compression and find 38 psi across the cylinders.
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Topic Author
Bongleur
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Re: NEW CAR anyone w/ experience buying police, SSV or taxi package?

Post by Bongleur » Thu Dec 13, 2018 3:57 pm

Been busy since I last asked & stymied on getting the info I want to know BEFORE approaching a salesman.
Ford has a column-mounted shift, which I like.
PPV have better seats, less of a "bucket" which I find uncomfortable.
I can get rubber floor mats, vinyl rear seat.

The brochure I can download from the fleet sales site is general, I need more details.
I think the SSV might just be a label, the PPVs are upgraded.
Ford still has the 90mph rated rear bumper -- uses the full size spare as shock absorber.
PPVs have all the safety stuff. They come with the full rear view, cross traffic, etc sensors.
Ford even has a safety system that will beep & roll up the windows if something approaches the stopped car from the rear. No sneaking up on you.
Police & Taxis have an Engine Hour Meter. Probably all cars do, but the display is not enabled.
I know Chrylser has a policy of no civilian sales, had not heard that about the other two.
I've seen those two used PPV sites, but you never know what's been done to the car to make them get rid of it with not many miles/hours.

For my 1994, cannot get small electronic parts, like an ABS wheel sensor. Has a graphite bit that crumbles, so junkyard not so good. Or an A Pillar, which is rusted out. Underbody is starting to rust badly. Just when I got it running perfectly (no more 6 minutes running the fan before it would start on wet days), the trans has started "sticking" when downshifting, so not worth $$ for a junkyard + install.
Seeking Iso-Elasticity. | Tax Loss Harvesting is an Asset Class. | A well-planned presentation creates a sense of urgency. If the prospect fails to act now, he will risk a loss of some sort.

Topic Author
Bongleur
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Re: NEW CAR anyone w/ experience buying police, SSV or taxi package?

Post by Bongleur » Thu Dec 13, 2018 4:16 pm

Oh, all the new cars have microscopic engines with Turbos. They rev really high. So they will wear out very soon. So expensive to fix that you must buy a new car instead. The only cars with decent cubic inches and normal cruising rpm are the PPVs. My 1994 3.8 L engine still has good compression. Its a false economy to think these tiny engines put out less pollution. The cost much much more in the long run.
Seeking Iso-Elasticity. | Tax Loss Harvesting is an Asset Class. | A well-planned presentation creates a sense of urgency. If the prospect fails to act now, he will risk a loss of some sort.

ssquared87
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Re: NEW CAR anyone w/ experience buying police, SSV or taxi package?

Post by ssquared87 » Thu Dec 13, 2018 4:38 pm

Bongleur wrote:
Thu Dec 13, 2018 4:16 pm
Oh, all the new cars have microscopic engines with Turbos. They rev really high. So they will wear out very soon. So expensive to fix that you must buy a new car instead. The only cars with decent cubic inches and normal cruising rpm are the PPVs. My 1994 3.8 L engine still has good compression. Its a false economy to think these tiny engines put out less pollution. The cost much much more in the long run.
You realize the whole point of a turbo on smaller engines is to provide low end torque so they don't need to rev high right? One of my cars (4cyl turbo) has peak torque between 1,450-4,800 RPM. Revving it up high will provide diminishing returns.

Turbos do wear out at some point, but you hardly need a new car. If the turbo goes at 150k miles or whatever, you can just replace the turbo which would probably cost less than $3k for any car (in most cases far less)

NHRATA01
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Re: NEW CAR anyone w/ experience buying police, SSV or taxi package?

Post by NHRATA01 » Sat Dec 15, 2018 9:00 am

Bongleur wrote:
Thu Dec 13, 2018 4:16 pm
Oh, all the new cars have microscopic engines with Turbos. They rev really high. So they will wear out very soon. So expensive to fix that you must buy a new car instead. The only cars with decent cubic inches and normal cruising rpm are the PPVs. My 1994 3.8 L engine still has good compression. Its a false economy to think these tiny engines put out less pollution. The cost much much more in the long run.
Normal cruising rpms? This isn't 1994 anymore where your small 4 cylinder engine is geared high against a 3 speed auto and turning 3500 on the freeway. You're at minimum finding a 6 speed auto with 7, 8 and 9 being more common. That widens the gear spread and keeps highway engine speeds down. Additionally as mentioned the turbocharger improves the low end torque production under load so the manufacturer tends to gear a turbo car reasonably low so that it can stay out of boost at light throttle highway cruising and give you your 35+ mpg.

BTW, want to make a bet on which makes more torque at 2000 rpms, a modern 2.0T or your 1994 3.8 ;)

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RootSki
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Re: NEW CAR anyone w/ experience buying police, SSV or taxi package?

Post by RootSki » Sat Dec 15, 2018 11:55 am

ssquared87 wrote:
Thu Dec 13, 2018 4:38 pm
Bongleur wrote:
Thu Dec 13, 2018 4:16 pm
Oh, all the new cars have microscopic engines with Turbos. They rev really high. So they will wear out very soon. So expensive to fix that you must buy a new car instead. The only cars with decent cubic inches and normal cruising rpm are the PPVs. My 1994 3.8 L engine still has good compression. Its a false economy to think these tiny engines put out less pollution. The cost much much more in the long run.
You realize the whole point of a turbo on smaller engines is to provide low end torque so they don't need to rev high right? One of my cars (4cyl turbo) has peak torque between 1,450-4,800 RPM. Revving it up high will provide diminishing returns.

Turbos do wear out at some point, but you hardly need a new car. If the turbo goes at 150k miles or whatever, you can just replace the turbo which would probably cost less than $3k for any car (in most cases far less)
I got my first car with a turbo in 2010 (Volvo XC60 T6). I’ll never own a naturally aspirated vehicle again. To me, the difference is amazing. Especially when driving in the mountains.

8 years and 148K miles later, it cost me $700 to have oil seals replaced in the turbo. Just crossed 163K miles on it.

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Geneyus
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Re: NEW CAR anyone w/ experience buying police, SSV or taxi package?

Post by Geneyus » Sat Dec 15, 2018 6:25 pm

We usually have cars running two shifts per day (engine on and off for 16 hrs per day) with the A/C blasting, until around 130k miles. Then we get rid of them. I've seen feces, vomit, and other bodily fluids in the back seat. I've transported people with Tuberculosis and HIV and had car partners that smoked. I've seen police cars driven into water, run without enough oil until they overheated, and they're repaired by city workers at a city shop (usually not at your local dealer).

I wouldn't buy a used police car, unless I didn't have enough money for anything else.

Topic Author
Bongleur
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Re: NEW CAR anyone w/ experience buying police, SSV or taxi package?

Post by Bongleur » Sun Dec 16, 2018 12:57 am

If the tiny engine + turbo is better & cheaper, why do they put the big engines into the exact same body weight car as a PPV?
The power for all the electrics comes from a big alternator & second battery. I don't believe they need a big engine for that.
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