Purchasing & Disposing University Fleet Vehicles

The state Office of Vehicle Fleet Management (OVFM) is the regulatory agency that oversees fleet management for all state agencies and institutions of higher education. OVFM has mandated fleet maximums for every state agency. The university complies with this regulation by adhering to a “one in, one out” policy. That is, one vehicle must be disposed of for every vehicle purchased.

Vehicle Purchasing

The multi-step vehicle purchasing process starts with you filling out the Vehicle Purchase/Replacement Request (PDF), printing it, obtaining all the necessary signatures, a forwarding a copy to University Fleet Operations. Fleet Operations will sign the form and send fully executed copies to the Purchasing Office and back to the originating department. Once actual specifications are developed, Fleet Operations gives a final approval to the Purchasing Office. The Purchase Order should be made out with the Department Address as the "Bill To" address and the Fleet Operations address, as the "Ship To" address. Use the same form to purchase all carts, trailers or “other rolling stock.” As a rule of thumb, if it has wheels and a Certificate of Origin/Title, it requires this process.

To achieve compliance with state and federal statutes, all requests to purchase new vehicles must give priority to purchasing a vehicle powered by an approved alternative fuel. Failure to achieve and maintain compliance with certain statutes may result in fines of up to $50,000 per vehicle, per day.

The university Purchasing Office will not process a purchase request for a new vehicle unless the request includes provisions to purchase an approved alternative fuels vehicle.

For a current list of qualifying vehicles and cost information, see the State of Texas TX Smartbuy Term Contract index. State and federal statutes exempt the following vehicles from the alternative fuels program: those used for law enforcement, emergency, or safety purposes; or those used for vehicle research purposes, such as crash tests or related research.

* Because of the ready availability of qualifying vehicles and approved alternative fuels, the authority to issue a waiver from state and federal requirements is extremely limited. In prior years, many waivers were issued due to high conversion or operational costs, unavailability of fuel and equipment, or lack of space. In today’s market, the cost is reasonable, fuel and equipment is readily available, and with new tank designs space is no longer a problem. Contact the fleet manager with questions about special circumstances.

Finding a Vehicle Vendor

Texas Purchasing and Support Services (TPASS) manage term contracts for state entities such as the university. The university may purchase vehicles directly from vendors with TPASS term contracts. Purchasing through these vendors satisfies any requirement of state law relating to competitive bids or proposals. Purchases outside of the State Term Contracts should be discussed with the UT Purchasing Dept. in advance.

New Vehicle Delivery and Preparation

All newly purchased university vehicles are delivered to the main campus automotive shop with the following exceptions:

  • Marine Science Institute
  • McDonald Observatory
  • UT System Administration vehicles

Upon receipt, Fleet Operations sends the appropriate department a “Request for Automotive Support” form to be filled out. This form indicates the departmental name that is to be put on the vehicle, the department code, the account number to be used for billing, and the vehicle contact information. The vehicle contact is the person who will receive all e-mail and notifications regarding the safety and maintenance of the assigned vehicle.

Sign the form and send it back to Fleet Operations. Upon receipt, we will receive and inspect your vehicle, prepare it for state reporting, assign it a university fuel fob, license and register it, inventory tag it, and apply statutory vehicle signage. You should request a retail fuel card if the vehicle will be fueled at off-campus locations. Only one vehicle per card is permitted, as each retail fuel card is tied to a specific state license plate.

Vehicle Disposal or Transfer

Contact Inventory Services in the Office of Accounting to start the process of disposing of a vehicle. Physically move the unit to Surplus Property, and electronically transfer it using the CCART system. The Automotive Shop will help physically move the units if necessary. Send an e-mail thru CARMA to University Fleet Operations with the equipment number or door number, and the date it went to Surplus Property. At that time, Fleet Operations will inactivate the fuel card(s), and prepare the unit to be sold. 

Send notification of any interdepartmental transfers to University Fleet Operations along with the new contact person’s information and any account number changes. This can be done electronically thru the Customer Automotive Record Maintenance Access (CARMA) web portal.