Set mileage minimums on company cars? Be alert to employees who pad the odometer

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in Human Resources

File this one under "unintended consequences": In an effort to save money, the Fairfax County, Va., government established 4,500 miles as the annual usage minimum for keeping a county vehicle. Employees who fall below the limit lose their cars.

The policy caused many county employees to drive hundreds of unnecessary miles (or swap cars with employees who drive more) simply to run up the odometers to meet the 4,500-mile threshold.

Because the county maintains more than 3,000 vehicles, the added cost of gasoline, wear-and-tear and wasted employee hours added up to huge waste. The county now says employees will be disciplined if caught running up their mileage. 

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