Used Police cars – What do we think?


Sent: Tuesday, July 06, 2010 10:33 PM
Subject: Old Police cars


I have another question for the show that might be of interest…
I’m thinking about buying a used CVPI.  I know they can be beat up and all that.  That’s not my question.  

My question is, what do the police think of "normal people" driving old cop cars?

I have a bit of a twist.  I am a ham radio operator and therefore have an antenna or 2 on my cars.  I really don’t want people to think I’m a cop or anything like that. And I really don’t want the Police to think I’m some sort of Whacker or Wantabe. I will admit, that getting a used cop car would be handy as all the antenna holes are already drilled.  Save me from having to do it.
Maybe I could get a taxi light to put on top?  Maybe that would help :) 

– Mike – Michigan

While people think that used police cars are usually beaten to death, they are actually very well maintained. Probably better maintained than most personally owned cars. Cities and counties cant afford the liability of having vehicles driving around that are dangerous or faulty. If an accident occurred where it was found that the city or county knew the vehicle was dangerous or not maintained to be safe, the county or city might be sued by an injured party or even by the employee themselves. If I was to crash in my police car and later find out that the city knew there was a safety concern but ignored it to save money, I’d have a huge lawsuit.

For this reason, cities and county have a regular maintenance schedule for all their cars. The vehicles are all bought brand new. They are covered by the manufacture warranties until it expires and any major repairs are done by the dealerships under warranty. Minor repairs are done by trained mechanics at the city or county corporation mechanic yards and after the warranty expires, most repairs are done there. The cars have regularly scheduled routine inspections, oil changes and maintenance. Like I said, the cities and counties want their cars to be safe and more importantly, to last. Any employee that finds a problem with a city or county owned vehicle simply fills out a quick memo to the corp yard and if it’s serious, the car is taken out of service and repaired quickly. The cities don’t need or want a $300 repair to turn into a 5 million dollar lawsuit.

So to sum it up, if you buy a used police car, you are probably getting a vehicle that was better maintained than most people maintain their cars. Most people don’t take their car in until something goes out. Police cars are inspected and maintained to make sure things don’t go out. Are some cars beat more than others? Sure, people drive differently. A new rookie feels the need to go to each call 100 mph and loves to find pursuits. An older veteran officer still loves a good pursuit but the cars are probably more mildly driven the rest of the time. Some might have interior blemishes, coffee stains, dings and small dents, but they are usually maintained well. There are some that might have been in accidents or got more trashed than others, just look it over real good before buying. Better yet, take a mechanic friend with you to the auction to look a few over before bidding. 

And used police cars are fun to drive. More power, special suspension packages. Since they come with spotlights on both sides, you’ll look like a cop no matter what. Get on the freeway and watch all the cars in front of you slow down or pull over a lane as you come up behind them. Not sure what cop opinions are on seeing retired police vehicles back on the street, we’ll save that discussion for the show. Security companies usually snatch up retired police cars just for that purpose, they still look like a police car even without the light bar on top.   

And yes, you can put a taxi sign on top or better yet, put a Dominos Pizza Delivery sign on the top, then there’s no confusion if it’s the police or not… 

We will hit this on this weeks show also….


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