The Department of Finance oversaw a competitive evaluation of seven shortlisted vehicles in which the GT sedan received the highest overall score and the Camry Hybrid was assessed as “highly suitable” for business-as-usual activities such as the shuttle service from Parliament House.
Other criteria included safety, value for money, environmental considerations and compatibility with a new Comcar online booking system which is under development.
The five other vehicles included in the trial were the BMW 5 Series, the Hyundai Genesis, the Mercedes E-Class, the BMW X5 (SUV) and the Mercedes GLE (SUV).
The Comcar fleet costs $2.2 million a year, handling about 60,000 bookings, with more than 360 drivers and 60 administration staff.
The new fleet is expected to be introduced over the course of next year. Once fully operational, it is expected to save around $100,000 a year compared to the projected cost of the current Caprice vehicles.
The new fleet comes 110 years after the purchase of the government’s first motor car in 1910, when then-prime minister Andrew Fisher commissioned a four cylinder Renault bought from the Kellow Motor Company for £850, when Parliament was located in Melbourne.