Wales

Swansea mayor's car sold after running up £8,000 costs

VW Phaeton Image copyright M93
Image caption A VW Phaeton of the type which had been leased for the Lord Mayor's use

The car used by the Lord Mayor of Swansea has been sold after racking up more than £8,000 of servicing and maintenance costs in two years.

The current mayor, Councillor Peter Black, is now being driven around in a hired Ford Mondeo.

Council bosses had opted to buy the previous car - a VW Phaeton - after leasing it between 2011 and 2017.

They said that was "the most cost-effective option" when the lease came to an end.

The authority had been paying £8,800 per year to lease the vehicle and bought it for £9,075, excluding VAT, in December 2017.

But servicing and maintenance costs, which were previously covered under the lease, have mushroomed in recent months.

Between 1 April and 31 August this year these costs reached £4,561, taking the total to £8,427 since the purchase.

The car was sold at auction for £4,700.

Image copyright Swansea Council
Image caption Peter Black and his wife Angela represent the city of Swansea at important events

The figures for costs of running the civic vehicle were released following a Freedom of Information request by the Local Democracy Reporting Service, but do not include the driver's salary.

In a statement, Swansea Council said the VW Phaeton was initially leased as "the most efficient and effective way of managing a vehicle which was going to be in constant use".

"At the end of the lease period we took the opportunity to purchase the vehicle as this was the most cost-effective option." it added.

"However, in the past year, the maintenance cost of the car has increased due to its age and mileage.

"Consequently, the vehicle has been sold and a hire car is being used in the interim while the council finds a replacement which will comply with the council's green fleet policy."

The longer-term replacement could be a hybrid or electric car.

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