The Chevrolet Tahoe Police two-wheel drive vehicle was found to have the lowest lifecycle cost in the law enforcement market by Vincentric, a company specializing in the area of automobile lifecycle analysis.

Vincentric recently released its 2010 law enforcement vehicle market analysis that measured 20 mileage/lifecycle timeframes, and the Tahoe Police 2WD provided the lowest lifecycle cost in the majority of scenarios.

The lifecycle analysis evaluated seven factors: depreciation expense, and fuel, finance, opportunity, maintenance, repair and insurance costs. Fees and taxes were not included in the law enforcement fleet analysis.

When the seven factors were analyzed for four 2010 police models from three manufacturers, the Chevrolet Tahoe ranked first because of its strong residual value, according to Vincentric. Residual values are based on auction prices obtained at the time of resale of a vehicle, according to a Vincentric spokesperson.

For its fuel costs analysis of police vehicles, Vincentric used EPA estimates and assumed that the vehicles' mileage was 55 percent city and 45 percent highway driving. Fuel prices were based on U.S. averages and used a weighted average of prices from recent months.

The Vincentric report showed that the Chevrolet Tahoe did not have the lowest lifecycle cost in every scenario measured. In the scenario covering police vehicles with annual mileage of 20,000 miles, the Tahoe shows the lowest lifecycle cost in years 2 and 3, but then in the later years, Tahoe costs rise relative to the other vehicles, with the Ford Crown Victoria and Chevrolet Impala having lower lifecycle costs as the timeframe increases.

The report also noted that the Tahoe had the highest acquisition cost of any law enforcement vehicle in the study.

Lifecycle cost analysis allows government agencies to more effectively compare the cost to own and operate law enforcement vehicles. The data from the analysis enables an informed decision about which vehicles provide the combination of features important to their operations versus the overall lifecycle costs.

"Our intent with any of our fleet lifecycle cost analyses is to provide guidance to all types of fleet buyers, including small businesses, large commercial fleets and police and other government organizations," said David Wurster, president of Vincentric. "By looking at as many different mileage/lifecycle timeframe scenarios as possible, we're able to account for a wide variety of driving and ownership patterns and provide an independent, solid foundation for accurately evaluating the lifecycle costs of fleet vehicles."

Vincentric, LLC, is a privately held automotive data compilation and analysis firm headquartered in Bingham Farms, Mich. For more information on the analysis: