Nicola Sturgeon behind the wheelNicola Sturgeon behind the wheel


Scottish government spent £1.2m on car and vehicle costs in just 12 months

  • Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP government spent £1.2m on vehicle costs in just 12 months
  • Scottish government paid £100,000 to Tesla, £50,000 to Toyota and £500,000 to The Colt Car Company
  • Scottish Labour criticises spend but government spokesman defends move

Time 11:35 am, June 7, 2021

The Scottish government spent an ‘eye-watering’ £1.2m on car and vehicle costs in just one year, new data has revealed.

The Scotsman reports that Nicola Sturgeon’s minority SNP government ploughed huge resources into vehicles for officials.

Figures show that the government shelled out an incredible £1,211,084 of public money between February 2019 and May 2020.

The figure works out at more than £100,000 per month, with a large chunk of the cash spent during the early stages of the pandemic.

Much of the money was spent buying new electric vehicles to ferry around members of the government, including Sturgeon and her deputy John Swinney.

The SNP paid a total of £96,480 to Tesla and £50,000 to Toyota.

It also spent £500,000 buying new cars for their fleet from The Colt Car Company – which is owned by Mitsubishi.


In February 2019 alone the Scottish government spent £78,000 buying three new cars to carry ministers and other officials.

The Scottish government says the money has been spent in order to update its fleet ahead of the ban on new petrol and diesel cars.

A spokesman told the Scotsman: ‘We are committed to phasing out petrol and diesel cars from the public sector fleet by 2025 and replacing fossil-fuelled vehicles with plug-in or fully electric vehicles where appropriate.

‘This is demonstrated by our increased investment in ultra-low emitting electric vehicles, which now make up 51 per cent of the overall current fleet.’

‘Eye-watering wastage’

Scottish Labour has criticised the spend and is now calling for answers

Daniel Johnson, Scottish Labour’s finance spokesperson, added: ‘This is an eye-watering amount of money paid to car companies in such a short space of time – we need answers from the government over how and why every penny was spent.

‘To fritter nearly £100,000 on Tesla while thousands of Scots are struggling to make ends meet is a slap in the face to the people of Scotland.

‘Of course, the government needs to spend money on vehicle costs, but the amount of money paid in such a short time does not just raise eyebrows, it raises alarm.

‘We need answers from the government over this eye-watering wastage of public money, and we need them now.’

Pic: PA Images

Jack Williams's avatar

Jack joined the Car Dealer team in 2021 as a staff writer. He previously worked as a national newspaper journalist for BNPS Press Agency. He has provided news and motoring stories for a number of national publications including The Sun, The Times and The Daily Mirror.

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