Prime Minister John Key's new Government will soon have new ministerial limousines to replace the existing fleet of 34 BMWs.

Ministerial Services has had BMW 730ld limousines since about 2007 in a deal first struck under former Prime Minister Helen Clark but renewed under Mr Key under controversial circumstances in 2011.

The Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) this week said it would soon issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) for vehicle procurement across all of government.

"A part of this process is the replacement by The Department of Internal Affairs of its current fleet of BMW cars purchased in 2011", it said.


Mr Key acknowledged three years ago that it was "sloppy" that he and his staff failed to pick up on references to a plan to replace the fleet of 34 BMW limousines with new models in briefings received by his office during the previous two years.

However, he stood by the purchase saying it was better value for the taxpayer to exercise an option to replace the vehicles with newer models than go back out to tender.

When the first batch of BMWs was purchased in 2007 the Herald reported the vehicles were priced at about $170,000, but the Government paid less than $90,000 each.