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Future mail trucks will be rental vehicles

(CNN) - Budget problems at the U.S. Postal Service are so severe, the agency is looking to rent mail delivery vans instead of buying new ones.

The familiar U.S. mail trucks you see may soon be rentals.

The agency is looking to solicit federal contract bids to lease minivans and cargo vans to deliver the mail.

The estimated cost of replacing 185,000 older mail cars and trucks could approach $6 billion, so leasing has emerged as a short-term fix.

The financially-strapped agency is facing massive debt. Last year the postal service defaulted on payments owed to the federal government twice.

It failed to make annual $5 billion mandated payments earmarked for retiree health benefits.

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Washington Times