Whether you’re a start-up or growing a business, a fuel card can provide benefits.
Fuel cards are created to save money as well as time, so businesses need to get one. How? Here are some of the critical things to consider when it comes to choosing the right fuel card:
Vehicle Type Cards
When comparing cards, the first thing to consider is the type of vehicles you consider your fleet.
Whether you’re a haulage business, have a national sales team, or operate a small mixed fleet, your vehicles can help steer your decision-making process.
In Haulage, you can experience very unique challenges; therefore, choosing a card that is HGV-friendly through the site can be advantageous to skip unnecessary management affairs.
Suppose your fleet is made up primarily of saloon cars. In that case, flexibility is vital, as drivers in more sales-focused roles need the reassurance that their card is accepted everywhere as their travelling schedule can be unpredicted.
Fuel Type Cards
Most fuel cards are designed for diesel or mixed-use, but it is becoming more common for companies to have an unleaded-only fleet, which can help you narrow down your options.
You may need to consider whether you prefer a pump-price or fixed-price card.
Whereas using a ‘pump-price’ fuel card, you will be charged the exact amount shown at a specific station.
While using a fixed-price card, you will be provided with a new fuel price every week, and despite the issued price rate at the petrol station, you are obligated to pay the fixed price.
Remember, the fixed prices are usually two to three pence per litre compared to the national average pump prices.
Should I get Branded or Non-Branded fuel card?
Choosing between a branded or non-branded fuel card depends on your fleet’s driving. A supermarket card may be better than a fuel brand card if journeys are mainly local due to fuel station access.
What about Location and Coverage?
Your working area heavily influences fuel card choice. Suppose your business requires drivers to travel around the country; you can benefit from a card with extensive motorway coverage.
If you are operating at a local scale, services such as Shell or Esso will most likely dominate the block. If operating in a rural area, perhaps a typical station is Texaco. Therefore, it’s suggested to go with a branded fuel card.
Although, you can still explore options. Before making a firm decision, you should think about your travel expenses. Are they local, regional or global? – So you can take the desired advantage from the choice.
If you operate in a town or city, it’s essential to think of the fuel stations in your area. There’s no advantage to choosing a branded card if there are only a few stations, as you may have to go out of your way to fill up, minimising your savings and flexibility.
Having a robust regional fuel network is a benefit if you are a local plumber, for example, where you don’t know where your next call-out might be. Check if certain branded service stations are prevalent in your area before committing to a card.
If your business takes you the length and breadth of the country, a fuel card accepted across a vast network can ensure minor route deviation. You should also consider a card that allows you and your employees to buy essential items, such as food and necessary buyouts.
Cards can also be restricted to fuel levels or can be tailored in cases so you can pay for the other business charges like food and shelter. This can help to reduce the time employees spend filling out expense forms.
Fuel cards can also offer some additional benefits, such as vehicle breakdown cover.
Check more than the fuel cost; in some cases, there will be failed payment fees, charges for paper invoices and card protection, while some cards can charge a standard annual fee.
A fuel card can consolidate all fuel use into one account, which can help make it easier to manage and potentially save you time on tax returns and VAT recovery.
How to review your card performance?
Reviewing how your card is performing can help ensure it continually meets the requirements of your business.
To compare your fuel card, visit CompareFuelCards.co.uk