BP Fuel Cards
A Guide to BP Fuel Cards
Fuel cards are used by thousands upon thousands of businesses up and down the UK. These businesses use fuel cards to monitor driver activity, slash fuel costs, eliminate fraud, and track fuel spend over time, amongst other things.
With the right fuel card, you can further streamline your company's administrative workload and take the hassle out of operating your fleet; they are far more than merely a different payment method.
A BP Fuel Card is one of many options that are available to UK businesses and we are going to run you through the ins and outs of it to aid your decision making.
BP fuel cards through iCompario
About BP (British Petroleum)
BP plc (British Petroleum) is a British oil and gas company with its headquarters in London. As one of seven global oil and gas “supermajors” alongside the likes of Royal Dutch Shell and Chevron Corp., it operates in almost 80 countries worldwide, has around 18,700 service stations, and produces millions of barrels per day of oil equivalent.
In addition to oil and gas, the company is also a major player in other industries and verticals such as heating and lighting, petrochemicals, and their own BP Fuel Cards that are managed in-house and targeted towards businesses that want to reduce their fleet costs.
BP Fuel Cards Explained
If you are running a fleet without using fuel cards, they are well worth looking into. Whilst there is no shortage of fuel card options, we are going to focus on BP Fuel Cards for the purpose of this article. BP fuel cards are a popular choice amongst small and large businesses alike.
What is a Fuel Card?
A fuel card—sometimes referred to as a ‘fleet card’—is a payment product for businesses that allow its drivers to purchase fuel for the vehicles they use in the course of their employment or for other business purposes, for example, a van that is used on the job or a company car that is taken home.
Essentially, a fuel card is a payment card that looks and works in the same way as a credit or debit card with the primary difference being that it can only be used for fuel-related purchases at designated stations. Whether you are using a BP fuel card or a different one, it will work the same.
Your drivers will fill up a fleet vehicle as normal and then use their fuel card to ‘pay’ for the fuel they have pumped. You will then be sent an invoice at the end of the week with the subtotal of fuel drawn by your drivers in that week alongside a VAT figure.
How Do Fuel Cards Work?
Just like any other payment card!
Fuel cards are often printed with your company’s name on and the registration of the fleet vehicle it is assigned to. There is also a signature strip on the reverse, a magnetic strip that is used for data capture, and a PIN number for authentication purposes.
As for fuelling activity, this can often be viewed online for simple, real-time monitoring of expenditure and driver activity.
Where Can I Use My BP Fuel Card?
BP’s European network consists of around 18,700 BP-owned sites and thousands of other partner sites all over the UK and Europe where you can use a BP fuel card. In the UK alone, car and van fleets are able to access over 3,600 refuelling sites whereas HGV and bus drivers can access over 600 specially designated truck stops.
Your BP fuel card can also be used at partner service stations throughout the UK—the partner stations you can use depends on the type of BP fuel card that you have.
BP Plus vs BP Supercharge
There are two distinct BP fuel card options available for businesses, with the regular BP Plus card being the best by far for smaller businesses due to the card’s inherent flexibility.
BP Plus—BP Plus is the basic BP fuel card and is available for both car and van fleets. Some of the benefits of BP Plus include:
- The highest motorway coverage across the UK;
- An extensive coverage of A-roads;
- Competitive BP fuel card pricing that helps reduce fleet costs;
- Subject to status interest-free credit for better cash flow;
- Consolidated HMRC invoicing and reporting to aid admin and record keeping;
- No need for drivers to carry cash or keep receipts and/or invoices;
- The choice of a range of tailored pricing options; and
- Advanced security features that help to eliminate card fraud.
BP Plus Bunker—BP Plus Bunker is a step-up from the regular Plus BP fuel card. It is designed for businesses small or large that run a fleet of trucks or buses. The benefits include:
- All those of BP Plus;
- Access to a network of over 600 dedicated bunker fuelling sites;
- Access to over 1,220 regular stations suitable for larger vehicles; and
- A dedicated account manager with truck and bus fleet expertise.
BP Supercharge—This is a BP fuel card that is targeted towards businesses that require their fleet to have maximum coverage. Providing access to almost 90% of the UK’s fuel stations, additional benefits include:
- No transaction fees;
- Over 8,000 sites available for use in the UK on the BP Supercharge network;
- Invoices sent directly back to the business via email; and
- HMRC-compliant weekly invoices for VAT claims.
There is a card fee, however, between £12.00 and £24.00. This is an annual fee based on fleet size.
BP Fuel Card Summary
All-in-all, BP offers good coverage with their fuel cards. BP Plus cards, their standard offering, can be used at BP and Texaco fuelling stations—over 2,000 different outlets, around 70 of which are located on the motorway network.
The Benefits of Using a BP Fuel Card
There are several benefits associated with using a BP fuel card—or any fuel card, for that matter—to keep your fleet running smoothly and efficiently.
But, what makes them a better and more helpful alternative than not using them and instead running things the old-fashioned way? To answer this common question, we are going to quickly run over the benefits of using a BP fuel card, or any fuel card for that matter.
1. Your business can save money on fuel
Depending on the card that you choose and how big your fleet is, you can make great savings over time on fuel costs. Whilst the savings are often seemingly small, they soon add up, especially with bigger fleets.
Some fuel cards, for example, offer fixed weekly prices. This helps negate the impact of fuel price fluctuations—especially those that are sudden and short-lasting—because you pay the same amount per litre regardless. Other pricing benefits may be available too, such as wholesale discounts for larger fleets.
BP fuel cards—according to BP—give you total control over your fuel costs and allow you to choose from a range of pricing options that best suit your business. These include capped pricing and a fuel price guarantee.
2. Your business can save time on administrative tasks
The financial benefits of using a fuel card don’t stop at the amount paid for fuel; you can save a significant amount of money due to the time saved having to sort through the administrative side of things.
When using fuel cards, you will be sent a weekly invoice with the total cost of fuel drawn that week across all cards with a single subtotal and VAT figure. This massively reduces the administrative burden of tracking, calculating and collating figures, and it also makes expensing fuel a breeze. Fuel cards also mean that your drivers and other staff members don’t need to keep receipts or track how much fuel they’ve drawn—this is all done by the fuel card provider.
With a BP fuel card, business managers can access their fuel card account around the clock to view and download usage and transactions, check invoices, and order or cancel cards.
3. Easy tracking of mileage and fuel use
Fuel card providers typically have a way for you to monitor your fleet, the routes drivers are taking, the amount of fuel being used, and your fleet’s mileage per gallon. This data gives you a valuable insight into your company’s fuel efficiency. Typically, this information is provided via fleet management software.
Having access to and being able to analyse this type of data is priceless—using it, you could easily plan fuel-efficient routes and ensure your drivers are staying on-task, for example.
With a BP fuel card, customers get full, free, 24/7 access to BP’s own online dashboard that can be used to monitor all of this and more. This is available for use with all types of BP fuel card.
Picking the Right Business Fuel Card
Whilst all fuel cards have many benefits, these can vary between providers. Finding the right fuel card, particularly if you are a smaller business, can be difficult. This is why you must compare your fuel card options to ensure you are getting the best deal.
Compare BP Fuel Cards Alongside Others Today
Finding the right fuel card isn’t an exact science; it is important to do your research and compare providers to find the best one for your business.
Different fuel cards have different benefits, specifications, options, and features, so using a comparison tool is the best way to ensure you know which ones are best for your business.
Why not compare the BP fuel cards alongside a huge range of other ones and see which one will provide you with the best value? The full range of BP fuel cards, and fuel cards from several other providers, is available for comparison through the iCompario website.
iCompario is operated by fuel cards experts with over 30 years’ industry experience. By using their clever tool, you can quickly compare the BP fuel cards alongside a range of cards from other providers.
Do you think that a BP fuel card might be right for you, but you are not sure which specific BP fuel card is best, if any? Compare the full range of BP fuel cards today to find out more! iCompario’s fuel card experts are also on-hand to help should you need it.