Co-op Fuel Cards
A Guide to Co-op Fuel Cards
For businesses both small and large operating within the UK, a fuel card is an ideal solution to the many problems and headaches that come with operating a commercial fleet of vehicles. As we will see throughout this guide, fuel cards not only help reduce fuel costs and eliminate some of the day-to-day administrative burden, but a whole host of other valuable benefits and features, too.
Fuel cards such as a Co-op Fuel Card ensure that your fleet operates at maximum efficiency and the lowest possible price point in terms of fuel expenditure. With the right commercial or supermarket fuel card for your business, whether that is a Co-op Fuel Card or otherwise, you can easily streamline your company's fleet management.
Thanks to the many benefits of fuel cards, they are a commodity that has grown rapidly in use by businesses throughout the last few decades. Today, most businesses running a fleet use fuel cards to keep them moving.
A Co-op Fuel Card is one of many options available to business managers. In this guide, we are going to focus primarily on the Co-op Fuel Cards and everything that it has to offer. This will enable you to make an informed decision and get the best results for your own fleet.
Co-op Fuel Cards from iCompario
About The Co-operative Group
The Co-operative Group, trading as the Co-op, is a UK consumer co-operative that has a diverse family of retail businesses. These include food retail and wholesale, insurance, banking, legal services, funeral care, and an e-pharmacy.
Operating over 3,600 locations throughout the UK, Co-op is the largest consumer co-operative in the UK and is owned by its members that total over 4.6 million at the time of writing. Membership of the Co-operative Group is open to everyone who agrees to pay £1 sterling in the capital of the society and share the values and principles upon which it was originally founded. Day-to-day, Co-op’s millions of members are democratically involved in the setting of business strategy, corporate social responsibility, and profit share.
In October 2019, Co-op added its 133 fuelling stations to the UK Fuels network.
Co-op Fuel Cards Explained
If your business has a fleet of vehicles that are used for business purposes, fuel cards are worth looking into. Although you are spoiled for choice in terms of your options—there are lots of fuel cards and each one comes with its own benefits and features—we are going to focus on Co-op Fuel Cards in this guide.
We recommend having a good read around the topic of fuel cards to learn about the many cards on offer from providers other than Co-op and compare them. By doing this, you will end up choosing the best one for your business.
To make comparing fuel cards a breeze, we recommend using our online comparison tool.
iCompario is a service designed and operated by fuel cards experts with over 30 years’ of industry experience. You can use their clever tool to compare Co-op Fuel Cards against those available from other providers.
What is a Fuel Card?
A fuel card, also known as a ‘fleet card’, is a type of payment device for businesses that lets its fleet drivers draw and ‘buy’ fuel for the vehicles they use in the course of their employment.
Put simply, a fuel card is a pseudo payment card that looks and works in the same way as a credit or debit card. The primary difference, however, is that a fuel card can only be used for fuel-related purchases at specific service stations. Whether your fleet drivers are using a Co-op Fuel Card or one from a different provider, it will work in an almost identical manner.
Using a Co-op Fuel Card, your fleet drivers can fill up their vehicles’ tanks as normal and then use it to ‘pay’ for the fuel that has been drawn. Every so often, you will be sent an invoice with the subtotal of all fuel drawn and any other allowed fuel-related purchases during a specified period of time, plus VAT
How Do Fuel Cards Work?
They work in the same way as any other day-to-day payment card or store card.
All fuel cards have a magnetic strip and chip for payment verification purposes, just like a credit card, in addition to the name of the fleet driver or fleet vehicle to which the card is assigned. This card can then only be used either by that person or on its designated vehicle.
Some cards restrict purchases solely to fuel and fuel only whereas others will allow fuel-related purchases, for example a trip through the car wash.
Where Can I Use My Co-op Fuel Card?
The Co-operative Group is partnered up with several fuel card providers so that they can provide their own Co-op Fuel Card. Where a Co-op Fuel Card can be used, therefore, depends on which Co-op Fuel Card your drivers are using.
Although the fuel stations you can access with a Co-op Fuel Card depend on which one is being used, the general benefits remain the same. These are:
- HMRC-compliant invoices that cut your administrative burden;
- 24-hour real-time monitoring through an online dashboard;
- See who is using what, how much, and when;
- A top-down view of your fleet and its efficiency; and
- Money saved on fuel as per any card pricing schemes or offers.
The UK Fuels ‘Co-op Fuel Card’
In October 2019, the Co-op partnered up with UK Fuels to enable forecourt access to UK Fuels card users at all 133 of Co-op’s sites. The deal between Co-op and UK Fuels means that the UK Fuels network now stands strong with 2,950 sites with cards accepted at 75% of the UK’s independently owned filling stations.
Some of the benefits of the Co-op Fuel Card in partnership with UK Fuels (The Fuelplus Card) include:
- Access to over 2,900 strategically located UK sites;
- Fixed pricing on wholesale fuel;
- Easy accounting thanks to clear HMRC-approved invoices;
- An online e-route planner with smartphone and SatNav integration; and
- Access to the Velocity fleet management system.
With sites located strategically, UK Fuels’ 2,950 sites make this the ideal fuel card for businesses with a large number of commercial vehicles that operate within a more local, urbanised area as opposed to nationally via motorways. This is because UK Fuels is a supermarket-heavy fuel card, and these are generally found outside of the motorway network.
A minimum spend of £300 per account per month applies to UK Fuels’ Co-op Fuel Card.
The Texaco Fastfuel ‘Co-op Fuel Card’
Texaco is another major fuel card provider. The company procures its fuel in bulk at wholesale prices meaning that the company sells its fuel to supermarkets at heavily discounted prices. These savings are then passed on to you through some of the lowest fuel prices available.
A Texaco Fastfuel ‘Co-op Fuel Card‘ will provide drivers with access to all Co-op service stations and the full Texaco network. At the time of writing, this network is comprised of over 2,300 service stations.
Some of the other card features include:
- Card purchases restricted to fuel, oil, and car wash;
- No card charges; and
- 24-hour customer support.
The Diesel Direct ‘Co-op Fuel Card’
The Diesel Direct fuel card provides discount diesel nationwide. With forecourt access amounting to over 2,800 sites throughout the UK, including other supermarkets such as Morrisons, there’s a huge potential for savings with fleets that are diesel heavy. In addition to supermarkets, Diesel Direct boasts great motorway coverage with discounted diesel available at Moto motorway service stations.
Other benefits of the Diesel Direct ‘Co-op Fuel Card’ include:
- Free fuel management reporting 24/7;
- Toll payment, secure parking, and truck washing;
- Interest-free credit subject to status;
- HMRC-friendly invoicing; and
- No unauthorised purchases allowed.
The Benefits of Using a Co-op Fuel Card
There are many more general benefits that come with fuel cards. Some of these include:
1. Your business saving money on fuel
Especially because Co-op Fuel Cards partners up with supermarket fuel card providers. This gives you access to not only Co-op forecourts but Morrisons and some others, too. At these forecourts, you can often find the lowest fuel prices going due to the way supermarkets source their fuel—in bulk at a low cost.
Some providers also offer other pricing incentives such as fixed weekly pricing. These help to negate the impact of fuel price fluctuations because you pay the same amount per litre regardless.
2. Your business saving time on administrative tasks
Operating a fleet creates a whole lot of paperwork but using a fuel card helps you eliminate a lot of this.
When your drivers use their fuel cards, the amount of fuel they draw and anything else paid for on their cards will be collected and, periodically, you will be sent a single HMRC-compliant invoice with a single figure plus VAT for everything spent. This greatly reduces the admin workload and makes fleet management that little bit easier and quicker.
With a Co-op Fuel Card, fleet managers are able to access fuel card information 24/7 and see data such as total spend, fuel efficiency, and driver activity.
3. Your business can avoid fraudulent activity
When your drivers use their own cash, payment card, or the company’s credit card, there is a huge potential for fraud—some employees will unfortunately make personal purchases and put it through your business as an unlawful expense.
When using a fuel card, however, this is not possible. Fuel cards are strictly locked to fuel and fuel-related purchases. This means that you don’t need to worry about the potential for expense fiddling which could make your business liable for prosecution and fines.
Picking the Right Business Fuel Card
Although all fuel cards are virtually the same in substance regardless of provider, some of the finer details and benefits differ between them. This is why it is vitally important to compare the different options available to you and choose the one that will work best.
Compare the Co-op Fuel Card Alongside Others Today
Why not compare the Co-op Fuel Card offerings alongside a huge range of other ones and see which one will provide you with the best value? The full range of Co-op Fuel Cards in partnership with UK Fuels, 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 Co-op Fuel Cards alongside a range of cards from other providers.
Do you think that a Co-op Fuel Card might be right for your business, but you are not sure which specific one is best, if any? Compare the full range of Co-op Fuel Cards today to find out more! iCompario’s fuel card experts are also on-hand to help should you need it.