Esso Fuel Cards
A Guide to Esso Fuel Cards
Each day, fuel cards are used by thousands of small businesses across the UK. Esso Fuel Cards are just one of many card providers that are an easy and convenient way to keep business fleets running, monitor driver activity, save money on fuel costs, avoid fuel fraud, and track fuel spend over time, amongst other things.
When using the right fuel card, you can streamline your company's administrative workload and eliminate the hassle of managing a fleet of vehicles, no matter how big or small.
An Esso Fuel Card, amongst others, is far more than simply a different method of payment. It is one of the many options available to UK businesses—let's look at them in more detail.
Esso fuel cards through iCompario
Esso, the trading name for ExxonMobil and related companies, is an oil and gas company that provides fuels and motor oil to consumers and fuel cards, wholesale fuels, industrial lubricants, and other products to businesses.
Esso was formed in 1911 when Standard Oil of New Jersey was broken up into 34 different companies.
About Esso Fuel Cards
For small businesses operating a fleet of vehicles, fuel cards are well worth looking into. Whilst you have plenty of options, we are going to focus on Esso Fuel Cards for the purpose of this guide. An Esso Fuel Card is a very popular choice amongst both small and large businesses alike due to its many features and benefits.
But First, what is a Fuel Card?
Before we take a look at Esso Fuel Cards in greater detail, it is important for you to know what a fuel card is and how one works.
A fuel card (or a ‘fleet card’) is a payment product that for businesses that allow its drivers to purchase fuel for any vehicles that they use during their employment or for other business purposes. Examples may include vans that are used by tradesmen or company cars that are taken home by employees and part-used for business and part-used for personal use.
Simply put, an Esso Fuel Card is a payment card that looks almost identical to a credit card. The main difference between a fuel and credit card is that a fuel card can only be used for fuel-related purchases at certain designated stations; it is ‘locked’ to these places and cannot be used anywhere else for any other purpose.
Whether you are using an Esso Fuel Card or another one, say a BP Fuel Card or a Shell Fuel Card, it will mostly work in the same way but there may be some minor differences and nuances to each different brand’s card.
With a fuel card, your drivers will fill up one of your fleet vehicles as normal and then use their fuel card to ‘pay’ for the fuel they have drawn. You will then be sent an invoice, typically at the end of the week, with the cost of fuel drawn plus VAT. This makes everything easier for both sides—your drivers don’t have to worry about receipts or expenses and your business saves valuable time on bookkeeping.
How Do Esso Fuel Cards Work?
Just like any other payment card—credit, debit, store, the infrastructure is very similar.
Fuel cards are typically printed with your company’s name on them and the registration of the fleet vehicle the card is assigned to. The card also features a magnetic strip that is used for data capture alongside a signature strip. A PIN number is used for authentication purposes.
As we mentioned earlier, you are often sent weekly invoices and many fuel card providers have some sort of online portal or app that you can use to monitor fuel usage and driver activity in real-time.
Where Can My Drivers Use an Esso Fuel Card?
Esso Fuel Cards are widely recognised as providing access to one of the largest fuel station networks across the UK. Accepted at Shell and BP fuel stations as well as Esso’s own fuel stations, Esso Fuel Cards are one of the country’s “fastest-growing networks” according to Esso.
With the standard Esso Fuel Card, your drivers can access 3,472 national fuelling stations at the time of writing. This includes 1,147 HGV stations, 2,285 24-hour stations, and 137 motorway fuelling stations. An Esso Fuel Card also comes in an International variant that provides drivers access to 12,841 accepted fuel stations across the European continent.
For fleet operators, an Esso Fuel Card comes with several additional benefits. These include:
- Account managers for every customer and a dedicated support team available via phone, email, and live chat.
- Simply weekly or monthly billing with HMRC-compliant invoices that are sent via email. All invoices can be viewed via an online account.
- A range of tools that can be used to monitor driver and fuel performance, helping fleet managers get more for their money.
- Discounts on Esso Synergy fuel to help smaller businesses keep costs down and grow their bottom lines.
- A scheme whereby drivers who hold Nectar Cards can collect points on fuel transactions at participating Esso stations.
Benefits of Using an Esso Fuel Card
Aside from the above Esso-specific benefits, there are several other benefits associated with usage of an Esso Fuel Card—or any fuel card, for that matter—that help to keep your fleet running as it should.
1. Your business will save time on administrative and accounting tasks
One of the biggest benefits of using an Esso Fuel Card is that your business and its staff can save a whole load of time on both administrative and accounting tasks.
With a fuel card, gone are the days of having to manually manage and monitor fleets, input guesstimated data into a spreadsheet, and trawl through a big pile of crumpled and torn receipts to come up with a figure you can put on the books.
When you use an Esso Fuel Card, you will be sent an invoice either weekly or monthly (with an Esso Fuel Card, you have a choice between he two) that includes a single subtotal and VAT figure. This can be put directly onto your books for expense and tax purposes without you having to worry about whether it’s right or having to double-check and cross-reference it.
This greatly reduces the administrative burden of manually tracking, calculating, and collating figures. Fuel cards also mean that your drivers don’t need to keep receipts or track fuel themselves, avoiding lost receipts and fuel usage figures that don’t quite add up. All of this is handled by the fuel card provider.
With an Esso Fuel Card, you can access your fuel card account around the clock to view and download usage information, check transactions and invoices, and order or cancel cards.
2. Your business will save money on fuel
Fuel cards are invariably cheaper when it comes to fuel costs, Esso allow your business to make sizeable savings on fuel costs over time. Whilst the savings may often seem small, they soon add up and can accumulate in large figures for larger fleets.
Fuel card pricing varies from provider-to-provider. Some fuel cards offer fixed weekly prices whereas others offer discounted prices per litre or wholesale pricing. This is why it is well worth you taking your time to shop around and find the best deal for your fleet.
3. Your business will benefit from simple fleet and fuel usage tracking
Most fuel cards, including the Esso Fuel Card, come with an online facility where you can monitor your fleet and see the amount of fuel it is using, where your drivers are going, and how many miles you are getting per gallon.
This information provides valuable insights into your company’s fuel efficiency and allows for better and more efficient route planning.
The Esso Fuel Card’s online facility provides you with 24/7 access to information such as fuel spend, fuel usage, and driver mileage that is updated in real-time.
Choosing the Right Fuel Card for Your Business
No one fuel card is the same—pricing, fees, benefits, advantages, disadvantages, and fuel station access all vary between providers; there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach. The right fuel card for your business comes down to your business and its fleet alone.
Therefore, it is very important that you compare the many different fuel card options to make sure you get the best deal.
Esso Fuel Card Summary
Overall, the Esso Fuel Card offers great coverage in the UK with its standard Esso Card, however, companies with a fleet that travels internationally may benefit more from the use of the Esso Card International that includes all participating UK fuel stations plus over 10,000 others located on the continent.
Esso provides a respectable list of benefits and features that make the Esso Fuel Card ideal for both small and large businesses that need a simple fuel management solution for their fleets.
Compare the Esso Fuel Card Today
Finding the right fuel card is not an exact science; strong research will help you find and compare providers so that you end up with the best deal for your business.
Why not compare the Esso Fuel Cards alongside a huge range of other ones? This way, you will see for yourself which one will provide your business with the best value for money, amongst other things.
iCompario is operated by fuel card experts with over 30 years’ industry experience. By using our clever tool, you can quickly compare the Esso fuel cards alongside a range of cards from other providers. iCompario’s fuel card experts are also on-hand to help should you need it.