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Fuel cards allow the employees of a business to fill up their company car or a vehicle they use for work without spending their own money — but how do fuel cards work?
This guide will provide a detailed overview of how fuel cards work, including how to use a fuel card, the main benefits, the different types of fuel card available, as well as guidance on how to choose fuel cards for fleet management.
Fuel cards are very easy to use. In simple terms, instead of using personal cash or a company credit card, the employee uses a fuel card to pay for their fuel at a petrol station. The company is then billed directly for the fuel.
It’s important to note that most fuel cards are only valid within a specific network. For example, the Shell Multi-Network Fuel Card is valid at Shell, Esso, Texaco, Gulf, and Gleaner petrol stations. However, if you want to fill up at a supermarket petrol station, you need a fuel card that is valid at Morrisons or Tesco, like the FuelPlus Fuel Card.
Whichever fuel card you choose, the provider will collect data for all the transactions made on the card and send the business a consolidated invoice for all purchases of fuel.
From the user’s perspective, this is a step-by-step overview of how to use a standard fuel card:
Although most businesses can benefit from the use of fuel cards, companies with a large fleet of vehicles will enjoy the biggest advantage.
Fleet management is an administrative approach to coordinating work vehicles to improve efficiency, reduce costs and improve compliance. Some of the features of fuel cards that help to improve fleet management include:
There is a wide selection of fuel cards available on the market. Some offer specific features that will make them more or less suitable for managing your specific fleet. Coverage, pricing, fuel type, and online features are just some of the factors you will need to consider when choosing the best fuel cards for your fleet.
Fuel card benefits differ depending on what card you choose. For instance, some of the most common features of fuel cards include HMRC approved invoices, an unlimited number of fuel cards on one account, and money off regular and high-quality fuels.
The table below provides an overview of some of the leading fuel cards available and what types of business they are best suited to:
|Fuel card||Best for||Coverage|
|BP Plus Bunker Fuel Card||Hauliers that want excellent motorway coverage||3,202 national petrol stations|
|FuelPlus Fuel Card||Businesses that want low-cost flexibility||2,955 national petrol stations|
|Shell Multi-Network Fuel Card||Businesses that need access to high-quality fuel||2,976 national petrol stations|
|TruckOne Fuel Card||Hauliers that need access to a large network of HGV-friendly fuel stations||2,955 national petrol stations|
|Texaco Fastfuel Fuel Card||Businesses that want great fuel prices on both petrol and diesel||3,228 national petrol stations|
|Esso Europe Fuel Card||Businesses with employees that travel around Europe||11,822 European Stations|
iCompario is a fuel card expert with over 30 years of experience in the industry. Browse our selection of the best fuel cards, then hit apply today or request a call back to speak to one of our experts about finding the right fuel card for your business.