Fuel Card Guides | How Does A Fuel Card Work?

How Does A Fuel Card Work?

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?

Ready to get your fuel card? Use our quote tool to find your best options. Or keep reading our guide for a detailed overview of how to use a fuel card, the main benefits, the different types of fuel card available, and guidance on how to choose fuel cards for fleet management.

Wed, 8 January 2020

Man driving car

How to use a fuel card

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:

  • Pull up at a petrol station covered by your fuel card’s network
  • Fill up your work vehicle with the required amount of fuel
  • Present your fuel card to the petrol station cashier
  • When prompted, put your unique PIN into the fuel card’s point of sale (POS) terminal
  • Provide details of mileage if required (some business record mileage)
  • The cashier will then process the payment using the fuel card
  • The user will be asked to authorise the transaction with a signature

How do fleet management fuel cards work?

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:

  • Saving on fuel purchases
  • Reduction in paperwork and admin
  • VAT approved invoices for all fuel transactions
  • Security features such as spending restrictions

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.

Types of fuel cards

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 Bunker
BP Plus Bunker Fuel Card
Hauliers that want excellent motorway coverage 1254 national petrol stations
FuelPlus Fuel Card
Businesses that want low-cost flexibility 3627 national petrol stations
Shell Multi-network
Shell Multi-Network Fuel Card
Businesses that need access to high-quality fuel 2997 national petrol stations
TruckOne Fuel Card
Hauliers that need access to a large network of HGV-friendly fuel stations 3356 national petrol stations
Texaco Fastfuel
Texaco Fastfuel Fuel Card
Businesses that want great fuel prices on both petrol and diesel 3499 national petrol stations
Esso Europe
Esso Europe Fuel Card
Businesses with employees that travel around Europe 12089 European Stations


Find the best fuel card with iCompario

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.

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