What’s a petrol card?
A petrol card lets your business pay for fuel at service stations across the UK. It works in the way a credit card does, but you can only use it for fuel expenses (and a few other items, such as AdBlue).
The industry term for them is business fuel cards, but whatever you want to call them they do the same job! You can easily manage your fuel budget with the right provider, helping you to keep costs low while also balancing out your admin tasks.
How do petrol cards work?
It’s pretty easy! One of your drivers fills up at a station in your provider’s network. Then they use the card to pay the cashier.
That’s it. Every transaction is logged in your online account. You’ll be billed on a fixed date you agree with your provider.
What are the best petrol cards in the UK?
Want to make a quick decision? Well, here are some of the best possible options available on the UK market.
|Fuel card||The business benefits||Stations in network|
|The BP Plus gets you weekly fuel prices at over 3,200 BP fuel stations. You can use it at BP and Texaco fill up spots and benefit from fixed weekly fuel prices||3,200|
|With the Esso National you get wholesale fuel prices at Esso and other network stations. And you get access to 25% of fuel stations in the UK. That’s some 3,400 fill up spots||3,400+|
|The fuelGenie lets you fill up at 1,350 stations across Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, and Tesco. You can also get supermarket loyalty points with this one||1,350|
|With the EDC you can fill in 21 European countries. Plus, you get access to over 11,000 service stations across the EU, with simplified VAT and duty reclaim options||11,000+|
|The Shell Multi-Network lets you access Shell, Esso and Texaco stations. That’s from a network of 3,400+ fill up spots. Plus, there are weekly wholesale fuel discounts||3,400+|
There are more petrol card providers than this, of course, and you can find them by comparing the market.
It’s free to search the market. All you have to do is enter a few business details, compare the market and then pick from the recommendations. You can then apply online (or over the phone) to the provider.
Choosing your petrol card for business use
Here’s a closer look at what petrol cards offer. Each provider is slightly different. That’s why it’s important to compare the market before deciding on a deal.
BP Plus: Ideal for HGVs and lower budgets
- Perfect for HGV fleets
- Over 3,200 stations in its network
- 24/7 access to HGV stations
If you’ve got an HGV fleet, this is the best card! It keeps costs down, gives your 24/7 access to HGV stations and many of those are adapted for large vehicles.
But it’s also just a great card for businesses with a lower budget. It’s got cost-effective prices at the pump.
And with its huge network of stations, you’ll be able to keep costs down (and your vehicles topped up).
Esso National: One of the UK’s biggest networks
- Network of 3,400+ stations
- Easy VAT reclaims
- Fixed prices at the pump
The Esso National boasts a massive network, which is its main claim to fame. You’ll struggle to miss stations in this vast network and will always have great prices at the pump.
That makes it a great card for all types of fleets and business sizes.
Add into that the usual features of easily reclaiming VAT from your online account and you’ve got yourself a winner here.
fuelGenie fuel card
- Huge network of low-cost supermarket stations
- Use at Morrisons, Tesco and Sainsbury’s
- Keep fuel costs down
If you want to regularly fill up at supermarket stations, this is the one for you! You can do just that at Morrisons, Tesco and Sainsbury’s.
It really keeps your fuel expenses low, with great prices at the pump.
The network of 1,350+ stations means you’ll also struggle to run low on fuel. And you can get some supermarket loyalty cards thrown into the bargain!
European Diesel Card (EDC): Best for European travel
- Ideal for regular European travel
- Huge network of stations
- Makes paying for tolls much easier
The EDC is perfect for businesses on the move across Europe. It just makes travel much easier, simplifying motorway tolls and the Eurovignette.
You get 24/7 access to HGV refuelling stations, too, so your drivers won’t have to worry about filling up.
And all the usual benefits are there, too, including an online account so you can keep track of all fuel spending.
Shell Multi-Network fuel card
- Huge network of stations
- Fill up at Shell, Esso, Texaco, Gulf and Gleaner stations
- Competitive pricing
The Shell petrol card has a 3,500+ strong network of stations. You can fill up at some of the most common, high-quality stations across the UK. That includes Shell, Esso and Texaco.
There are some low prices here, too, so you can manage your fuel budget.
It’s a famous name, of course. And Shell delivers on its status with a comprehensive card that keeps you filled up wherever you go across the UK.
The many petrol card for business benefits
The reality is you want a petrol card for business to save you time and money. They help with fleet management, controlling your cash flow and keeping your costs low. Your company can be more efficient than ever with your budget!
We have a full guide to fuel cards, if you’d like to know more. But we’ve summarised the key benefits below for you:
- Get fuel discounts: You can get deals in the UK and Europe, depending on your provider. But with the right card, you can save money at the pump.
- Manage your fuel expenses: From your online account, you can easily set weekly and monthly spending limits. And you can track all transactions.
- Cuts down your admin time: Account management tools record fuel expenses, so you don’t have to faff about with loads of receipts. Everything is in your account, making working life a lot easier.
- Helps with your tax submissions: With your online account, you can create HMRC-approved invoices for your fuel spending. That way, you can reclaim money in a much easier way. It’ll save you a bunch of time, too.
- Make cross-country costs simple: Whether you’re travelling across the UK or Europe, a fuel card just makes paying at service stations or tolls a heck of a lot easier. Stop faffing with loose change in foreign currencies. Just one card and you’re done.
Whether you’re a sole trader, multinational fleet or have a local business, the cards are fantastic for all of your daily, weekly and monthly needs.
To get the full long-term benefits out of petrol cards you should look to use them all year round. That way, you get long-term money-saving and administrative advantages.
It’s time to get your petrol card in the UK
Now’s the time to find your ideal provider! And it’s easy to do with our free service. Just follow this three-step plan:
- Enter a few business details
- Search the market
- Pick a provider
From there, you’ll be forwarded on to apply for your card online or over the phone. Comparing is the best way to find your ideal deal. So, hit the button below to get started.
Read more about fuel cards on iCompario
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