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What is a fuel card?
A fuel card is used as a payment card for petrol, diesel, and other fuels at service stations – you can also purchase car wash, parking, tolls, oil and lubes etc.
Instead of using cash or a company credit card, a fuel card is a much safer, more convenient option for you and your staff to make payments.
They give you more control of your company expenses, make monitoring fuel expenditure easier and can save you money on your fuel spend.
There are different types of cards available, depending on your fleet size, area of operation and your average fuel spend.
What is the difference between Pump Price and Weekly / Commercial price?
Depending on your business, how many vehicles you have on the road, your average fuel spend and which fuel networks you prefer there are a variety of cards and payment options to suit your needs.
Pump Price: This is as simple as it sounds, you simply fill up your tank and pay with your fuel card the amount displayed on the pump as you normally would.
Weekly/Commercial Price: This is a fuel card with a fixed nationwide price, which is set weekly, and is based on the ‘bulk’ market prices. This fixed ‘bulk’ price is often lower than the diesel & petrol pump price and so can offer significant savings on your fuel costs. If you opt for a weekly/commercial price fuel card you will be informed at the end of the week, of your next week’s fuel price.
What can I purchase on a fuel card?
As well as petrol and diesel, you can also purchase oils and lubricants with a fuel card. Depending on the purchase category of your card you may also add different sets of products, such as HGV truck wash, selected tolls and HGV parking.
How can fuel cards help my business?
Fuel cards can help in the efficient running and management of your business in a number of ways:
- All fuel transactions are recorded, allowing better monitoring and for any inefficiencies to be identified and addressed quickly and easily, helping you to reduce your fuel spend.
- Administration becomes less time consuming, and reclaiming VAT becomes easier without having hundreds of receipts to file through.
- They also provide extra security for businesses and employees alike. Since fuel card transactions are monitored it reduces the risk of fuel fraud, and for drivers completing long distance journeys or driving heavy duty vehicles, they no longer need to carry large sums of cash which may make them a target of crime.
Fuel cards save you time and money, give you more security and greater control over your business as a whole.
What is the EU sixth VAT Directive?
Currently UK companies can claim VAT on items such as fuel, which can be invoiced to employees in the form of a till receipt and not in the registered company name. With the EU sixth VAT Directive, this will no longer be possible.
The directive requires all EU member countries to impose a levy on VAT in the same way. This uniformity will mean that every liter of fuel will now cost UK companies an additional 20% (or whatever the then rate of VAT may be).
With this in mind, it is a good idea for businesses using vehicles, either commercially or ‘grey fleets’ to pay close attention to their fuel costs and also ensure that the have a VAT compliant solution in place.
What is fuel card online account management?
Online account management is a platform which allows you to access your fuel card account, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from a desktop or from a smartphone app.
This online service allows you to monitor transactions by card, vehicle or driver, and order additional cards or cancel lost cards quickly and easily.
You can also create bespoke detailed management reports on card usage and MPG, which can help you better control your fuel expenditure, plus access historical invoices at the touch of a button.
What are the differences between using a Fuel card and a Credit Card?
A fuel card not only gives you more control over expenditure but it also cuts down on time spent on the administration. For example, instead of employees paying with their own credit cards and claiming back in expenses, the fuel card allows them to make the payment hassle free, with no added paperwork.
If an employee has access to the company credit card this can be used to purchase many additional business related items beyond fuel, which can mean hours spent reviewing credit card bills to select fuel transactions.
Fuel cards, on the other hand, are restricted to purchasing only fuel products, oils or lubricants and cannot be used to purchase sundries from the service station, thus cutting down on administration, as well as unnecessary spending. Not only this, but fuel cards also provide interest free credit saving you money long term.
You can utilise the online account management software provided to ensure that your drivers are using your fuel cards properly. Issues such as fuel fraud can be identified quickly, you can also receive reports on MPG and fill-up patterns for individual drivers, which can help highlight wasteful driving or excessive fill-ups, all insights which conventional credit cards cannot provide.