Businesses often prioritise optimising expenses and improving operational efficiency. However, they often overlook a tool that could help achieve these goals – fuel cards. Fuel cards are often an underutilised financial asset that can save businesses money and streamline expense management.
In this guide, we’ll cover what fuel cards are, their benefits, which specific one might work best for your venture, and why many businesses are already using them.
What is a business fuel card?
A business fuel card is an ideal payment option specifically designed for purchasing fuel at refilling stations. It is a versatile option that can be used to refill electric vehicles as well as traditional petrol and diesel cars. They are also known as fleet or company fuel cards.
When businesses use a fuel card, they no longer have to worry about their employees’ personal finances being charged. Instead, the costs are charged directly to the company’s account. The fuel card company then provides an invoice that lists all transactions, making it easier for businesses to manage and monitor their expenses. This clear understanding of each transaction helps businesses make informed decisions, saving them valuable time and money.
The benefits of using fuel cards
One effective way for businesses to reduce expenses is through fuel cards, which help manage fuel expenditures. Fuel cards are a great tool for businesses looking to cut down on expenses. They offer competitive fuel prices, leading to significant savings over time. For instance, fuel card companies often provide access to wholesale prices that come at discounts compared to the market rates. Furthermore, effective monitoring and control of fuel consumption is also possible with fuel card management systems. This helps you identify wasteful tendencies or inconsistent fuel usage patterns that may indicate vehicle issues.
When using a fuel card for business, it provides a convenient and straightforward solution. A fuel card also eliminates the need for physical paper receipts, as all transactions are automatically recorded online. This creates a digital database that makes it effortless to track and audit business fuel expenses, saving businesses time and money.
Reduced admin time
If you’re tired of spending hours manually reconciling expense reports and capturing receipt data, subscribing to a reputable fuel card service can help. These platforms consolidate all your fuel expenditure data in one place, providing comprehensive reports with insightful dashboards. This makes tasks such as VAT reclaiming much easier and allows for real-time visibility into fleet expenses for better decision-making.
How to choose the right fuel card for your business
Selecting the right fuel card for your business doesn’t have to be strenuous. There are a few key steps that can streamline your fuel data decision-making process and ensure you choose a solution tailored to your needs.
Consider your needs and requirements
Before exploring the options offered by different fuel card providers, it’s essential to understand your business’s specific needs. From an intimate small business owner handling five vehicles to a large corporation overseeing hundreds of fleets, every enterprise has unique demands when it comes to managing its fuel consumption and expenses.
Jot down answers to these questions: What type of vehicles make up most of your fleet? Where is your company located, and where do all your vehicles and drivers typically refuel? Do you need national coverage only or international reach? How important are detailed reports on spending and usage?
The responses will provide great insight into identifying what kind of fuel card programs will fit like a glove. The objective here is not just getting any fuel cards but ones which harmonise perfectly with your day-to-day operations.
Compare different providers and prices
Once you know exactly what you’re looking for in terms of functionality from a fuel card, the next step revolves around dissecting various offers from different providers. Perform an exhaustive comparison studying factors such as affiliations with petrol and charging stations, types of vehicles they cater to (diesel, petrol or electric), fees involved (prices, upfront fees, monthly charges), customer support responsiveness, and reporting capabilities.
Also worth mentioning is determining if you prefer a branded (offering discounts at specific retailers) or universal collection of fuel cards. Branded variants might save money on costs per gallon but will inherently limit locations where the driver can use them.
Armed with this knowledge base about different offerings in relation to price structures and bonuses provided by various fuel card companies, you’ll be well-positioned to make an informed choice. Remember, it all boils down to which fuel card for business strikes a balance between providing ample benefits without putting a dent in your budget.