The first fuel cards came into use in the 1980s and the networks in which they operated were very small, based almost entirely around the main haulage routes. The target market was transport companies and their drivers. As soon as the card companies and the users began to appreciate the many benefits, the use of fuel cards spread to include company fleets of all kinds, sales reps and even senior executives whose company cars were largely perks of their position.
Technology has evolved considerably in 40 years, and we’ve seen a large number of operators enter the market, such as Fuel Card Services, who have supplemented card services with fleet management, telematics and maintenance as well as expanding the range of items chargeable to fuel cards. Most of these companies offer cards from the major fuel brands as well as some like Allstar fuel cards which are not allied to a particular producer. Most cards can now be used at about 90% of service stations in the UK. Here are just five of the many benefits.
Fuel card options abound. Every fuel company provides them, as do supermarkets, general card operators, the AA, RAC and many other organisations. Finding the best one for your business may take time, but the ideal solution is out there.
Because fuel cards work with a PIN system, they are a highly secure means of purchasing, removing both cash and personal payment cards from the process.
Virtually every fuel card provider operates a reward scheme of some kind. This may be through points to be spent at supermarkets or other major retailers, special discounted pump prices exclusive to cardholders, or by some other system of offers and incentives. Simply by spending what you need, you add instant value.
Having all your company’s fuel expenditure processed on one platform makes it easy to keep records, monitor spending, adjust budgets and protect company finances. Monthly reports give you all the audit intelligence you need. They also enable you to spot extravagance or abuse early and take the necessary remedial action.
It makes life much easier for your drivers. They don’t need to carry cash, nor fund business purchases from their own bank accounts, then make claims for reimbursement every time they fill up. It removes them personally from the transaction and puts the employer back in control.