Where an individual needs a significant reduction in their spending for it to make a difference, a business (spending on a completely different scale) can get worthwhile results from even a fractional saving. Smart companies review their costs on a frequent basis, eager to improve their margins — and an option they need to keep in mind is using fuel cards.
Perhaps this is the first time you’ve heard of fuel cards, or maybe you’ve heard the term before but never had confirmation of what they are. In this post, we’re going to succinctly explain what a fuel card is and consider whether it’s worth using. Let’s get started.
What are fuel cards?
Very simply, fuel cards are payment cards that can only be used to pay for fuel. Each card is backed by a relevant company (such as the AA fuel card) and has different characteristics: one card might only allow the purchase of a particular type of fuel, for instance, while another might only be usable at particular types of pump.
These cards are generally distributed by businesses that require their employees to travel extensively by motor vehicle. These businesses buy the cards from their backers and maintain accounts with those companies to govern their use. So why would they do this?
Well, the point of a fuel card is that it confers various advantages. It can provide a discount on all fuel purchased through it, for example, and/or allow the use of refueling facilities that are not accessible to typical motorists (for instance, Morrisons has partnered with a number of fuel card companies, as reported by FleetNews). It makes it much easier to track (and restrict) fuel spending. It can also tie into a larger loyalty scheme, steadily saving more money as fuel costs go up.
Are fuel cards worth using?
In a word, yes: fuel cards are worth using. This is easy to say because they’re extremely inexpensive by business standards, so if they save any money or time then they’re going to provide ROI — and in most cases they save a lot of time and money. They’re particularly great for businesses with fleets, but still useful for businesses with small numbers of company cars.
How to make the most of fuel cards
The main step towards making the most of fuel cards is choosing them carefully. There are so many fuel card varieties out there, each with a different set of benefits, so it’s vital to conduct extensive research to figure out which one is going to prove most effective for your business.
After that, it comes down to making good use of the fuel cards, and this means ensuring that they’re used consistently and correctly. There’s no sense in having access to fuel cards but not using them to cover all your fuel costs. All company drivers (and employees who sometimes need to drive for work) must be instructed to use their cards and take good care of them.
Wrapping up, fuel cards are payment cards that are designed to be used specifically for purchasing fuel. They confer various benefits — chiefly discounted fuel — and are most useful to businesses that require extensive motor travel. If you think your business would benefit from access to fuel cards, you should definitely look into getting some.