Ditch the credit card when it comes to fuelling your fleet
Originally published on August 21, 2018
When it comes to buying fuel, too many business owners rely on credit cards without realising it could be damaging their company.
This is hardly surprising. Most people understand credit cards and are comfortable with the pros and cons. A fuel card, on the other hand, is something new, something different. Why risk it when you can stick with the devil you know?
Well, when it comes to buying fuel, a credit card might well be the devil. A fuel card, by comparison, could bring some positively angelic benefits to your business. Read on to find what they are!
Check out our range of fuel cards here.
Fuel Cards Offer Cost Benefits Compared to Credit Cards
One of the key ingredients of running a successful business is keeping the costs in check. And if you run a fleet, fuel costs are likely to be high among your outgoings.
This is where fuel cards can really win over credit cards. For one, fuel cards offer interest-free credit, unlike most credit cards. And that is just for starters.
Fuel cards often guarantee a lower price than the one quoted at the pumps. Even if this is just one pence per litre less, over time that mounts up to be a significant saving for even a small fleet.
Some cards offer rewards or incentive schemes too, which might mean further money off other, associated products. So, if you choose your card carefully, the savings really do add up.
One complaint levelled against fuel cards is that the promised savings don’t always materialise, or that charges increase rapidly once the card is in use. But this is a supplier problem not a fuel card problem. At Fuelmate, we believe in long term relationships over short term gains and make sure we don’t hit clients with unexpected costs that undermine the benefits of adopting fuel cards.
Utilise Fuel Card Data for Your Business
Once you integrate fuel cards into your fleet management strategy, you’ll find more ways of saving money than a credit card can provide. Data collected via the fuel card will enable the business owner or fleet manager to analyse driver filling patterns and calculate the most efficient way of keeping the fleet moving. Although this is an advanced process, larger fleets can make significant efficiencies this way, but such data would not be retrievable with a credit card.
Analyse and Manage Drivers with Fuel Cards
Fuel cards produce data on driver behaviour too, such as which filling stations they’re using, when and how often. This enables fleet managers to pick out trends and anything that’s out of the ordinary, such as drivers using company vehicles for personal mileage, or drivers who regularly speed and use more fuel than the average.
Linked to this, because fuel cards enable better driver behaviour analysis, picking up fraudulent transactions is easier too, so they are actually more secure than credit cards.
Also, drivers can be restricted to what they buy with fuel cards, which can range from just fuel to fuel and essential repair items for their vehicle. With credit cards, there’s no end to what they can purchase.
Fuel Cards Save Valuable Administration Hours
As well as efficiency in fuel use, fuel cards bring a tank-load of efficiencies to back end company administration too. All fuel is charged on a single, itemised, VAT separated bill, meaning paperwork is reduced and there is no need to collect receipts. Billing is HMRC approved too.
None of this is true of credit cards, which require receipts, paperwork and extra time for staff, time they could be using carrying out more business-critical work.
So, with financial and operational efficiencies, easy billing, better driver management, and better security, a fuel card has many advantages over a credit card for keeping your fleet moving. To discuss which options are best for your business, get in touch today.