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The Hidden Benefits of a Fuel Card

There are many aspects to consider when choosing the right fuel card for your business. The size of your business, your requirements and your driver routes are some of the key factors to consider when narrowing down fuel card options. The cost of the fuel card must also be taken into account, your business needs to benefit sufficiently from a fuel card if you’re required to pay monthly for the service. There are also free fuel cards but these may not offer the discounts or network coverage that some businesses need to effectively service their customers. In this article we look at some of the lesser known fuel card benefits and how they impact your choice of service provider.

Control driver spend

A lesser known advantage of a fuel card is the ability to control individual driver spend and set limits. This feature protects a business from employees who may see the fuel card as a way to get free petrol or diesel for their own vehicles. This feature also protects the business if the fuel card is stolen, thieves will only be able to spend up to the limit on the card and they are restricted to only buying fuel or other related items if allowed. This can minimise the risk for a business if this were to happen and the fuel card was not immediately cancelled before thieves had the opportunity to use it. Some fuel cards also have the option to set up alerts so fuel card managers can be notified if there is any unusual activity on the account. 

Collect loyalty points

Some fuel cards allow drivers to collect loyalty points when they fill up at petrol stations. This is a common benefit of supermarket fuel cards. Drivers can gain this extra benefit and use their points to save money on shopping or purchasing other goods in the future. Drivers simply need to hand over their loyalty card when paying for fuel using the fuel card and the points will be added to their account. This equates to free loyalty points for drivers, a great incentive to encourage them to remember to use their fuel card.

Partnership discounts

Fuel card providers often have partnerships with insurance providers or roadside assistance providers. To encourage you to sign up for their fuel card they may offer a discount on other services such as breakdown cover or business insurance deals. These are likely to be services you already pay for or would be beneficial to your business. Look out for, or enquire about any partnership offers when you compare fuel cards as part of the switching or signing up process.

Reporting

Reporting on fuel spend and vehicle usage can be difficult for smaller businesses that do not have any telematics technology. You might find a fuel card can help your business if you fall into this category. Some fuel card providers offer full reporting and telematics services that can be combined into one package in order to save the business money and integrate them into a single report. Other fuel card providers have limited reporting that is based on fuel spend and the location that the driver fills up at. This reporting may help smaller businesses to identify drivers that need additional training or vehicles that need replacing. A higher than needed fuel spend is a possible area where a business could save money. This level of reporting is an additional benefit that may save a business money by removing the need for them to invest in more advanced tracking or reporting. 

Choosing the right fuel card

Choosing the right fuel card for your business can be tricky. Many providers boast about their benefits and with many similar fuel card providers on the market it can be hard to be sure you have made the right decision. Fuel card comparison websites can help a business in the research phase decide what type of fuel card they need to buy, and how much they are willing to pay for the service. However always check the individual fuel card provider websites as many comparison companies add a premium to the sign up cost of the fuel card. 

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