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In order to operate effectively, businesses must cut their costs wherever possible. By reducing their outgoings, companies will benefit from larger profits and increased financial returns. As many companies buy stock and in-house equipment in large quantities, they are able to access discounts which simply aren’t available to individual members of the public.
For companies which hire employees to drive vehicles, fuel can be one of the biggest costs. Some businesses may have hundreds of vehicles, for example, and they must be kept fuelled in order for business operations to be carried out.
In order to reduce the cost of refuelling these vehicles, companies implement fuel card systems and issue cards to employees. As these fuel cards enable businesses to reduce the cost of running their vehicles, they are able to make significant savings.
How Do Fuel Cards Reduce Costs?
When an employee uses a fuel card to obtain petrol or diesel, the cost is added to the company account. Rather than paying for each transaction individually, the cost of the refuelling is calculated over a period of days or weeks. The company is then required to pay the balance of their account within a set amount of time, perhaps weekly or fortnightly.
However, the large amounts of volumes of fuel, purchased by the company as a whole, enable them to obtain considerable discounts. Whilst individuals may have no option but to pay the price set by petrol companies, businesses are able to negotiate a lesser rate.
In addition to this, fuel cards save businesses money by streamlining processes and reducing administration. If each employee were to pay for their fuel and then submit a receipt and claim the cost back, this would require a significant amount of administration, particularly for larger businesses with hundreds of drivers.
By paying for fuel on an account, rather than every time a transaction is made, companies avoid the need for additional administration and employees are not required to cover the upfront cost of fuel either. With specialised fuel cards for small businesses, companies of any size can reap the rewards of implementing a fuel card system.
Are Fuel Cards Secure?
Fuel or gas cards use some of the most advanced technology to provide a secure payment system. Whilst older cards relied on magnetic strips and signatures, newer fuel cards employ Smartchip technology, and this is the ideal solution when searching for fuel cards for small business use.
Similarly to Chip and PIN systems, Smartchips make the cards much more difficult to clone or hack, meaning that businesses benefit from advanced security. Another advantage of using modern fuel cards is that Smartchips are not vulnerable to electromagnetic radiation.
Unlike some other types of cards, fuel cards and gas cards employing Smartchips won’t be damaged by mobile phones, magnets or speakers. Embossed, rather than printed, cards do not need to be re-issued as often and companies are not required to fund the additional production of replacement cards.
In addition to this, a fuel card, petrol card or gas card will not enable an employee to add whatever they choose to the company account. Limits can be added to the cards so that employees are only able to purchase fuel with them.
As employees are able to obtain fuel via cashless transactions, a fuel card system also ensures that drivers aren’t required to carry large amounts of cash with them when working. Unfortunately, doing so could put them at risk of being mugged or robbed and this could have disastrous consequences, both for them personally and for the company.
By providing up-to-date online recording and administration, fuel card companies enable businesses to take an active role in managing their account. Fleet managers can have cards stopped at any time and they can also set alerts so that they are immediately aware of any unusual activity on a particular card.
The technology used to facilitate fuel card schemes provides effective barriers to digital threats and potential misuse. Due to this, companies can introduce fuel cards UK, safe in the knowledge that the system is secure and robust.
Are There Any Other Benefits Of Using Fuel Cards?
Yes! Fuel cards UK provide a range of benefits for businesses, in addition to the cost savings they can make.
When a company uses the most appropriate and best fuel cards, fleet managers can access real-time refuelling information. This ensures that they can keep track of how much petrol or diesel is being used and plan future business operations with the data provided by the petrol card. Of course, this information can also be used to negotiate further discounts as well.
Whilst companies can place limits on what type of transactions their fuel cards can be used for, fleet managers may want to include vehicle maintenance products so that employees are able to perform necessary upkeep tasks whilst on the road.
In addition to purchasing fuel, for example, managers may allow employees to buy windscreen wash, oil or wipers, with their company fuel cards. By doing so, drivers are able to maintain their vehicles properly and this will, inevitably, cut down on vehicle maintenance costs. This is the ideal solution for those looking for fuel cards for small business use.
Furthermore, fuel card companies ensure that fleet companies are able to monitor the amount spent on fuel and amend future limits if needed. Fuel card systems even allow management to set designated times or days when the best fuel cards can be used.
If jobs only require employees to refuel every other day, for example, fleet managers may validate a petrol card between the hours of 8am-6pm on specific days. Similarly, supervisors can add a maximum spend to each card so that employees are only able to make transactions up to a certain amount on their company fuel cards.
How Are Fuel Cards Different From Credit Cards?
Whilst many companies do have business accounts and credit cards, the best fuel cards are distinct from this system. In general, the payment terms for fuel cards are shorter than standard credit cards so companies are required to pay the balance of their account more regularly. However, companies are able to negotiate their payment terms with fuel card companies and providers, should they need to do so.
In addition to this, most petrol stations have a separate payment system for business fuel cards, as opposed to debit and credit cards. As the fuel is not actually paid for at the point of sale, the transaction is recorded slightly differently and an alternative payment system facilitates this.
Whilst a business credit card could be used by an employee to purchase anything, companies can limit what the best fuel cards can be used for. Whilst a company may take an employee to ask if they use a business credit card to make personal purchases, they will only be aware of this once the relevant statement is made available.
Furthermore, in-house accounting staff are required to examine credit card statements to ensure all purchases are business related. By implementing a fuel card system and setting appropriate limits, companies can avoid the risk of employees making unwanted purchases and ensure that accountancy staff are not required to examine numerous credit card statements on a regular basis.
What Type Of Companies Should Use Fuel Cards?
Almost any type of company can benefit from the use of fuel cards UK but they are specifically aimed at businesses which have numerous vehicles on the road at any one time. Trucking or haulage companies, for example, may have hundreds of vehicles in the UK and abroad and these will need to be refuelled regularly. Company fuel cards ensure that this can be carried out and monitored easily and without the need for single transactions to be made.
Similarly, removal companies, taxi firms and transport companies often use fuel cards to streamline their business processes and lower costs. Indeed, the increasing number of delivery firms operating in the UK means that business fuel cards are becoming more popular than ever.
With more and more people shopping online, there has been a significant increase in the demand for home deliveries. With many delivery companies employing unprecedented numbers of drivers, a fuel card system can be extremely beneficial.
As companies are eager to reduce costs wherever possible, petrol card services should be considered by any business with a significant number of drivers or vehicles. By implementing a fuel card system, companies can ensure that business costs are lowered, payments are made securely and that employees are able to carry out their work as effectively and efficiently as possible.
Use our services to discover business fuel cards suited to your individual requirements.