Does your vehicle fleet pay cash or use credit cards when purchasing fuel?
Then you’re probably tearing your hair out, calculating the month-end expenses. We can already guess the large number of unverified transactions driving up business costs, but there’s no way for you to prove drivers are misusing their allowances.
So, what if you didn’t use cash but made all transactions through automated online payments in the form of fuel cards? Compared to credit cards, where you get receipts detailing the purchase amount, fuel cards track all the information, such as the amount spent, oil purchased, previous transactions, distance covered, etc.
The card company provides all the data in one place, which makes calculations easier. Too good to be true? Read the rest of our guide, and you will see how fuel cards play an essential role in fleet management service.
Fuel cards are debit cards that let drivers make payments at gas stations when refilling their vehicles. But more importantly, fuel cards store various details that appear in the receipt, including the location of the purchase, fuel amount, usage, etc.
It would be best to opt for a trustworthy oil company with good reviews and experience in providing payment processing cards for efficient vehicle fleet management. Based on the car type, ask the card company to assign a driver or unit number, which drivers must enter, along with the recorded mileage to buy gas.
You can choose from three types of fuel cards for your trucking company –
All three types have their advantages and disadvantages, but since we are discussing fleet cards, let us tell you about their benefits.
If you find the business account running dry at the end of the month, use a fuel fleet card to manage finances better. Rather than relying on word of mouth of the truckers and reimbursing expenses based on credit card receipts, use a fleet card to limit transactions automatically.
Thanks to the detailed purchasing profiles and real-time tracking, you won’t need to worry about truck drivers abusing their privileges. In fact, fleet cards will open up new avenues to cut back costs where you had been overspending earlier.
Since gas prices fluctuate daily, it’s impossible to plan and create a fixed budget for vehicle-related expenditures. But thanks to fleet cards, you can limit the number of transactions in a day or month while also choosing how many gas stations will be accessible.
When you know the route drivers will follow, ask the card company to restrict purchases to specific petroleum stations.
Once you determine the number of fuel cards based on the fleet size, talk to the card company about their fuel programs. Along with petrol and diesel, businesses also manage electric vehicles, and you must order fuel cards specific to these vehicles.
But since the number of charging outlets is less than gas stations, drivers may have to travel further to recharge their vehicles. So, discuss with the card company about including additional services to reduce the overall expenditure.
Compared to traditional credit cards, fuel cards can only be used at gas stations for refilling or vehicle maintenance. This makes them safer and highly convenient compared to regular credit cards, applicable for all transactions.
You can keep a close tab on drivers and monitor the fuel consumption of each vehicle to prevent overspending.
Using a fuel card is easy, especially considering all transactions are automated and support online payment. Every time a driver purchases fuel, you will receive a mobile alert, while it becomes easier to access the spending accounts to tally the month-end expenditure.
Moreover, when drivers run out of card balances, you can transfer the money in a second, which reduces the need for cash payments, fraud, or miscalculations.
Fuel cards have done away with the traditional receipt and provide e-bills for every transaction. When a driver uses a fuel card at the gas station, you can access all the information regarding location, fuel amount, odometer reading, and spending history.
Best of all, you get instant alerts about over-tank spending and can help drivers find the nearest gas station. And all these transactions are safe from fraud because every driver receives a unique ID.
If there are unusual odometer readings or drivers exceed card spending limits, you will know about them at once. Moreover, only authorized personnel can use these cards as drivers need to provide their ID and vehicle data at the gas station.
Also, the receipts sent by the card company will have information about the price per gallon, so based on the transaction history, you can calculate the fuel expenditure per mile.
With fleet fuel cards, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing that the accounting team won’t mess up the calculations. The card company provides all the information in one place, so there’s no need to tally the numbers.
This reduces the chances of losing hard-copy receipts, which makes precise calculations easier. You can even view trends and generate reports for individual cars if something appears fishy.
The importance of fuel cards isn’t just limited to safe and smooth transactions because many companies offer discounts.
Some fuel cards allow servicing and maintenance apart from fulfilling your fuel needs. Drivers can even buy or repair damaged car parts during an emergency, so there’s no delay in business operations.
Depending on the type of fuel and fleet size, you can also get rebates on transactions and additional purchases. It would be best to talk to the card company and ask about their available programs before deciding.
You may have to pay a nominal annual or monthly charge for the services, but some companies forgo the charge as part of their customer satisfaction policy.