When you’re deciding on which fuel card is right for your business it’s important to understand and keep in mind the main differences between them. It’ll help you compare cards with confidence and choose the one that delivers the most relevant benefits for your business activity.
The first thing to consider when comparing several fuel cards for your fleet is the type of reference vehicles. Whether you are a trucking company, a team of national vendors or who manage a small fleet of mixed vehicles, your decision must necessarily take into account the vehicles used. Choosing a card that focuses on HGV-friendly sites help to avoid unnecessary logistical issues in Haulage company. In the case of a fleet made up of sedan cars, flexibility is the most important aspect, since salesmen are primarily concerned that their card is accepted almost everywhere. If your fleet consists exclusively of diesel vehicles, the Allstar network offers versatility and the right balance between fuel economy and a very large network.
The area you work in can affect your fuel card choice. If, for example, your business involves drivers travelling the length and breadth of the country, then a card with extensive motorway coverage would be better. The covered work area, local/national/pan european, may affect the choice of fuel card; if your drivers travel across the country, select a card with more extensive highway coverage. Instead, if your business is distributed only locally, Shell or Esso offer a well-covered area. If you work mostly in rural places, Texaco has more fuel stations.
Usually designed for diesel or mixed, fuel cards are available also for companies to have an unleaded-only fleet. A key aspect regards the payment options, so you may consider whether you would prefer a pump-price or a weekly fixed-rate. If using a pump-price fuel card, you are simply charged the price displayed on the pump. Price may change from day to day depending on the market, and can also vary depending on where your drivers refuel (of course, fuel in rural areas tend to be more expensive). Suitable for all fleet and business types, the plus of a pump price related fuel card is the extensive network coverage. The more service stations accept pump price related fuel cards, the more flexibility for drivers. With a fixed-price card, you will be issued a new wholesale fuel price each week and regardless of what the price is at the petrol station you pay the fixed-price for the week. Fixed-prices are typically 2-3 pence per litre below the national average pump prices; they are emailed on a Friday for the week ahead. This way, knowing how much you will pay for your fuel makes controlling your fuel spend easier.
BP, Shell, Esso, Texaco, Morrisons, Tesco: each fuel card operates on a specific network of service stations. Usually, branded networks only allow access to their service stations. Some cardholders choose the brand loyalty, as they think they are benefiting from a better quality fuel, even if pump-price may be more expensive. Of course, choosing a card restricted to a branded fuel stations network may be costly and inefficient, if drivers were forced to lengthen the route to refuel.