The best fuel cards for small businesses

The best fuel cards will help your business save time and money. Find out what type of fuel card is right for your business here

Fuel cards can help to monitor vehicle fuel consumption. Flexible and efficient, the best fuel cards offer a range of benefits to all sorts of businesses, whether you use one vehicle or several.

As you may expect, a fuel card is a dedicated payment method used by businesses to help streamline outgoing payments.

These cards are primarily used for petrol and other fuel, but can also be used by your drivers to purchase other work-related essentials. Precisely what can be purchased with a fuel card will depend on your plan or choice of provider.

As with any other business tool or resource, the best fuel card for your company will depend on various factors.

The size of your business is likely to be the most important consideration, though your industry and the vehicles you operate will also need to be given some thought.

On this page, we have collated and compared some of the top fuel cards available in the UK, providing details to help you make your decision. We looked at a number of key metrics, such as which provider is the best for ease of use and which provider offers the most coverage.

In this article, we profile these best fuel cards:

Read the full article for a complete overview, or click the section you want to find out more about.


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If you want to start comparing fuel card suppliers straight away, complete the form at the top of this page. This process is free, quick and easy, and it could save your business both time and money.

Provider Best for Star rating
Allstar Best for public sector organisations ★★★★★
Arval Best for a range of wider services ★★★★★
BP Best for coverage ★★★★
Shell Best for ease of use ★★★★


Best fuel card providers

In this section, we profile our top four choices for best fuel cards for small businesses.

Allstar fuel cards

Allstar offers a range of card options that will help businesses to better manage fuel consumption in small and large fleets. Its fuel cards also offer fuel discounts that can lead to significant financial savings.

Allstar offers four fuel card options:

  • Allstar One fuel card – ideal if your business uses diesel and petrol vehicles
  • Allstar Supermarket fuel card – for use at supermarket petrol pumps only
  • Allstar Monitor card – suitable for public sector organisations only
  • Allstar Plus VISA card – enables the management of fuel and all business expenses on one card

Allstar is best for public sector organisations, as it offers the Allstar Monitor card specifically for organisations in the public sector. However, Allstar doesn’t have an option for international fuel cards.

Positives Negatives
  1. Experience – founded (as Blue Star Garages) in 1974
  2. Scalable – options for both small and large fleets
  3. Range – four types of fuel card available
  4. Sector-specific – the Monitor card is for public sector organisations only
  1. Not international – no specialist international fuel card available

Arval fuel cards

Arval fuel cards

Launched in 1989 and owned by BNP Paribas, Arval provides fuel payment options, as well as offering vehicle rental, insurance, and several other benefits.

Arval fuel cards are an excellent option, especially for smaller businesses that are also looking for a variety of features.

From vehicle tracking to fuel cards, you can expect expert service that ensures your fleets run as well as possible, from top to bottom.

Arval is best for its range of wider services – it’s part of a company that offers a whole host of vehicle products and fleet management services, including vehicle leasing as well as short- and mid-term rental.

However, you have to be an Arval customer to use the Arval fuel card.

Positives Negatives
  1. Scale – launched in 1989 and owned by BNP Paribas
  2. ‘One-stop-shop’ – in addition to fuel cards, vehicle rental, insurance and tracking services are available
  1. Have to be an Arval customer – fuel cards are only available to Arval customers
  2. Not specialist – doesn’t specialise in fuel cards only

BP fuel cards

BP fuel cards

BP garages are popular across the UK, meaning that your drivers are likely to find a place to fill up their vehicles with ease.

BP offers four main fuel cards, each designed to match different businesses and requirements:

  • BP Plus – suitable for varying amounts and types of vehicles
  • BP Plus Bunker – ideal for larger vehicles (trucks, HGVs, buses)
  • BP Supercharge – suitable for use in areas with fewer BP petrol stations
  • BP+ Aral – ideal for drivers who travel internationally

BP is best for coverage because of its popularity across the UK, as well as its options for international fleets.

However, it doesn’t offer a specialist option specifically for small businesses.

Positives Negatives
  1. Well-known brand – founded in 1909, BP is popular in the UK and has many outlets across the country and overseas
  2. Variety of fuel cards – four types available, including those suitable for larger vehicles and international fleets
  1. Not start-up specific – no specialist option for small businesses

Shell fuel card

Shell is a well-known brand that offers UK businesses a range of fuel management options. Shell has one of the largest networks of petrol and diesel stations in the country.

Shell offers a choice between single or multi-network fuel cards:

  • Single network fuel cards – allow you to pay for fuel from Shell stations
  • Multi-network fuel cards – give you access to fuel from both the Shell network and its partners

There are also options to use Shell fuel cards in the UK and abroad.

Several security measures are available, including every fuel card having a unique PIN and the option to emboss the vehicle number or driver name on each card. Card blocking is also available 24/7.

Shell is best for ease of use, as it differentiates the types of fuel cards available to businesses based on whether they will visit Shell petrol stations only, or if they need access to both Shell and partner stations.

However, beyond this, there isn’t a clear breakdown of the available fuel cards and their different features.

Positives Negatives
  1. Established company – founded in 1890, with a large network of petrol and diesel stations in the UK and a global presence
  2. Ease of use – fuel cards available based on type of network coverage (Shell stations only or partner stations too)
  1. Unclear offering – no clear breakdown of the fuel cards and their features


What are the next steps?

In this article, we’ve highlighted some of the best fuel cards available in the UK. We’ve also offered points to consider when making your selection, including costs and benefits.

Here are some key takeaways:

  • Four of the top fuel card providers in the UK are Allstar, Arval, BP and Shell
  • Fuel cards can offer significant discounts
  • Other benefits they offer relate to fuel consumption and driver activity

The information on this page should help your business to compare a range of options. For more detailed information, you can read our pages on fuel card costs.

If you want more specific information based on your exact business requirements, then you should speak to experts today – Startups can help with this.

Compare quotes for fuel cards and hear from suppliers by completing the form at the top of this page.


FAQs

In this section, we’ll provide answers to some of the main questions you’re likely to consider when reviewing fuel cards.

1. What are the benefits of fuel cards?

The best fuel cards offer a range of benefits. The most important of these comes in the form of the savings you’ll make. Your business will spend less over time by making use of fuel card services due to the discounts they offer on fuel, plus the management costs you’ll save.

The list below includes some of the most important benefits that a fuel card will offer your business:

  • Cost savings – manage your budget based on actual fuel expenditure
  • Manage fuel consumption – check how much fuel your vehicles use
  • Monitor driver activity – understand how your fleet operates
  • Assistance in payroll – review invoices more easily

Of course, there are a whole host of other benefits offered by a fuel card, some of which will depend on your sector or business. You can find more information about fuel cards for small businesses here.

2. How much do fuel cards cost?

One of the main purposes of a fuel card system is to reduce costs for your business.

The level of discount that your business will receive from a fuel card will depend on various factors, so finding the most financially beneficial option is a process that requires you to do your research.

You can read our article on fuel card costs for more information.