Fuel cards for small businesses

Fuel cards for small businesses are an excellent cost-saving device. Find out more today and compare quotes

If you own a small business that operates vehicles for commercial use, then you should consider using a small business fuel card.

Often referred to as fleet cards, fuel cards take the hassle out of paying for fuel and managing a fleet of vehicles that are all paying for their fuel separately – improving the fuelling process for your drivers, whilst reducing the time spent on administration.

In this guide, we’ll take a detailed look at fuel cards for small businesses, covering:

  • What are small business fuel cards?
  • The benefits of fuel cards for small businesses
  • The costs associated with small business fuel cards
  • How to choose a fuel card supplier
  • Leading suppliers of fuel cards for small businesses

What are small business fuel cards?

Irrespective of company size, fleet management can take up a considerable amount of the annual budget, particularly when it comes to fuel.

A fuel card (sometimes known as a fleet card), is used as a payment for petrol, diesel, and other fuel types at petrol stations. Fuel cards are simple to use – utilising chip and pin technology, they operate in the same way as a credit card.

Small business fuel cards allow you or your employees to pay for fuel in a fast, efficient, and secure way, whilst also enabling you to monitor and manage all of your petrol and diesel expenses in one account. The fuel is charged to a dedicated account, which is settled (usually a month in arrears) by the small business.

Due to the fact that in small companies, capital is naturally smaller than in larger ones, small business fuel cards can help to reduce expenses and help to make daily operations a lot more efficient.

Fuel cards offer a range of different business benefits, including:

  • Quick and easy invoices
  • Fuel cards make the payment and invoicing process quick, simple, and efficient

At an agreed interval (typically every seven days), you’ll be presented with a single invoice detailing the total fuel card usage and full amount payable – reducing the amount of time and resources spent on administration and freeing up more time to work on the rest of the business.

Fuel card services

In addition to the standard benefits and services provided by fuel cards, you can also often add additional features in line with your business’ requirements.

These include:

  • Regular reports and alarms for abnormal card use
  • Account management services
  • Tolls – allow your driers to pay for toll roads quickly and simply using their fuel card
  • Restricting certain types of purchases
  • Breakdown cover
  • Insurance
  • Accident management

Small business fuel card prices

Fuel cards are a great way to reduce costs and improve efficiency. Many fuel card suppliers offer deals and contracts that are tailored specifically to the needs of small businesses, so you can rest assured that the costs and prices you will be offered will be in-line with your expectations and your budget. What’s more, you won’t have to pay interest on your fuel card balance.

However, it’s important to note that many suppliers charge additional fees such as sign up fees, monthly charges, and a set fee per transaction. Make sure you look into these before deciding on a supplier.

Although there may be costs and fees associated with fuel cards, they can also offer significant savings on your fuel costs, through:

  • Optimised payment efficiency
  • Reduction in receipt errors and admin fees
  • Streamlined tax processes

Whatever the size of your fleet, cheaper fuel prices can have a direct impact on your profit margin.

Naturally, the savings associated with fuel cards will vary depending upon the card and supplier you use, however, here’s a rough guide to the level of savings you can expect when you use a fuel card within your small business.

Van fuel costs and savings

Many small businesses use vans for a variety of tasks. On average, a fleet of 5 vans small vans (approximately 60 litres per tank) can expect to save anywhere from 3p per litre (that’s £9 per tanks) through to 10p per litre (or £30 per tanks).

For large vans (120 litres per tank) savings can range from £18 per tanks (based on 5 vehicles), through to £60 per tanks.

Heavy duty Vehicle costs and savings

Some small businesses also use heavy-duty vehicles to carry out their day-to-day tasks.

For a fleet of 5 basic heavy trucks (600 litres), savings can range from £90 per fleet tank, through to £300 per fleet tank.

For large heavy trucks, savings range from £210 per fleet tank (again, based on 5 vehicles), through to £700 per fleet tank.

Small business fuel card suppliers

Whilst fuel cards can offer many benefits for small businesses, finding the best fuel card for your business isn’t always easy. There are many companies on the market offering a wide variety of fuel card options, designed to meet the specific needs of businesses.

When selecting a fuel card, it’s important to compare the different options available to you, to ensure that you are getting the best possible deal for your company.

When choosing the right fuel card for your business, you’ll need to consider a number of factors, including:

  • Your sector
  • The size of your business
  • Your potential to grow
  • The volume of your fleet
  • The type of vehicles in your fleet
  • Preferred payment terms
  • Preferred billing method

Here’s a brief overview of some of the leading small business fuel card supplies on the market; the table below includes a quick side-by-side comparison, with more information included in the sections below.

Fuel card Petrol and diesel? Best features
BP Yes Access to all UK BP garages
Allstar Yes Range of fuel plans available
UK Fuels Yes Largest selection of cards

BP Fuel Card

BP fuel card
BP is one of the most ubiquitous fuel providers in the UK and it’s estimated that 90% of the population of Britain live within 5 miles of a BP forecourt!

BP Fuel Cards have been designed to help businesses get the best deals on forecourts across the UK and in Europe. Offering two levels of card services, BP’s fuel card can be used at over 1,200 petrol stations in the UK, including a third of all motorway service stations. The BP Plus card has been designed with the needs of small businesses in mind.

Key features and benefits of this card include:

  • Access to all BP and Texaco service stations
  • Full UK coverage
  • No sign up fees
  • No annual charge
  • Comprehensive security back up system
  • Telephone and online support
  • Automatic invoicing
  • Expenditure control
  • Interest free credit
  • Minimum spend level of £300

Allstar Fuel Card

Allstar fuel card
Allstar is one of the largest fuel card suppliers in the UK, with an extensive fuel station network. With over 1700 stations in the UK and 7600 in total, Allstar offers access to over 90% of the nation’s fuel stations, including supermarket chains.

Allstar Fuel Cards can be used to buy petrol as well as diesel for your fleet. The supplier offers a number of different fuel cards, offering varying degrees of benefits.

Key features and benefits of Allstar Fuel Cards include:

  • 24/7 support service
  • One of the most secure networks on the market
  • Accepted at more than 8,000 fuel stations
  • Save up to 25% on fuel costs
  • A range of fuel cards to meet your requirements
  • Sign up fees and monthly fees available on request
  • Fleet support
  • HMRC approved invoices
  • Online account management
  • Expenditure controls

UK Fuels Fuel Card

UK Fuel Cards fuel card
UK Fuels is one of the largest suppliers of fuel cards in the industry, supplying over one million cards each year. Offering fuel cards from all of the major players, as well as their own branded set of cards, they have over 25 years of experience.

With a wide range of cards to choose from, each designed to meet the needs of specific business types, this supplier has all areas of fleet management covered.

Key features and benefits of UK Fuels Fuel Cards include:

  • The largest selection of fuel cards
  • No start-up fees
  • Cards available with no minimum spend
  • Accepted at the majority of major fuel retailers throughout the UK
  • Tailored fuel card solutions to meet your fleet size and requirements
  • Fixed weekly diesel prices and pump related pricing
  • Realistic cost savings
  • Over 65000 sites covered in the UK
  • No regional price difference to allow for accurate cost forecasting
  • Annual fees depend upon specific card
  • Online and telephone support
  • Reporting tools available
  • Expenditure control
  • Option for integrated telematics

Benefits of a small business fuel card

Peace of mind – Fuel cards also give your drives peace of mind as they won’t need to carry cash with them and also won’t have to worry about being short when they need to refuel during a long drive.

This means that your drivers won’t have to spend time calculating expenses claims as a result of paying for fuel out of their own pocket – reducing stress and allowing them to focus on the job at hand.

Fuel savings – Some corporate fuel cards offer discounts on fuel purchased using the card. Whilst these discounts might not seem significant if you’ve got a smaller fleet, they all add up.

More control – As a small business, keeping costs down is crucial. In order to achieve this, you need to have as much control over your costs as possible. Many fuel cards allow you to restrict what can be bought with them, giving you, the business owner, more control. Restrictions can be placed so that only fuel can be bought, or additional items such as food, servicing, and toll payments can also be permitted.

Compare small business fuel card quotes

The information on this page should help you to understand the benefit of having a small business fuel card; however, this information has been compiled based on general information. For more specific details, tailored directly to your needs, you should speak to suppliers today – Startups can help with this.

To receive information and quotes from top UK fuel card suppliers, you simply need to complete the form at the top of this page. This process is free, quick and easy, and it could save your small business both time and money.