Confirmed: Fuel cards aren’t just for cars and vans

Fuel cards are being used by thousands of companies to pump around two million litres of petrol and diesel into company cars throughout the UK every single day.

However, data from Fuel Card Services has uncovered some unexpected users of fuel cards, proving that they’re not just for your run-of-the-mill fleet car, van or HGV; they are actually being used to fuel virtually anything with wheels and an engine.

In addition to the thousands of saloons and hatchbacks filled up using fuel cards, Fuel Card Services has noticed that they’re also called into action to fill the tanks of 543 concrete mixers, 36 cranes, 34 gritters, 59 line painters, 127 livestock carriers, seven fire engines, 12 mopeds, a snow plough, a tar sprayer, a bulldozer and two tricycles.

More than 56,000 panel vans are topped up using fuel cards, making them the most common vehicle type, followed by 30,000-plus estate cars.

This amount of diversity and variety probably shouldn’t be so surprising, considering the fact that around 55,000 customer organisations of all sizes and types from every area of industry, commerce and the public sector take advantage of fuel cards to keep their company vehicle on the road.

As one of the largest independent agents of fuel cards in the UK, Fuel Card Services works to help keep your running costs down.

Whether your fleet uses diesel, petrol or both, Fuel Card Services covers every major brand including specialist networks: Allstar, BP, Diesel Direct, Esso, Shell, Texaco and UK Fuels.

We never impose transaction charges on our fixed price fuel cards and you are welcome to a free, no-obligation weekly price check to see how much you could save – click here to check our prices.

Vehicle types that use fuel cards

  • Bulldozer – 1
  • Concrete mixer – 543
  • Crane – 36
  • Fire engines – 7
  • Gritting vehicles – 34
  • Line painters – 59
  • Livestock carriers – 127
  • Mopeds – 12
  • Snow plough – 1
  • Tar sprayer – 1
  • Tricycles – 2

Data correct as of November 12, 2018


The fuelish costs of traffic jams

Unsurprisingly, the top annoyance for the UK motorist is a traffic jam. This finding was part of IAM RoadSmart’s Safety Culture Survey, which was published on Thursday last week.

It is the fourth year, that the UK’s biggest road safety charity, asked more than 2,000 drivers about their worries, fears and attitudes. In the past, two years safety concerns around other drivers using hand-held mobile phones topped the list – but now traffic congestion is the top concern.

Congestion costs money

Congestion becomes a very real worry when looking at the road usage landscape from a business perspective. Hire car organisation, Europcar launched a new white paper, exploring the mobility challenges facing UK business. In Charting a Safe Path Through the Minefield of Challenges Facing UK Businesses, the paper reveals a mood of caution and mild pessimism amongst UK businesses.

Europcar conducted the research in response to the increasing challenges facing businesses and decision makers when it comes to keeping workers on the road and productive. More than half of the 500 businesses surveyed by Europcar said they generate their revenue through monthly contracts, so unsurprisingly, economic growth and cash flow were found to be the top two concerns for this sample of firms.

Congestion affects business

With Christmas coming, and the delivery of online retailing after Black Friday increasing, this will mean our roads are about to get even busier. Congestion becomes a critical business issue according to research from the Mercedes-Benz Vans Business Barometer survey.

Delivery drivers say that, on average, 16% of their working day is lost due to congestion, which means, based on a (very conservative) 8 hour working day this equates to 1 hour 17 minutes a day, or more than 6 hours across a typical working week, adding up to 37 working days a year lost due to congestion for the average delivery driver.

Greater London reaffirms its place at the top of the ‘congestion league’, with respondents saying 18% of their working day is lost to congestion – higher than anywhere else in the UK.

The research, undertaken amongst 2,000 van owners and operators, also highlights that congestion is now the second biggest ‘barrier to growth’, with 31% believing this will be a barrier to growth in the coming year, rising to 38% amongst fleet managers, and second only to rising fuel costs (57%).

Commenting upon their survey, Steve Bridge, Managing Director, Mercedes-Benz Vans UK Ltd, said: “We know from our Business Barometer that a growing customer base ever more focused on online retail is a positive for the industry, but unless the issue of congestion is tackled, these businesses will suffer. Congestion causes delays that cost money as well as time and can damage the reputation of business that rely on their deliveries.”


Dealing with congestion

IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards, Richard Gladman, is all about how you can save fuel. Here he provides some top congestion-driving tips.

  • Try to keep your driving smooth. Gentle acceleration and using the highest safe gear will use less fuel. Ease off the accelerator early for traffic lights if they are red – why hurry up to wait?
  • If possible, try to avoid driving during heavy traffic. Stopping and starting in traffic needs the use of the first gear and a lot fuel is used to get the vehicle moving again
  • Keep your tyres well maintained by checking the condition, pressures and tread depth. When it comes to choosing new tyres, it’s worth having a look at ones which are designed for extra economy
  • Get rid of unnecessary weight. Cars work just like the human body, it needs more energy to move around more weight and so does your car. Take heavy items out of the car if you don’t need to carry them. A roof rack or roof box will increase drag and you will use more fuel to overcome this, so remove it if it is not being used
  • Nowadays, you don’t need to manually warm up a modern car, so once your windows are clear (a bit of elbow grease will sort them out) you are able to set off to your destination without having to wait around
  • During this winter season as your engine is trying to warm up it uses more fuel for the first four miles or so.Your engine stays cold when you drive less than two miles and your car will produce 60 per cent more pollution than a warm engine – avoid these short journeys where possible
  • Turn off the air-conditioning as it uses extra fuel. When the rear window is cleared turn off the rear screen heater – the more electricity your car has to produce, the more fuel it will use
  • Keep your speed low as you can reduce fuel consumption by up to 25%. Try pressing more lightly on the accelerator, often you can maintain the same speed with less pressure on the pedal

For the moment, whilst the government navigates through its own Brexit congestion, road users and business will have to await any further constructive news about a future without traffic jams on our roads.

At My Fleet Solutions, we understand that managing a commercial fleet is more challenging than ever. We offer the very best for fleets when it comes to vehicle servicing, maintenance and repairs, on all makes and models. My Fleet Solutions can take the sting out of automotive costs, with 60% typically saved on SMR compared to franchise dealers. The costings are transparent, based upon thorough working knowledge and up-to-date automotive data, plus all genuine parts and repairs are protected under warranty.


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One in eight drivers have fallen asleep at the wheel

More than a quarter of fatal road accidents are caused by drivers who have fallen asleep at the wheel, government figures suggest.

The latest road casualty statistics from the Department for Transport show that drowsy drivers were to blame for 53 fatal and 351 serious crashes in 2017.

However, the true figure for fatigue-related crashes is believed to be much higher due to under-reporting, with up to 25 per cent of fatal accidents estimated to have been caused by people who have dropped off driving.

An online poll of 20,561 UK drivers in September found that one in eight (13 per cent) have fallen asleep at the wheel.

In addition, close to two in five (37 per cent) admitted that they have been so tired they have been worried they would fall asleep when driving.

Who is most likely to drive tired?

Men were deemed to be three times as likely as women to say they have fallen asleep at the wheel (17 to five per cent).

The research raised concern that young drivers, aged between 18 and 24, are the most at-risk. This group was found to be the most likely to say tiredness doesn’t affect their driving ability (13 per cent compared to two per cent of all drivers), as well as being the most likely age group to say they normally carry on driving if they feel tired (18 to three per cent).

Close to three in five (57 per cent) stop for a break as soon as they realised they might be too tired to drive. This figure dropped to just 34 per cent for 18-24-year olds.

One in ten (11 per cent) knew they were tired when they began their journey, increasing to  29 per cent for 18-24-year olds.

When asked why they were so tired, almost two in five (39 per cent) said they’d had a hard day at work, while a third blamed the monotony of the journey.

Around a quarter pinned their tiredness on trying to cover too much distance in one day and a lack of sleep the night before.

Tiredness is inevitable, managing it is crucial

Edmund King, AA Charitable Trust director, believes that drowsiness is one of the most underestimated risks on the roads.

“Tiredness is a fact of life at some point for most of us and it is crucial we know how to manage it in relation to driving,” he commented.

“Crashes involving a drowsy driver tend to be catastrophic. If a driver has fallen asleep at the wheel, they do not brake before an impact and make no attempt to steer away from a collision.”

Jez Strong, general manager for Tele-Gence, added: “Some drivers wind down the window or turn up the radio to wake themselves up. But the truth is that the only remedy is to take a break.”

Your business can benefit from affordable telematics with no hidden start-up fees or long-term commitments. Find out how at

Photo: Shutterstock


Free webinar to address telematics policy grey areas

A free webinar later this month will aim to explain how a telematics policy goes hand in hand with achieving driver buy-in.

Titled ‘The essential elements of a telematics policy’, the online webinar on November 14th will define the need for telematics, how the system works and why it is so vital for drivers.

Organisers MiX Telematics say that a well-developed policy helps establish parameters to keep drivers safe, which not only benefits them but also their overall business.

The benefits of telematics are well-documented, not least by us here at Fuel Card Services and Tele-Gence.

This leading tech designed to track driver behaviour has been proven to improve safety, minimise fleet operating costs and generally make the whole process of fleet management easier and more efficient.

But deciding what key elements your telematics policy should include is less obvious, and that’s what this webinar is out to answer.

The webinar will be presented by a representative of MiX Telematics, who will give recommendations about essential elements to ensure a successful telematics policy.

Carl Hanson, group fleet director at major logistics firm Wincanton, will provide insights on how his company has achieved a successful telematics programme.

With almost 20 years of experience in fleet services, Mr Hanson is currently responsible for determining fleet acquisition plans and managing full lifecycle ownership and renewal strategy for Wincanton, which operates 7,500+ vehicles, making it one of the biggest fleet operators in the UK.

Jez Strong, general manager for Tele-Gence, commented: “Telematics is a no-brainer for any company vehicle fleet. However, there are some aspects that require a little more thought and hopefully this webinar will address these.”

Your business can benefit from affordable telematics with no hidden start-up fees or long-term commitments. Find out how at

Image: Jonson_84/iStock


Logistics company gets moving thanks to Fuel Card Services

Logistics company gets moving thanks to Fuel Card Services

Logistics companies literally help move things from A to B, but one Essex-based transport firm has hailed Fuel Card Services for getting it through the metaphorical alphabet.

Wise Move Logistics uses a varied fleet of petrol and diesel vehicles for its transport services, working through roughly £10,000 of BP and Shell fuel every month.

It may be a young company, setting up in 2017, but Wise Move Logistics has wasted no time in introducing fuel cards and enjoying the various benefits they present, such as cheaper fuel, security benefits and reduced admin hassle.

However, it has been the relaxed yet high standard of customer care that has been the most impressive aspect for Simon McLellan, managing director at Wise Move Logistics.

“I have been speaking to Tabitha [Laycock – an account manager at Fuel Card Services] for around six months. She has never come across as pushy and was very patient whilst we were waiting for our first-year accounts,” he commented.

“Tabitha is very knowledgeable within her trade and since we have had accounts, she has produced some very interesting benefits of changing from our old fuel card supplier. She’s a credit to the company.”

Your business can enjoy this level of service too by signing up with Fuel Card Services today.

We help around 55,000 customer organisations pump around 2,000,000 litres of petrol and diesel every day. We have long-standing relationships with every major oil supplier, meaning there’s bound to be a fuel card perfect for your operation.

Find out what we can do for your company at

Fuel Card Services believes in looking after its employees, which includes a good work life balance – find out more about a career with us at