Red car with black fuel nozzle inserted

How to save money on fuel during rising petrol prices

Over the last 6 months, petrol prices have been rising steadily. The UK hasn’t seen petrol as expensive as this in 8 years, back in September of 2013. What are the best ways to keep fuel costs down as the overall price of petrol steadily climbs?

Rising costs

According to data from RAC Fuel Watch, the average price of petrol rose to 132.19p per litre. This is 18p more than the average price in November of 2020. An average sized tank of unleaded now costs £72.70 to fill up.

Diesel is not exempt from these rising costs either. The average diesel cost has risen to 134.32p, which is the highest it has been in 2 years. An average sized tank of diesel now costs £73.88 to fill up.

Of course, we expect fuel prices to gradually rise over time to match inflation rates. However, UK inflation jumped up by 2.1% in May, and the rising petrol costs are a driving force behind this.

Why are petrol prices rising?

The jump in price is a direct result of the increase in oil price. Crude oil prices increased more than 11% over the last month.

This increase likely reflects the return to normality after the pandemic. The International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts that the demand for fuel across the world will return to pre-COVID levels by the end of next year.

With demand for oil rebounding steadily, the prices rise as current oil inventories are in tight supply. As a result, we see the cost of petrol and diesel steadily climbing. The IEA warns that, unless big oil producers pump more barrels, we could be facing a volatile oil market in the near future.

Oil rig at sunset with orange lights

How can you save whilst petrol prices go up?

As prices are likely to continue rising with post-COVID demand, you’ll want to save every penny you can. What are some ways to optimise your fuel usage?

Get a fuel card

For a business that relies on transportation, acquiring a fuel card is the best way to reliably save money as fuel prices go up.

A fixed-price card will ensure that you pay a set amount wherever you fill up. This will prevent you from getting caught out by a pump price that is higher than you expected. The price usually changes on a weekly basis, so you won’t get caught out by any sudden price drops either.

A fixed-price card will see your savings add up when used frequently. Some cards offer discounts as much as 10p off every litre of fuel.

Alternatively, a pump-price card will have you paying the price advertised at the forecourt. However, the flexibility they offer can help save money too. Typically, a pump-price card can be used at more locations. This flexibility can help to save on fuel since you can drive to the most convenient location, rather than somewhere further out of your way.

Whichever fuel card you get, they all offer ways to save money other than on fuel. For example, the HMRC compliant invoices that get sent to your account can save hours on admin. Furthermore, certain cards offer reward schemes such Shell Go+ or BPme Rewards.

Smiling man holds up fuel card next to fuel pumps

Use telematics

Telematics is a collection of a technologies working together to provide vehicle data to fleet managers. It’s also a great way to save on fuel costs.

Advanced solutions such as Tele-Gence offer better route planning. It may seem obvious, when petrol and diesel prices are high, the best way to save on fuel is to minimise driving time. Tele-Gence’s route planner will find the quickest route. Remember that the most efficient route isn’t always the shortest!

The data provided by telematics also lets fleet managers know about their drivers’ habits. Are they braking and accelerating too harshly? These actions drain fuel faster, so it pays to know when it is happening so it can be prevented in the future.

Data on vehicle condition also provides fleet managers with crucial insights. Is everything function properly? If not, fleet managers can see that it is fixed before an expensive breakdown and repair eats away at their budget.

To add to the convenience, Tele-Gence also syncs seamlessly with your fuel card account. The two solutions work hand in hand to save you money during an expensive time for drivers. Get in touch today to find out how the team at Fuel Card Services can help you save.

Hand holding yellow fuel nozzle in front of fuelling station

Keyfuels adds 60 Shell sites to their network

Keyfuels have announced that an additional 60 sites are being added to their network in June 2021. This gives even more flexibility to holders of the Keyfuels fuel card, which will now be accepted at these additional 60 sites.

These 60 Shell branded sites will bolster Keyfuels’ current network which comprises of over 3,400 fuelling sites. The new sites are conveniently located to strengthen the nationwide network and make it easier than ever for customers to find the ideal location for refuelling their vehicles. To use these additional Shell sites, a surcharge will apply.

Where are the new sites?

The complete list of the new sites now accepting the Keyfuels fuel card can be viewed below. All of these sites are LCV only, meaning they are suitable for cars and vans with a weight of no more than 3.5 tonnes.

  • MFG BEDWORTH, Bedworth, Warwickshire, CV12 8QB
  • MFG JEDBURGH, Jedburgh, Scottish Borders, TD8 6EB
  • MFG SELLERS WOOD, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, NG6 8GE
  • MFG MOORGATE, Retford, Nottinghamshire, DN22 6RN
  • MFG BLACKWATER, Camberley, Hampshire, GU17 0AE
  • MFG BLEAKHALL, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, MK6 1LJ
  • MFG CASTLE VIEW, Denbigh, Denbighshire, LL16 5SU
  • MFG CROSS GATES, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS14 6UJ
  • MFG FOLKSTONE, Folkestone, Kent, CT19 4DP
  • MFG GREENGATE, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M24 1RD
  • MFG KINGSBURY ROAD, Birmingham, West Midlands, B24 9PY
  • MFG LEEMING LANE, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, NG19 9AX
  • MFG MUSSELBURGH, Musselburgh, East Lothian, EH21 6DN
  • MFG NEW BARNET, Barnet, Outer London, EN4 8RN
  • MFG STENHOUSE, Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh, EH11 3LW
  • MFG THORPE LEA ROAD, Egham, Surrey, TW20 8HP
  • MFG WHITSTABLE, Whitstable, Kent, CT5 3JB
  • MFG OLDHAM ROAD, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M40 5AF
  • MFG DARLEY, Bolton, Greater Manchester, BL4 7BA
  • MFG MEADOW, Bolton, Greater Manchester, BL2 6PY
  • MFG NEWBROOK, Bolton, Greater Manchester, BL5 1EJ
  • MFG PRESTWICH, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M25 3AJ
  • MFG PRESTON ROAD, Chorley, Lancashire, PR7 1PZ
  • MFG LEYLAND, Leyland, Lancashire, PR25 5UD
  • MFG COLESHILL, Flint, Flintshire, CH6 5RR
  • MFG ALDERSHOT, Aldershot, Hampshire, GU12 4NE
  • MFG ARLE, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL51 7PA
  • MFG WALKERS CLOCK, Telford, Shropshire, TF2 8JY
  • MFG HIGHWORTH, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN6 7DE
  • MFG CUBBINGTON, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, CV32 7HY
  • MFG JUNCTION SERVICE STATION, Daventry, Northamptonshire, NN11 4EA
  • MFG NEW QUARRY, Cirencester, Gloucestershire, GL7 1YE
  • MFG YORK ROAD, Bristol, Avon, BS3 4AB
  • MFG CROSS LANE, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD4 0SB
  • MFG HALEY HILL, Halifax, West Yorkshire, HX3 6ED
  • MFG RIVERSIDE, Castleford, West Yorkshire, WF10 2JU
  • MFG WEASTE, Salford, Greater Manchester, M5 2BJ
  • MFG HOYLAND COMMON, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, S74 0DP
  • MFG KINGSCLERE, Newbury, Hampshire, RG20 4TA
  • MFG WELLINGTON, Wellington, Somerset, TA21 9AD
  • MFG WINDMILL HILL, Ringwood, Hampshire, BH24 3PB
  • MFG NUNNERY PARK, Worcester, Worcestershire, WR4 0SX
  • MFG TEESSIDE, Stockton-On-Tees, Stockton-On-Tees, TS18 3RW
  • MFG VIGO LANE, Chester-Le-Street, Tyne and Wear, DH3 2BQ
  • MFG STEVENAGE, Stevenage, Hertfordshire, SG1 5ES
  • MFG CREWE, Crewe, Cheshire, CW1 3RA
  • MFG OULTON BROAD, Lowestoft, Suffolk, NR32 2PY
  • MFG ALDERMASTON, Reading, West Berkshire, RG7 5QS
  • MFG STOKE ROAD, Stoke-On-Trent, Stoke-On-Trent, ST4 2QX
  • MFG WEDDINGTON, Nuneaton, Warwickshire, CV11 6LS
  • MFG MANCHESTER ROAD, Bolton, Greater Manchester, BL3 2NZ
  • MFG CLAYTON GREEN, Chorley, Lancashire, PR6 7JD
  • MFG KETLEY, Telford, Shropshire, TF1 5DY
  • MFG VIADUCT, Kidderminster, Worcestershire, DY10 1JR
  • MFG MIDWAY, Batley, West Yorkshire, WF17 6JQ
  • MFG HILLTOP, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, S70 5XB
  • MFG BLACKHORSE, Bristol, Avon, BS16 7AN
  • MFG PRIZET FILLING STATION NORTHBOUND, Kendal, Cumbria, LA8 8AA
  • MFG PRIZET FILLING STATION SOUTHBOUND, Kendal, Cumbria, LA8 8AA
  • ROWBOROUGH SERVICE STATION, Moreton-In-Marsh, Gloucestershire, GL56 9RE

Green fuel nozzle in white car

Want to find your nearest Keyfuels site? Our Driver’s Club app will show you a range of filling stations near you, as well as give you access premium services, big brand offers, and receive the latest driving trends and essential announcements.

If you are interested in the Keyfuels fuel card, fill out this quick form, and a member of our expert team will be in touch shortly.

A picture of a petrol station against a sunny sky

How will petrol stations change as we move to electric vehicles?

Petrol stations have been a part of the landscape for almost as long as there have been cars on the roads – the first one was opened in Berkshire by the AA way back in 1919.

However, with the increase in electric and hybrid cars in a bid to make the country greener, fewer people are likely to need petrol and diesel going forward. So, what will this mean for Britain’s infrastructure of refuelling stations? Let’s take a look.

The rapid expansion of EVs

Electric vehicles (EVs) are currently enjoying a boom in take-up rates. Analysts estimate there are more than 200,000 currently on Britain’s roads, with at least a million expected to be in use by the end of 2022.

Worldwide, the International Energy Agency suggests this could equate to 300 to 400 million EVs out of two billion total vehicles by 2040.

In the UK, this take-up is partly being driven by the government’s policy to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030, even though there is not yet a timeline for the suspension of fuel sales.

However, for many people, a major stumbling block in changing from combustion engines to EVs has been range and the ability to top up mid-journey. No-one wants to be caught out without power on a longer trip, so some have opted to wait rather than taking the plunge.

This could be set to change, though, as a new network of refuelling stations evolves to offer customers not only recharging options, but also a lifestyle hub fit for the 21st century.

A new breed of refuelling station

Today, data from Zap-Map shows there are 8,471 charging locations for EVs across the UK. In contrast, the number of petrol stations has dwindled to 8,400, demonstrating the rapid roll-out of the necessary technology to top up greener vehicles.

Co-founder of Zap-Map Ben Lane said: “The public and private sectors are now investing heavily in the UK’s EV charging infrastructure to ensure that there are sufficient charging points to support the growing electric fleet.”

Indeed, the Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill introduced in 2017 made it mandatory for motorway services and large fuel forecourts to install EV charge points. This came after the European Parliament said there should be at least one charger for every ten cars on the road if EVs are to become a viable alternative to traditional cars.

Since a cluster of two or more charging points is essentially a refuelling station, many providers have been making the decision to provide dedicated facilities for EVs that could shape the future of our vehicle-based technology infrastructure.

After all, since most drivers are familiar with stopping at a petrol station and refilling, the act of stopping at an electric hub for a battery top-up isn’t too much of a stretch for the imagination. And with motorways offering the combination of longer journeys and the need to stop to stretch the legs, many of these EV hubs are likely to be alongside such major routes as an alternative to traditional service stations.

Major providers changing their offerings

A number of major brands in the transport industry have already been making headway in terms of offering EV charging fuel stations. For example, Shell aims to have 200 Shell Recharge points on its existing forecourts by the end of 2021.

However, in 2020 it said it has even loftier ambitions than this. The brand revealed it wants to see true energy hubs going forward, where drivers are directed into EV charging bays and offered airport-like facilities featuring coffee shops, parcel collection points and meeting rooms while they wait.

“We call it Project Evelyn – an energy hub where you can recharge yourself and recharge your car,” said Shell’s Bernie Williamson.

This vision of the future forecourt being far more than just somewhere to charge up is shared by BP Chargemaster, which also recently unveiled its plans to partner with Marks & Spencer to provide retail facilities alongside its charging points.

Meanwhile, Nissan has opened the first of its planned 100 EV-only service areas in Essex, offering users shops, cafes, meeting room pods and a wellbeing area to make the most of while they wait.

How will EV charging fuel stations work?

A picture of an electric car with its cable plugged in

Electric car charging times are clearly longer than the time it takes to fill up a traditional car with petrol or diesel, but drivers will still need to recharge and go before too many hours have passed.

Refuelling stations will therefore typically offer power points to provide:

  • Fast charging – three to four hours
  • Rapid charging – 30 to 60 minutes
  • Wireless charging – not available in the UK yet, but being pioneered in Europe for future use without cables

In terms of payment, it is likely that most dedicated hubs will eventually offer a ‘payment by subscription’ model similar to the way an ‘all in one’ fuel card works for fleet drivers today. Users may drive up to a power point and swipe a card to select a charging option and pay.

Although the cost to charge an electric car will undoubtedly be more at a hub than it would at home, drivers will undoubtedly be willing to pay for the convenience – a rapid charge is likely to cost more, yet get them back on the road again in less than an hour.

Going forward, the government has called for all new rapid chargers to incorporate contactless payment, so it’s likely that charging sessions will be managed via apps before too long.

Interestingly, after so many years using traditional forecourts, it may be that it’s the etiquette drivers need to adjust to, including:

  • Moving vehicles as soon as batteries are full
  • Not unplugging other vehicles
  • Stowing cables safely after use to prevent trip hazards

What about rural forecourts?

It’s easy to see this being the end for old garages in rural locations, as they’re usually far from motorways and therefore not somewhere drivers would need to stop mid-journey.

However, spokesperson for the Irish Petrol Retailers Association David Blevings told the Irish Times this needn’t be the case. He pointed out that most petrol stations don’t rely solely on fuel income and could therefore be in a good position to provide the experience-led forecourt necessary going forward.

What’s more, rural refuelling hubs could be essential for customers who don’t have off-road driveways and to manage demand for the power grid.

The future?

EV technology is still developing and both governments and power providers will undoubtedly have kinks and issues to iron out before these forecourts of the future can truly come to fruition. However, as more people embrace the green revolution, it’s becoming increasingly likely that they will become science fact rather than science fiction in the not-too-distant future.

 

How to use Shell rewards

If you’re looking for a good fuel card for your business, there are many things to think about. As well as the savings you expect to achieve on petrol and diesel and the convenience of the network, another factor may be the extra goodies and discounts that are available.

The UK’s major fuel brands all offer some form of loyalty scheme. And for Shell rewards, this is called Go+. This provides a range of benefits to fuel buyers across the brand’s network. As Shell’s range of fuel cards offer access to one of the UK’s biggest fuel networks – with the cards being accepted at almost half of the UK’s filling stations – this is something many firms should consider.

What are Shell rewards?

Shell’s Go+ scheme provides benefits every time you fill up at a Shell forecourt, or spend money at an attached shop. It’s been around since 2019 and is available on the Shell mobile app or with a physical card or key fob.

The rewards programme also offers you discounts on fuel after a certain number of visits, as well as a range of exclusive freebies to say thanks for being a customer.

You can earn Shell rewards every time you make a purchase at participating Shell stations, whether you’re using a fuel card or not. Drivers simply need to sign up via the Shell Android or iOS app, or register online to receive a Go+ card or key fob.

Michael Hominick, Shell’s UK marketing manager, described the Go+ scheme as a “pioneering and leading rewards programme” that gives back to drivers no matter how much they spend.

He said: “The more you spend as a customer, the more you save. And because the two things are so nicely linked together, the value exchange grows. If customers buy into both the fuel and the shop, they really see the maximum potential of the savings in the programme.”

How does the loyalty scheme work?

Unlike many other reward schemes you might be familiar with, you don’t earn points with Shell Go+. Instead, each time you complete a Shell transaction, you’ll earn a ‘visit’. Collect ten visits and you’ll get a discount voucher to spend on fuel.

To count as a visit, you’ll need to spend a minimum of £10 on petrol or diesel, or at least £2 inside the shop. However, the more you spend, the bigger the discount you could receive once you’ve completed ten visits.

The rewards aren’t just limited to once every ten visits. You can also enjoy discounts on a range of items in-store every time you fill up, as well as savings on Shell’s premium V-Power fuel.

Costa coffee and takeaway cup

What’s more, you can enjoy a range of surprise freebies. Mr Hominick said: “Shell Go+ is not just a transactional relationship, but a fun and engaging relationship with the content we send out about what we’re up to and getting customers to get access to movie premieres or money can’t buy prizes.”

What benefits are available?

In addition to vouchers to be earned every ten visits, the Go+ fuel card reward scheme offers a range of discounts on items at Shell stations such as food, drink and car care products. You can take advantage of these every time you fill up.

These benefits include ten per cent discounts on the following items:

  • Hot drinks, including those from Costa Express
  • Deli2go food
  • Jamie Oliver Deli by Shell food
  • Shell Helix motor oil
  • Shell car or jet washes

What’s more, if you’re filling your vehicle with premium fuel, you can enjoy even more discounts. Users of Go+ reward cards can also get an extra £3 fuel reward for every 300 litres of Shell V-Power they buy. Of course, premium fuel won’t be useful for every driver, but if it benefits your car, this can offer another advantage.

You can also get additional benefits if you’re a Shell Energy customer. If you get your energy or broadband through the firm, you can also enjoy an additional three per cent off fuel at participating forecourts, up to a maximum of 60 litres per month. This is in addition to all the other Shell Go+ rewards, which are all still available.

Close-up of smartphone with petrol pumps in the background

How to use Shell rewards

The easiest way to take advantage of these rewards is to use the Shell app. All you have to do is load up the app and scan the barcode with it when you pay, and your discounts will be applied and your visit added.

Within the app, you can also gain access to your exclusive rewards.

However, if you’d prefer not to use a smartphone, there are alternatives available. By registering on the website, you can request a Shell Go+ card or key fob, which will be delivered to your home, usually within two weeks. You can also still access freebies and other officers through the brand’s website.

Choosing the right fuel card for your needs

In order to take full advantage of the rewards on offer, it also pays to use a Shell fuel card. We have a few options available from this brand, depending on your usage needs. These are:

  • Shell One – This offers fixed weekly prices for diesel and petrol, with access to nearly 50 per cent of UK forecourts. You can also enjoy up to 10p per litre discounts on diesel at motorway sites.
  • Shell Multifuel – For fleets needing the widest coverage, this pump-price diesel and petrol fuel card is accepted at more than 3,800 sites nationwide.
  • Shell CRT – Ideal for fleets running HGVs and LCVs, this fixed weekly price diesel-only card offers even bigger savings at hundreds of HGV-friendly core sites.

If you’re unsure about which fuel card is best for your business, get in touch with our team today. They’ll be happy to help with friendly, impartial advice on what options will be best for your business’ unique needs.

 

 

Selection of fuel filling nozzles at petrol station

Where can I use my fuel card?

With so many fuel card locations and options out there, it’s common that the question is asked, ‘where can I use my fuel card?’.

Where you can use your fuel card depends on the type of vehicles your fleet drives and where. You might just need localised cover, or national access, depending on where your business operates. You might already know what kind of coverage your fleet needs, but we would recommend requesting an audit from your current fuel card provider to make sure you have the correct coverage for your needs.

Supermarkets and inner city

If your fleet is mostly cars or vans and completes inner-city journeys, a fuel card that can be used at supermarket fuel stations could be the ideal solution. Some providers also allow you to collect supermarket points with your fuel card, which can be a handy bonus. For inner-city fuel stations that aren’t part of supermarkets, you can also choose a fuel card that allows you to use independent fuel stations based on networks.

Motorways

If your fleet or drivers mostly travel via motorway or A-roads, a supermarket fuel card probably isn’t suitable for your fleet. You can instead choose a fuel card that includes motorway sites or A-road locations, so your drivers needn’t leave the motorway to purchase fuel and can conveniently continue their journeys between filling up.

HGV sites

For fleets that specialise in haulage relying on HGV sites, a fuel card with access to HGV fuel stations is probably the optimal solution if you’re looking for the best option for saving time, especially when there’s a delivery deadline to meet. HGV sites are usually strategically placed on major trunk roads like A-roads and motorways for convenience when it comes to your fleet.

Which fuel networks are available to me?

Of course, which locations you can use with your fuel card depends entirely on the networks that are activated on your card. The main fuel networks are:

  • BP
  • Esso
  • Shell
  • Keyfuels
  • Texaco
  • UK Fuels

However; certain cards may give you access to a combination of specific networks on one card, or even all of them if you depend on independent or motorway fuel stations to fill up your fleet. These are sometimes known as flexi fuel cards and give you much more control over where your drivers can use their fuel cards.

How can I find out where my nearest fuel station is?

If you do decide on a specific network, your drivers might not automatically know where the next fuel station is, especially if they are travelling in unfamiliar parts of the country. Check out our pump locator to locate the nearest fuel station compatible with your fuel card.

If you want out find out more about how a fuel card can save your business up to 10p per litre, contact us today and join the 10,000+ customers who have joined Fuel Card Services.