Electric charger plugged into white car

Can you use a fuel card to charge electric vehicles?

The UK’s transition towards zero emissions means that businesses are going to be turning to electric vehicles to fuel their operations. Why, then, should a fleet manager stick to using a fuel card if electric vehicles are the future of transport?

Of course, EV infrastructure is a completely different landscape to what many fleet managers will be used to. You might even ask “how am I supposed to pay to charge my vehicles?”

It’s a valid question. Fleet managers have been paying for fuel in a number of ways for years. Fuel cards are a popular option, or having employees pay for fuel and claim back expenses later is also common.

However, with the inevitable adoption of EVs on the horizon, fleet managers might worry that these payment methods will no longer be viable.

Why are old payment methods less compatible with EVs?

Your fleet may have operated under a system where your drivers paid for fuel with their own money, then claimed that money back via expense forms.

When it comes to charging an EV, however, this may not be as effective.

In 2021, electric vehicle batteries still have a long way to go. Huge advancements have been made in charging technology, but many EVs will struggle to get 200 miles out of a full charge. This means that drivers are likely to charge their vehicles more often than they were fuelling their combustion engine vehicles.

When it comes to filling out expense reports and claiming back mileage, this is not ideal. Admin time could be doubled with all these extra reports to fill out.

It gets even more complicated when you factor in the different charging apps. Until recently, finding an electric vehicle charging point that accepted contactless card payments wasn’t as easy as you’d expect. Instead, different charging points used different apps to process payments.

Whilst contactless is now more common on the EV charging network, your drivers may still encounter a charging point that requires one of these apps. This is just another complication in the purchasing and expense claiming process.

Should you still use a fuel card once you adopt electric vehicles?

In short, yes. The way that we fuel our vehicles may be changing, but paying for it is just as easy.

One of the main benefits of using a fuel card is that they can give your drivers access to a large range of chargers. You won’t need to worry about having the correct app installed.

Each of your drivers can be given their own individual fuel card, meaning their payments can be tracked and linked to their vehicle.

A single, consolidated HMRC approved invoice will be provided to you. This means that there is no need to keep track of receipts, and your admin time will be massively reduced.

Many fuel card offerings also give drivers the option to pay for regular fuel as well. This means you don’t have to take the huge leap of transitioning to an electric fleet overnight. You can start by introducing a few electric vehicles to your fleet and slowly phase out your ICE vehicles. After all, you won’t be able to buy any new combustion engine vehicles after the 2030 ban, so it’s worth preparing yourself for this change now.

As of April 2021, only 6% of businesses were using a fuel card to charge their electric vehicle. That’s 94% of businesses missing out on the huge benefits they offer. Say you’ve already made the transition to EVs, why not get even further ahead of the competition?

How can Fuel Card Services help?

Our most recent addition to our line-up of branded fuel cards is the Shell Electric Vehicle Fuel Card.

With this card, you’ll get access to over 7,500 charging points in the UK. 900 of these points are also rapid charging.

The Shell EV Card can also be used at Shell Recharge sites. Shell Recharge is Shell’s network of rapid EV chargers. They use 100% renewable energy and can provide most vehicles with 0-80% charge in just half an hour.

Of course, this card can also be used to pay for petrol and diesel, if you are operating a mixed fleet.

The change to electric vehicles doesn’t have to be an expensive venture for your business. Get in touch with our expert team today and see how we could help save you time and money.

Commercial taxi fleet

The benefits of a fuel card for taxi drivers

It’s no secret that saving costs on fuel is a core goal for virtually all commercial fleets, but did you know that taxi fleets in particular could be missing out on huge savings?

That’s the idea we’ll explain to you in this article, as we look at how taxi drivers operate, and which specific benefits of a fuel card can enhance taxi businesses.

Taxi fleets and fuel consumption

When compared to your typical fleet of HGVs making long-distance deliveries, a taxi fleet is likely to consume a considerable amount of fuel while the vehicles are actually stationary. With every minute a taxi driver spends waiting for customers to enter and exit the vehicle safely, precious fuel is burnt to keep the engine running, and this is commonplace for the majority of taxis operating on UK roads today.

While stop-start technology could diminish this issue slightly, digital apps such as Uber are effective at letting customers know that drivers have arrived – and so drivers similarly know that they aren’t likely to be kept waiting for long before customers hop into their vehicles. Consequently, there may not seem to be much of a point in turning off the engine at all.

The greatest concentration of taxis is found in densely populated city areas, and with taxi fleets typically looking to make frequent, short journeys and keep occupancy high- there’s a constant demand to fill up. So, broadly speaking, taxis consume an enormous amount of fuel when compared to your average commercial fleet – and so operators must ask themselves ‘how can the cost of fuel be properly offset or reduced?’

How to tackle fuel costs

When fuel costs are high, one instinct many business owners have is to increase the price of each journey. By having the customers pay a slightly higher fare, profits can be protected – and this philosophy works for many businesses. Particularly in cities or areas whereby many quality taxi ranks are operating, however, the competitive landscape needs to be taken into account.

If your competition is offering a reliable service while undercutting your price, they may be making slightly smaller profits on each individual taxi ride, while generating substantially more sales overall. When both yourself and your competitors acknowledge this, the commercial taxi market will often reach an equilibrium whereby different providers are coming in at fairly similar price points.

Finding a competitive edge

In these established markets, it’s vital that any opportunity to improve profitability is seized, and one of the best ways of achieving this is actually tackling your costs head on with a fuel card. Fuel cards essentially provide you with a discount on each litre of fuel you purchase, which often racks up incredibly quickly for taxi fleets.

They’re also particularly useful given that taxi fleets often repeat the same routes, and operate within a fixed area. Naturally, if you’re aware of which fuel providers operate at your local garages, which our handy Pump Locator service can help you with, then you may find yourself in a position where you can purchase a fuel card that specifically benefits you based on that nearby petrol stations data.

Smiling taxi driver talking to passenger

Tips on applying for a fuel card

If the picture we’re painting around taxi drivers’ challenges, operations, and the opportunity to save money on fuel, rings true to you- then you may be ready to start exploring the world of fuel cards and finding the card that best suits your drivers.

We have built a fuel card selector tool to help guide you through this very process, however it’s worth considering:

  • What coverage you’ll need. Some fuel cards offer nationwide coverage, whereas others are locked to specific regions. You may find that the perk of national coverage isn’t actually beneficial to your local taxi business, and consequently consider putting more weight into considering other benefits when choosing between cards.
  • Payment terms and credit options. Some fuel card providers offer an attractive range of payment perks, such as terms around advance payments, or even their own downloadable apps that can help you authorise fuel payments quickly.
  • Transaction fees. Certain fuel stations will require that you pay a transaction fee upon making a purchase, which can add up if you’re making regular visits. That isn’t the case with all fuel cards, though, such as Texaco Fastfuel, and so taking the time to review your options carefully could result in great savings across the board.

Ultimately, understanding the total amount of distance your drivers are covering on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis, then reconciling that data with the types of savings you could be making with a fuel card, is a great place to start for commercial taxi fleets. It could result in you edging out over your competitors with a more financially viable, long-term fuel strategy – and there are a million things you could do with your savings to drive your business forward; from marketing to investing in new equipment and people.

How can Fuel Card Services help?

At Fuel Card Services, we help UK businesses save money on their fuel costs every day. We’re the UK’s largest fuel card provider, so whether you’re running a commercial taxi fleet or operate around delivering goods, we’re confident that our experts can help you find a fuel card solution that works for your business. Why not get in touch to find out how we can support you?

Of course, implementing a thorough strategy to minimise costs and maximise the efficiency of your fleet goes way beyond using a fuel card. While it’s an excellent starting point, we’d also recommend browsing our range of professional fleet services which are designed to make it easier for you, as an operator, to manage and overcome the day-to-day challenges you’re likely to face.

Fuel pump with screen

How to create a policy for secure fuel card transactions

Creating a policy for secure fuel card transactions is a must for any fleet manager. Fuel cards make purchasing fuel easy and convenient across your entire fleet. However, just like any card, they are not exempt from fraud and misuse if not handled properly.

With multiple drivers in your fleet (each with their own card), you want to know that they all have an understanding of how to use their card properly.

By creating a policy, you give yourself that peace of mind. Giving drivers a document to sign that acknowledges their understanding of the proper usage of the fuel card can greatly reduce the risk of misuse.

What should this policy contain?

The aim of a policy for secure fuel card transactions is to create awareness for all the drivers in your fleet. When the driver is given their card, they should also sign the policy. It should outline the following:

Who can use the card?

This may seem obvious, but if you want to avoid fraud and misuse, it’s necessary to make this clear. Some fuel cards can be embossed with the driver’s name, and any transactions made with it will be in their name.

Therefore, it must be made clear that sharing their card is not acceptable, even with another company driver. This includes sharing the PIN number with someone. If someone else uses the card, invoices will still show that it was the card owner making the purchase, creating inaccurate and fraudulent records.

Also state in the policy that if the driver believes someone has had access to their fuel card, they must notify their fleet manager immediately to avoid further complications.

When can the card be used?

Ensure that drivers know when it is appropriate to make purchases on their fuel card. Make it clear if transactions that are not for business purposes will be classed as theft.

If your drivers solely use company vehicles, make it clear if filling up their personal vehicles with their fuel card is forbidden. If members of your fleet use their own vehicles, using their fuel card for non-business purposes can also be forbidden.

Of course, this all depends on how your business functions. The important thing is that drivers are aware of how your business expects them to operate. When your fuel card transaction policy makes it clear what is expected, there can be no excuses for misuse.

What transactions are permitted?

It is important the drivers are aware of what they are permitted to purchase on with their fuel card. If your drivers only use diesel vehicles, it is worth specifying that they must not use their card to purchase unleaded. This creates another layer of security against misuse.

Some fuel cards give users the ability to purchase additional goods other than fuel. Certain cards can be used to pay for AdBlue, car washes and other vehicle related items. Some cards can also be used to pay for toll road charges.

Make sure that the additional permitted purchases are made clear on your policy.

What else should be included?

It is advisable to write the policy from a first person perspective. For example, instead of writing “you must not share your card details with anyone”, you might write “I understand that I must not share my card details with anyone”. That way, when the driver signs the document, they are acknowledging their understanding of the policy as well as agreeing to it.

Include any additional information that you want drivers to know regarding their fuel card. What should they do if they lose their card? What are the consequences for policy violations?

Be as thorough as possible, as this will save you time and complications further down the line.

Find the best fuel card for your fleet

With a variety of fuel cards available, it’s important to find the best one to suit the needs of your fleet. Where is the most convenient place for you to fill up? How much could your business be saving on fuel costs?

These are all questions that will be answered when you get in touch with the team at Fuel Card Services!

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.