Prepaid fuel cards

Prepaid fuel cards explained

Saving on receipts and bothersome admin, fuel cards offer a more efficient way for fleet drivers to pay for fuel. ‘Prepaid fuel card’ is a common name used to describe a standard fuel card, which applies to all of the cards in the Fuel Card Services range.

These types of cards work just like a credit or debit card, and offer a range of benefits for both fleet drivers and managers; simplifying the process of refuelling and increasing the efficiency of fuel repayment.

How do prepaid fuel cards work?

For fleet operators and drivers who are new to fuel cards, there may be some confusion as to what constitutes a ‘prepaid fuel card’. In truth, fuel cards don’t quite operate on a traditional consumer prepayment model whereby you put a specific amount of cash onto a card and spend it at the fuel station.

Instead, all fuel cards in our portfolio get fleet drivers access to discounted fuel costs at the pump. All a driver must do is swipe the fuel card at a petrol station, just as how they would with a debit card, and instead of paying out of their own pocket, they’ll pay out of the business bank account – but with access to heavily discounted, pre-negotiated fuel costs.

Benefits of a prepaid fuel cards

Prepaid fuel cards offer fleets and fleet managers an increased level of control and organisation, making refuelling hassle free and more affordable. Additional benefits include:

Control over funds

Fleet managers can control the amount available on prepaid fuel cards, offering increased control on expenditure and an opportunity to save money.

Additionally, all fuel card expenditure can be tracked via one dashboard, meaning it’s easier to monitor expenditure at scale. This can be crucial when businesses rely on seasonality, and must scale up operations quickly to meet growing demand.

A fixed weekly price

Prepaid fuel cards give users access to fixed weekly fuel prices, often set at a competitive rate.

Efficient administration

Increased control provided by prepaid fuel cards means feet managers can exercise a higher level of control over fuel spending, and a streamlined payment process saves time spent organising receipts and expense repayments.

How are prepaid fuel cards beneficial to fleet drivers?

For fleet operators, prepaid fuel cards offer an opportunity to reduce clutter, both physical and administrational, from the working day. Fleet drivers using a prepaid fuel card no longer need to collect fuel receipts or submit for payback. Instead, by spending within allotted amounts set on prepaid fuel cards, fleet drivers can focus on getting from A to B.

Additionally, there’s a safety benefit to fuel cards. Drivers can avoid carrying cash at petrol stations, and the automated payment process reduces the chance of fraud.

How do I know this week’s fixed price?

Fuel Card Services customers will have the next week’s fixed fuel prices sent to them via email. This means that customers can decide whether it is cost efficient to fill up now or wait until next week.

Why do prepaid fuel card prices change weekly?

Changes to the fixed price each week is reflective of the fluctuations in the international oil market. Prepaid fuel cards offer competitive pricing, meaning you are still likely to save on fuel using a prepaid fuel card than having fleet drivers pay for fuel as a business expense.

Fuel card suppliers

With fuel cards gaining popularity as a means of saving money on fuel and time on administration, as well as offering perks and benefits, more and more suppliers are offering prepaid fuel cards. What this means for fleet management is a vast amount of choice.

With a host of suppliers offering a range of different types of fuel cards, our portfolio comprises some of the largest providers in the UK.

Browse our full range of fuel cards, or get in touch with a member of our team who will find the best card for your business.

Tips for reducing fleet costs

Tips for managing fleet costs

Whenever an entire industry faces significant challenges, it’s often the case that the same number of businesses must now compete for a smaller pool of contracts or customer expenditure. This rings particularly true for the UK’s fleet industry, which in 2022 is:

  • Suffering from a driver shortage.
  • Facing legislative and practical challenges with important and exporting goods.
  • Seeing the highest fuel prices ever recorded in the UK.
  • Looking to tackle uncertainty as customer spending is hindered by a cost of living crisis and rising inflation.

Consequently, it’s absolutely pivotal that SMEs competing within this space do everything possible to tighten up finances and cut back on unnecessary costs.

We’ve produced a complete guide to fleet financing which covers all these elements in depth, however this article will showcase our favourite tips that we feel can help fleet operators become more efficient with expenditure.

1. Use software packages

The fleet industry is built upon technology, with a range of fantastic products entering the market each year. However, telematics is the most fundamental technology package all fleets should be investing in.

An advanced telematics suite can help you track driver mileage, enable maintenance scheduling, automate vehicle safety check recordings, and much more – all through a centralised database that makes reporting on and analysing insights easy and efficient.

If you’re looking to make efficiencies, you won’t get far without first having valuable data to access- so telematics is a crucial starting point that enables cost savings in the long run.

2. Integrate your software packages

Rather than having a set of standalone technologies that require intensive training and separate platforms to operate, it could be worth investing in a technology stack for your fleet business that integrates with one another.

By synchronising your databases, for example linking telematics to your mileage tracking and vehicle insurance software, you could save yourself time that would otherwise be spend traipsing through hefty spreadsheets.

3. Outsource financial management

Adopting a third-party accountancy package could be worth considering for commercial fleets, and there are a range of options in market to suit accountants of all proficiency levels. These could help your business monitor cash flow, and enable you to forecast for the upcoming weeks, months, and years – which could be essential to business planning for those that are looking to electrify their operations.

Some of the key obstacles facing SME fleets in the coming years that may be assisted through refining financial processes include:

  • Keeping competitive on the technology front.
  • Transitioning to electric fleet vehicles.
  • Decarbonising fleet operations and infrastructure.

4. Reduce your fuel costs

Perhaps the most significant expenditure facing any commercial fleet is fuel, which is why it’s imperative that fleets do whatever possible to reduce fuel expenditure.

Driving down fuel costs is most easily achievable through investing in a discount-based solution that drives the cost of fuel down at the petrol pump. A commercial fuel card can enable this saving mechanism, and is a worthy consideration for any businesses with any number of vehicles.

5. Talk to your drivers about fuel efficiency

If you’re looking to see a marked improvement over time in driver-related metrics, then having an open and honest conversation about how efficiencies can be made is likely a good starting point.

For example, your drivers may be interested in learning more about hypermiling and how they could optimise every aspect of their daily driving to minimise fuel usage. Alternatively, you could look to test their knowledge of route planning and the likes in a constructive and friendly way; leaning on their expertise and route knowledge where possible.

Proper car maintenance can also improve fuel efficiency, as tyres that are evenly pumped to a good standard require less fuel than those that have minimal tread or sub-par PSI.

One final tip from the team at Fuel Card Services is to keep an eye on how your main competitors are refining their processes. It’s possible that businesses who are at the cutting edge of technology and quick on the uptake could seize small advantages when it comes to cutting costs – which can have a significant impact over time.

How can Fuel Card Services help?

At Fuel Card Services, we aren’t equipped to solve the global fuel crisis, however we do have many years of expertise in providing UK businesses with our market-leading range of the best commercial fuel cards.

Our suite of cards encompasses all major UK brands, with coverage across the country. Beyond saving up to 10p per litre, you’ll also save a great deal of time with HMRC approved invoices – no more holding on to receipts!

Get in touch with our experts to find out more about fuel cards – the smart way to manage your fuel and fleet costs. Or browse our suite of fleet services – which include advanced telematics systems.

fuel cards for sole traders

Fuel cards for self employed people, sole traders & start-ups

With fuel costs eating up a sizeable chunk of business expenditures, we know how important it is for individuals who are self-employed, sole traders or own start-ups, to find opportunities to save money where possible. The right fuel card can help you take control of your business’ fuel costs, ultimately saving you time and money.

Fuel card benefits

Reducing the fuel bills is not only an option for large conglomerates or even SMEs for that matter. Sole traders can also benefit from purchasing a fuel card which could prove helpful when covering any substantial mileage.

Some of the ways in which a fuel card could prove beneficial include:

  • Save up to 5p per litre on national average pump prices

  • Save up to 10p when using our extensive motorway pump networks

  • A dedicated account manager

  • Zero liability insurance available with Card Protect

  • Interest-free credit

  • Online account management – MyFleetHub

  • MPG & CO2 emissions reporting

  • Online application

Click here to browse our range of fuel cards!

Why explore a fuel card as a sole trader?

With the industry’s widest range of commercial rate fuel cards at your fingertips, covering every major brand, we’re perfectly positioned to help you to find the right card to drive down your costs on each and every mile you drive.

Sole traders enjoy our fuel cards primarily due to the improvement they can offer to your bottom line, and the easy and flexibility with which you can enjoy these benefits. Choosing the right fuel card can prove to be a challenge, but with bespoke support available from our team, and our handy card picking tool, we’re confident that you’ll discover a fuel card that offers you attractive fuel cost savings and useful added benefits, however you operate.

Before we take a look at the specific fuel cards that sole traders tend to love, it’s key also to acknowledge how fleet services can also help improve efficiency.

Sole trader vehicle servicing support

Keep your fleet running smoothly with cost-effective vehicle servicing, maintenance, and repairs through our MyService.Expert offering. With pre-negotiated rates from thousands of garages nationwide, our pay-as-you-go service can simplify your fleet maintenance and ensure you don’t break the bank when you run into a maintenance issue during your travels.

Servicing costs are amongst the most challenging aspects of conducting business mileage as a sole trader, but let’s take it back to fuel and look at the key fuel cards you may want to consider.

The best fuel cards for self employed people, sole traders & start-ups

So, which fuel cards are the most applicable to the self-employed? Based on our existing customer base, some of the most popular fuel cards amongst sole traders include:

  • Texaco Fastfuel – a popular fuel card amongst sole traders and businesses with a mixed range of vehicles. The Texaco network gives drivers great coverage across the UK, and offers a competitive fixed price on both diesel and unleaded.
  • BP Plus – a great card for businesses using a mix of diesel and unleaded. BP are a well known, trusted brand and have great coverage across the UK with 70% of motorway sites. The BP Plus card gives holders access to over 3,400 filling stations, including BP, Esso, Texaco and participating Gulf sites.
  • Shell One – the largest fixed price card available on the market and covers over 7,000 stations including Shell, Texaco and Morrisons. With this card, drivers can even save up to 10p per litre on diesel at Shell motorway sites.

The key considerations to make include which petrol stations are present on your most commonly driven routes, and the unique perks that could benefit you.

Click here to read more about choosing the right fuel card for you fleet.

For a tailored quote and an informal chat with our friendly experts, get in touch with the team and we’ll help you explore your options for driving down costs.

Fuel cards for small businesses

Fuel cards for small businesses

Here at Fuel Card Services, we believe that small businesses should be able to enjoy and benefit from the savings and free account management perks that large fleet operators enjoy. That is why we are pleased to offer all UK businesses competitive rates for diesel and petrol, accessed through thousands of filling stations across the country.

Fuel card benefits

Fuel cards continually prove to be a fantastic tool for helping SMEs boost their bottom lines by tackling one of the most expensive overheads they face; fuel costs. Through a fuel card, SME owners and fleet operators could get access to a whole host of money-saving opportunities and streamline fleet operations – whether operating two or two hundred company cars.

With a fuel card, you could get access to benefits such as:

  • Save up to 5p per litre on national average pump prices

  • Save up to 10p when using our extensive motorway pump networks

  • A dedicated account manager

  • Zero liability insurance available with Card Protect

  • Interest-free credit

  • Online account management – MyFleetHub

  • MPG & CO2 emissions reporting

  • Online application

What are the best fuel cards for small businesses?

We provide an industry leading range of commercial rate fuel cards for you to choose from, covering every major brand, each with their own benefits and perks. With our handy card selector tool and bespoke support from our team, you’ll be able to choose a fuel card that offers you savings based on the unique circumstances your fleet faces.

Small business fuel cards

As a small business, optimising cashflow and being efficient with expenditure are amongst the most difficult challenges in the modern era – especially against a backdrop of rising inflation, staffing shortages, and heightened fuel prices. Fuel Card Services aims to help relieve some of the pressure that’s traditionally associated with handling fuel costs by giving fleets access to a range of pre-negotiated fuel rates at garages across the UK.

With fuel prices rapidly fluctuating, demand for fuel cards is sharply spiking and small businesses are amongst those who could benefit the most from taking control over their operating costs and unlocking more cash that can be reinvested for growth. Beyond the peace of mind that could come with choosing the right fuel card, cost savings could be reinvested to focus on building a stronger business through bringing on new staff or helping make critical operational investments such as electrifying a fleet in preparation for Net Zero.

Telematics for small businesses

Alongside fuel cards, implementing proper telematics and vehicle tracking systems could be one of the most effective methods for fleet managers to minimise costs. The team at Fuel Card Services is one of the UK’s leading providers of innovative fleet services, which are renowned for improving driver safety and automating data capture to help make route planning and financial decision making substantially more scientific and efficient.

Our services include:

Tele-Gence

Our easy-to-use software is combined with trackers and cameras to provide you with a fully customisable telematics system which not only lowers costs, but also improves safety and reduces admin.

MileageCount

No more manual estimations using a mileage calculator, our impressive MileageCount service automatically records the number of miles each vehicle takes. This smart automated system is a great tool for reducing mileage claims and driver admin.

MyService.Expert

Keep your fleet running smoothly with cost-effective vehicle servicing, maintenance, and repairs. With pre-negotiated rates from thousands of garages nationwide, our pay-as-you-go service simplifies your fleet maintenance.

If you think becoming more efficient with your fleet’s technology stack, or reducing your fuel bills, could help your SME thrive in the current climate, get in touch with our experts https://www.fuelcardservices.com/quick-enquiry/ to learn more about how Fuel Card Services can offer a tailored and bespoke service to your business that helps you get your fleet operation in gear.

Rising fuel prices in 2022

Rising Fuel Prices in 2022: How Businesses Can Save Money

If you are a car owner or manage vehicles as part of your business, you will have noticed that you’re paying a lot more to fill up a tank recently. With record breaking highs in fuel prices, recent world events have meant that we’re forced to spend more to travel the same distances.

Tom Cosway, Head of Commercial Business at Fuel Card Services says “Rising fuel prices are forcing UK businesses to find solutions that reduce their operating costs. Doing so could be crucial to remaining competitive in the coming months.”

In this article, we’re going to take a look at why this is happening, and explore what practical steps business owners can take to reduce costs faced for company vehicles.

Why have fuel prices gone up in the UK?

Over the past year, the cost of crude oil has increased globally resulting in us paying more at the pump for petrol and diesel. However, in more recent weeks the price of fuel has risen significantly following the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

Russia exports 11% of the global total of oil and is the third largest oil exporter in the world according to Sky News. Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, countries such as Canada and the US have responded by ceasing imports from the country. Not only due to moral reasons, but also because of concerns that oil may not be delivered or transactions may not go through due to disruptions to banking.

As a result of countries no longer relying on Russia for their oil, there is a strain on resources for other oil producers who are now in higher demand. Consequently, prices of crude oil have increased globally due to this increased demand.

How does Russia impact the UK’s fuel prices?

Although the UK is not reliant on oil from Russia, and only imports around 5% of its oil from the country, global shifts in price have an impact on what we pay as customers. The price for one barrel of Brent crude oil increased to $139 on 7th March – the highest it has been in 14 years.

Government data shows that fuel prices are still increasing week on week, going from 152.95p per litre for petrol on 7th March to 159.96p on 14th March 2022. The same can be said for diesel, increasing from 158.56p to 169.48p. With such high prices for diesel, if you are buying more cars for a fleet soon, it may be a good time to think about the pros and cons of buying a petrol vs diesel car.

What causes changes in the cost of fuel?

The price you pay for petrol and diesel is impacted by the following factors:

  • Supply and demand for oil.
  • The price of crude oil globally.
  • Combined wholesale cost, distribution cost and retail margin
  • VAT charged
  • Fuel duty owed to the government
  • Exchange rates from dollar to pounds

What can your business do to reduce fuel costs?

For businesses in the UK managing multiple vehicles, it’s now more important than ever to do what you can to save money on the cost of fuel. There are different options that can be taken for managing your fleet effectively to reduce outgoings on fuel.

1. Save money with a fuel card

A great method of saving money on fuel for business vehicles is using a fuel card, as you can achieve discounts on every mile. Working with all major fuel brands, Fuel Card Services can offer savings of up to 10p per litre when you use a fuel card.

You can utilise our quick and easy fuel card selector to see which fuel card would be best for your business, or complete our short form to receive a free quote today.

2. Use fleet management solutions

Using fleet management software solutions can allow businesses to take control of their fleet from all over the UK and make efficiencies to reduce costs.

By implementing an effective telematics system, vehicles can be tracked, and routes can be planned to ensure the most fuel-efficient route is taken. Telematics can also save you money by directing drivers to the cheapest and most practical petrol stations. You can read more about the many benefits of using Tele-Gence Telematics and how this could be a useful solution to reduce costs for your business.

Not only this, Fuel Card Services offers fleet management options that help to get vehicles fixed or serviced at pre-negotiated rates. So, for fleet operators, vehicle maintenance could be an interesting area in which you could look to make cost-savings.

Cut costs on your business’ fuel today

Operational costs have always been a key expenditure that small to medium-sized businesses have had to contend with. In 2022, this is certainly the case, and the rising cost of fuel is causing cash flow challenges for businesses across the globe.

Consequently, it’s now more important than ever that businesses look to make efficiencies in small ways to remain competitive. Whether that involves investing in a fuel card to save money on business mileage, or introducing new technology to improve fleet efficiency, Fuel Card Services has a solution that could help.

You can get a free quote online or apply now for fuel cards and fleet management services from Fuel Card Services. If you would like assistance in choosing the right fuel card or fleet management solution, you can contact us today to speak to one of our experts.