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The Benefits of a Fuel Card in Addition to Saving Money

Fuel cards, often used by SMEs for the payment of fuel for their drivers, have many benefits, not least offering savings when filling up at the pump. Here are just a few of the benefits you could have with a fuel card.
Reduced paperwork
Fuel cards provide a quick and easy way for business drivers to pay for their fuel when topping up, but they also do much more.
When money is so tight at the moment, it can easily be forgotten what these extra benefits are.
Primarily among, and possibly even providing greater value for businesses, is on the administration side, as fuel cards can drastically help reduce the paperwork that drivers and other colleagues have to struggle with who don’t have fuel cards.
Using a fuel card can see the end of having to spend time filling in an expense form to reclaim that fuel money at the end of each week or month, which also has the added burden on the driver of having to remember to carry cash or to collect receipts every time they fill up.
Less time
The traditional payment method leads to a mountain of overly time consuming paperwork, that eats into the time of every individual using a company vehicle.
Even after the expense form has been completed, it then needs to be checked, approved and processed by another individual.
But even that’s not the end, as then reimbursements have to be processed, plus there’s the extra burden of dealing with VAT calculations, credit issues…this list goes on!
Or course, there’s also the scenario where receipts have been lost or are not available. This all adds to the time and stress and could even lead to the company not being able to reclaim the VAT that has been paid out on fuel.
Drivers may have also purchased additional items at the same time when filling up, possibly including drinks and food, which they should not be claiming for, making it more difficult for companies to track.
Unfortunately, the reality is that this cost can really mount up, but many companies may be completely unaware of it.
Keeping track
Another consideration is that there is no guarantee that the fuel purchased has gone into the company vehicle at all.
This will severely damage any efforts by the company to keep track, and understand, how much fuel has gone into company vehicles, together with the overall mileage covered and how efficiently they are being driven, plus other considerations.
For those businesses looking to improve and optimise fleet usage and driving behaviours to bring down costs in this area, then this type of management information is crucial.
And this can impact all business. No matter the company, even highly efficient businesses, fuel expense claims, and the resulting administration around them, is time consuming, plus there’s always the chance that mistakes are made or that there are delays in payments. This can lead to frustration among employees, especially when the payment is a significant amount.
Removing admin
The introduction of a business can significantly remove this administrative burden.
This is especially so for drivers whose only expense is fuel as having a fuel card means they don’t have to reclaim expenses.
It also means that their colleague doesn’t need to get involved in processing that payment, which means both are free to focus on their core tasks.
The benefit of a fuel card really comes to be a massive benefit when extrapolated across larger fleets with dozens or even hundreds of drivers and vehicles.
The company has to make just a single payment because all the fuel purchased by the fuel card users is charged to a single account.
Furthermore, it can see the end of unauthorised items being bought at the same time, then claimed on the same receipt, as the fuel card can only be used for fuel.
A fuel cards also stops the risk of a driver filling up a personal vehicle and the charging that cost to their employer. This is because the fuel card contains the vehicle’s VRN, so only the vehicle assigned to that card can be fuelled.
Bigger picture
When considered across an entire business or fleet, then the reduced administration time through the introduction of a fuel card is potentially enormous.
Using technology, including mobile apps that help drivers to find the best value fuel price, can extend this even further.
When added up, these annual savings across a business can be thousands of pounds, or even more.
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