Fuel cards are not a new concept. These, like other loyalty cards, were developed many years ago by gas stations and travel center chains as a means of increasing consumer loyalty and selling more gasoline. As a reward, these firms provided discounts and other incentives to cardholders.
Trucking businesses, which use a lot more gasoline compared to ordinary people, immediately realized that fuel cards would be an excellent method for them to save a lot of money on fuel. Furthermore, the cards might be utilized as a security tool to monitor and restrict truck drivers' spending while on the road.
Currently, fuel cards are available not just from individual gas stations or chains, but also from a variety of national and specialized brands. Most of these firms provide discounts and prepayment alternatives to a wide range of retail partners.
Read on to learn more about fuel cards and what are their benefits for a trucking company.
What Are Fuel Cards Exactly?
A fuel card, also known as a fleet card, is a payment card that looks and functions similarly to a credit card. They are used by commercial vehicle drivers to pay for fuel at gas stations. Depending on the brand and particular business requirements, fleet cards can also be used to pay for vehicle upkeep and costs.
How Does a Fuel Card Exactly Work?
Fuel cards provide gallon discounts on diesel fuel and include other benefits that might aid in fleet management or provide owner-operators an advantage. Extra savings and security features are frequently available. In other circumstances, the card is loaded by a trucking firm and used to obtain discounts by its drivers or an owner-operator. But they are also available in conjunction with other financial services for truckers, such as factoring.
Typically, the gasoline card firm negotiates reductions with certain truck stops and then informs the driver which ones they may use to receive the discount.
Are Fuel Cards Worth It?
Indeed, if a trucking company dislikes paying full price for diesel fuel, it is justified. Yet, because each one has various perks and a diverse network, a corporation should thoroughly examine any program they are considering joining.
Benefits of Fuel Cards for Trucking Companies
- Driver accountability is enhanced
Fuel cards can help drivers keep track of their spending. Trucking businesses can simply track which drivers consume the most oil or make excessive purchases because each card is tied to a certain driver or truck. This can aid in identifying areas for improvement and encourage drivers to be more conscious of their gasoline consumption.
- Fuel expenses can be reduced significantly
One of the primary reasons truckers and transportation businesses seek out fuel cards is to save money on fuel. Users can get discounts and paybacks ranging from a few cents to several dollars per gallon, depending on the vendor's program and the volume of fuel purchased, much as with other credit cards. This can add up to considerable savings over time, especially for businesses with big fleets.
- Security is significantly improved
Trucking companies benefit from an additional degree of protection since these cards may be set to limit transactions to certain types of fuel and places. It can aid in the prevention of fraud and the misappropriation of business cash. To prevent illegal usage, the cards frequently have built-in security measures such as PINs and multi-factor verification.
- Convenient for truck drivers
If a trucking business does not provide its drivers with fuel cards, the driver is frequently responsible for covering the cost of fuel, filing receipts, and then waiting for payment on their paycheck. Fuel cards for truck drivers alleviate the load on everyone concerned by putting up money in advance for drivers and designating it for fuel. Many cards also allow the employer to establish limitations for food and other supplies, ensuring that drivers only spend what they're permitted to spend on any particular item.
- Tracking expenses is simplified
Trucking businesses may use fuel cards to easily track and control their fuel expenses. Each card is associated with a single driver or vehicle, and all card purchases are immediately logged and aggregated for simple tracking and reporting. This reduces the need for human tracking and record-keeping, saving time and lowering the possibility of mistakes. This data, if connected with an existing fleet management system, may be utilized to calculate IFTA more quickly.
- Being qualified for additional discounts and perks
Several fuel card providers include additional special bonuses with cheap fuel cards to sweeten the deal. For example, Matrack's fuel cards provide significant discounts on maintenance, emergency repairs, and tires around the country.
- Efficiency is increased significantly
Saving on fuel and other related costs is one of the major benefits of fleet cards. Drivers can just swipe their cards to fill up at the pump, thus they no longer need to carry cash or credit cards. It decreases the time spent on fuel-related duties and removes the need for large lineups at gas stations, allowing drivers to get back on the road faster.
- Flexibility for the company
Carriers may bind themselves to certain brokers that give fuel advances since it relieves the pressure of budgeting for fuel. Nevertheless, this technique restricts whom a trucking company may work for and may force them to turn away high-paying cargoes because they lack the funds to cover the gasoline. With a dedicated fuel card, trucking companies may work for any broker or shipper, providing them greater freedom in selecting the cargoes they choose.
Fleet fuel cards can help trucking firms save money, enhance efficiency, and gain more control over their fuel expenditures. Fuel cards may help trucking firms stay competitive and manage their operations more effectively by providing a variety of benefits such as cost savings, easier expenditure monitoring, greater security, and enhanced driver responsibility.
Who offers fuel cards?
In most cases, fuel cards are offered by oil companies but other companies provide fuel cards such as energy companies.
What are the variables to consider when buying a fleet card?
Listed below are the variables to consider when buying fleet cards for a company:
- The difference between the pump price and the fixed prices
- The type of driving a fleet of the company
- Coverages depend on the company's fleet journey thus they may differ
- The type of fuel used in the vehicle