If you own your own business, and haven’t heard of a fuel card scheme you probably live on another planet, there are literally hundreds of them out there and they’re being pushed on businesses in a big way.
You only need to look at websites such as http://www.ukfuels.co.uk to see the sheer number on offer. But what’s the catch?
Fuel cards offer competitive rates
Throughout the UK, and especially within service station forecourts, the price of fuel fluctuates drastically. If you’re a business trading locally this isn’t too much of a problem, however if you provide services nationwide the additional costs incurred from buying fuel in expensive areas, such as London, can add hundreds of pounds on to your fuel bills each year.
Fuel cards make business sense; they can offer a flat rate for petrol and diesel to help combat regional price changes.
Easy financial management system
The predecessor to the fuel card was the company credit card. Company credit cards in themselves open up a whole lot of issues; high interest rates, limited control on spending, the tracking fuel receipts – all stuff of business owners’ nightmares.
Fuel card companies seem to have tapped in to the psyche of businesses worldwide, providing a solution to their number one pet hate: the management of fuel payment and receipts! With a fuel card, all transactions are recorded and a VAT receipt issued. This alone ensures business owners everywhere are receiving valuable tax returns, which previously may have been lost in transit.
Proactive action towards managing fuel consumption
Fuel card management systems allow for business owners to see clearly where their biggest fuel expenditure is. This has a number of implications; it can allow for a strategy to be put in place to better manage the fuel consumption, and thus reduce it. Reducing the amount of fuel used not only cut costs for the company, but it also helps lower emissions.
Many businesses are under ever increasing pressure to have a social conscience and contribute towards sustainable living. The fuel card management system can inadvertently assist with this process, not only saving you money, but helping your company go green.
As far as I can see the only ‘catch’ is you must sign up to one major fuel provider, which means you must use their service stations. Yes, this can be inconvenient if you tank is low and you have to search for your chosen branded petrol station, BUT if you’re smart with your fuel card, the benefits far outweigh this minor negative. I’m unsure why this wasn’t thought of sooner.