How to Choose the Right Fuel Card for You

The idea behind using a fuel card is to save money on fuel, besides knowing how much the business spends on fuel monthly. Learning what to look for when buying a fuel card will help achieve this.

Types of Cards – Bunker or Retail
There are basically two types of fuel cards, namely the bunker cards and the retail cards. The basic difference between the two is that with the former, fuel can be purchased in bulk at a lower wholesale price. Payment is usually made upfront or each time a purchase is made. However, these fuel cards can only be used at specific bunkered sites. This card is, therefore, only suitable for haulage and transport companies, whose trucks or vehicles travel regular routes that touch these sites. There are some bunker cards that can be used at regular service stations. But, there is usually an additional surcharge levied, which defeats the purpose of using a fuel card. Often, only diesel can be bought with bunker cards. Cost of fuel is updated weekly and the price is fixed.

Choose the Right Fuel Card

Retail cards, on the other hand, are accepted almost everywhere, even in super markets. They can be used for purchase of LPG, petrol or diesel. This card is particularly useful to companies that own a large mixed fleet. The network of sites that allow the use of these fuel cards is more extensive than the ones where bunker cards can be used. What the company gains is the chance to purchase fuel on credit, free of interest, and for a few pence lesser than the retail price. The advantages of getting retail cards are:

• Extensive periods of interest free credit.
• Responsible and helpful account managers.
• Allows users the flexibility to look around for the cheapest service station.

Choosing the Fuel Card Supplier
The first thing to take into consideration is the network of service stations where the fuel card can be used. This information is usually found on the website of the card provider. Some cards are valid in most European countries. So, this is a viable option for transport companies or courier companies. Consider these factors while choosing a fuel card supplier.

• How soon can stolen cards be cancelled?
• Time allowed between invoicing and settling of account.
• Do they charge a monthly or annul surcharge; if so, how much?
• Compare the price offered by the company to polesign prices.
• Is their network of stations in convenient locations? Can the card be used in locations other than those on the network?
• How much, if any, is the initial deposit? Does the fee for the initial set up fall within the company budget?
• How the cards are going to be used ultimately.
• The various security and fuel management plans on offer.

The final consideration should be how all of the above will affect the cash flow of the business.
Fuel cards are an important money-saving tool, both for a business and an individual. With the different types of cards available, people with different needs might find such cards score high on the utility aspect.

Image is licensed under CC Attribution
Husk Fuel
About the Author:

Husk Fuel is a leader in the UK providing fuel cards to businesses.

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