Reducing fuel expenses is often a top priority for fleet managers, and fuel cards, combined with a telematics fleet tracker device, can make that easier to achieve. Fleets using fuel cards and connected vehicle tech can track spending and driver behavior. The card facilitates purchase profile analysis, provides real-time alerts, and allows report creation. In the end, these tools let fleet managers identify opportunities to make measurable and targeted improvements for reducing fuel costs.
A Short Guide to Fuel Cards
Fuel cards work like debit cards, as you can use them to pay for fuel. Fuel cards accumulate data fleet managers can use to keep tabs on fuel usage, location, etc. Based on the type of car, drivers may have to include a driver number, unit, or vehicle mileage to get authorized to pump gas. Companies specializing in payment processing cards or oil brands often use fuel cards.
Fuel cards can be of three types,
- Fleet cards - Created specifically for commercial vehicle use.
- Branded cards - Issued by specific fuel companies.
- Universal cards - These are akin to credit cards. They include customized controls and reporting.
Every variant has its advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, businesses will benefit from various card offers. You can use a fuel card at any of the participating locations across the nation.
The perks of using fuel cards for fleet businesses are many and varied. As the cost of gas ebbs and flows, fleet managers must track fuel consumption to look for redundancies and number irregularities. Fuel cards can analyze data trends, track employee spending, and make reporting easier. Business owners can set up alerts to prevent the cards from being misused and eliminate fraudulent activity.
Fuel cards can also help save time. Tracking and reporting features of fuel cards streamline management duties and can cut down lengthy reimbursement processes. Simultaneously, these cards can reduce paperwork. Furthermore, drivers can use them anywhere without worrying about finding a specific gas station brand.
Something to Remember
When business owners first consider issuing fuel cards to drivers, the primary factor they think about is the amount of fuel purchased every month. If a fleet uses 1,000 gallons of gas per month, you can use fuel cards to enjoy rebates. Fleets that don’t use that much gas will benefit from credit cards more than fuel cards.
The Advantages of Fuel Cards
There are several benefits for you to reap, starting from discounted gas prices to detailed expense reports. Here is a list of some of these advantages.
1. Driver Convenience
Most of the gas stations spread throughout the country accept fuel cards. It gives truck drivers a convenient way to purchase the fuel they need when they need it. You will feel confident knowing that the drivers can buy gas with the card whenever it is most convenient.
2. Fuel Cost Reduction
Are you familiar with the fact that fuel purchase is the highest expense in the entire fleet industry after vehicle maintenance? A few fleet cards available these
days offer additional savings at gas pumps that can lower overall fuel costs.
3. No More Fraudulent Gas Charges
Nothing is as bad as arguing about fraudulent charges with the creditor. Fortunately, fuel cards for fleet businesses prevent unauthorized purchases. Drivers only need to input their ID or PIN before they can start fueling up the vehicle. Fuel cards can also make it easier for business owners to pinpoint and stop potential fraudulent charges before they turn into legal problems.
4. Record Accuracy and Report Analysis
Replace chaos with order in your record-keeping system with a fleet fuel card. It is precisely what you need if you don’t want to deal with the headache of gathering receipts and figuring out how much your drivers spend on fuel every month. You only need to log in to your account and go through every transaction detail, including the amount of gas spent and other info. Users can also configure it to synchronize automatically with the accounting and bookkeeping system. Such in-depth reporting can deliver a level of transparency that saves time, money, and frustration while simplifying things for you to monitor your organizational fuel expenses.
5. Controlling Expenditure
Finally, fleet fuel cards can give companies more control over how much drivers spend at the gas station. You can enforce limitations on the quantity of fuel drivers will be able to purchase when on the road. Fuel cards also facilitate setting other parameters. When you can control all these aspects, you can manage the fleet’s overall fuel expenses better than before.
Fuel Card Features to Consider
You would not buy a gps tracker for multiple vehicles without researching your options to separate the best from the rest. The same goes for fuel cards. Here is a list of the features you should look for.
1) Where can you use it
It is of the utmost importance that you know where you can use your fuel card in advance. If the card limits purchases to specific locations, will your drivers be able to access those areas easily? Fleets may also have different types of vehicles running on various fuel sources, such as electricity or diesel. Naturally, the fuel card of your choice has to account for this.
2) Account Accessibility
Fleet managers and drivers must stay informed with mobile alerts. They should also have online access to their spending accounts. They must receive alerts about over-tank purchases and other exceptions, such as the location of the nearest fueling station, a view of their spending history, and more.
3) Matters Concerning Security
Business owners can monitor for potential fraud by setting up alerts. For instance, they will know as soon as a driver attempts to exceed their fueling limit. The system will also catch irregularities in the odometer readings entered. Fuel cards can be set up in such a way that the drivers will not be able to avoid entering their unique ID numbers while purchasing fuel. This strategy prevents unauthorized individuals from using the card.
4) Customer Services
Driver support ensures that a driver spends more time on the road and less time troubleshooting the problems arising with their fuel cards. Every driver should have the contact data handy if it has a driver support line. If a driver visits a pump and forgets their ID card or their card gets declined, they can get the support they need to complete the purchase.
5) Fuel Analytics
Many fuel cards fabricated for fleet businesses can capture fuel data, such as the price per gallon, driver ID, odometer readings, and fueling location for every purchase. These things allow fleet managers to analyze fuel spending and identify improvement opportunities.
6) Tracking Financial Data
The presence of fuel financial data in one digital dashboard minimizes the time spent on accounting administration by reducing or eliminating the need for hard-copy fuel receipts. Reading odometer entries at the pump can help you maintain an accurate log of how much fuel the vehicles use. Financial tracking also simplifies expense monitoring, viewing trends, and generating reports.
An Essential Tool to Stay Organized
Fuel cards are valuable tools, particularly for fleet business owners. It helps to stay organized, track spending, and improve driver efficiency. Various fuel cards are available these days, and each offers an exclusive set of features. When you explore fuel card options, prioritize the requirements of your fleet and everything you are looking for in terms of fuel management.
Even connected car solutions can contribute to fuel management. Vyncs, for instance, can tell you how much fuel you have left in each vehicle of your fleet. Of course, you will enjoy this feature only if the automobile reports the relevant data through the OBDII port. This comes in handy for detecting fuel theft, for example. When the driver fills up the gas tank, Vyncs keeps a tab on that. Vyncs also tracks fuel cost - a feature available only to our fleet users. With it, you get personalized fuel-saving tips.
Vyncs even correlates fuel consumption with how drivers control the vehicles and report the aspects of their driving contributing towards increased fuel consumption. If used in tandem with fuel cards, businesses utilizing fleet vehicles can save significantly large sums of money.