The expense of fuel forms a significant part of the expenditure in fleet management. It is necessary to have a proper plan to optimize fuel consumption and increase profitability. Truck owners need to get fuel cards to manage cash flow on the fuel purchased. It allows the purchase on credit while giving a 60-90 days period to replenish the billing amount. These payment systems offer discounts at selected locations depending on the agreement between the card-issuing company and the pumping stations.
Many reputed companies are providing the cards connected with a network of stations. These are as simple as debit or credit cards and used for purchasing fuel-related products and services. These are advanced tools used to track the purchase frequency, real-time prices, setting limits for spending, and many others.
The cards are available in two types based on the price structure as follows:
- Fixed price: The facility is that you can purchase the petrol at a fixed price throughout the week, irrespective of the day-to-day changes. The price is informed a week ahead to help you plan accordingly. It helps in cost-saving when the price is likely to rise within a few days.
- Pump price: It operates on the actual price at the pump station while fueling the vehicle. It is the best alternative to cash, debit, or credit cards that allow you to purchase petrol, diesel, or gasoline at the current price and avail discounts sometimes. It is acceptable in almost all pump stations.
The companies also offer additional purchase facilities like lubricants and car washes while using the cards. These are gaining popularity as they allow saving on petrol prices and manage profitability in automobile operations.
Fuel Cards Advantages
The system offers various benefits to personal car owners, fleet management companies, and commercial vehicle operators to optimize the diesel cost and other related facilities. The main advantages are listed as follows:
● Ensures Cost Savings
The issuing companies often offer discounts on the purchase of petrol and diesel in selected filling stations. It is very effective in cost-saving when consumption is high, and petrol prices keep rising.
● Convenient For Drivers
It is convenient to carry out transactions at pumping stations, saving time. Moreover, there is no need to carry adequate cash or withdraw cash before purchasing. The cards also help recode the purchase detail in connected digital devices, so there is no need to keep the hard-copy receipts.
● Better Control of Fuel Consumption
There are provisions for setting up transaction limits in these cards that help to avoid overconsumption and unauthorized purchase of petrol or gasoline. You can set limits for individual vehicles or drivers to track the cost connected to each truck. It eventually minimizes the chances of fraudulent fuel transactions.
Factors Influencing The Choice of Suitable Fuel Cards
There are genuinely some advantages of using fuel cards in optimizing cost. However, the range of benefits differs from one company to another and according to the location of pumping stations.
The number of discounts varies, and even all gasoline stations don’t accept all types of cards. So it is necessary to consider several factors while looking for an ideal card and select the one that best suits your purpose. Here we will discuss the factors to consider before deciding on the most suitable payment option for your fleet.
The primary point of consideration is the location of usage. Some payment cards operate only in a small territory or region, whereas others are acceptable in a network of pumping stations. If you are traveling within a small area with your fleet, your ideal choice can be the one compatible with that territory only, which will also be cost-effective.
But if your trucks must travel long distances across the country, a card with higher coverage and universal acceptability should be best for you. They also help you find the best service stations on your route whenever you need them for your vehicle.
● Fuel Type
Fuel cards generally provide mixed-type fuels. Recently unleaded petrol is becoming a preferred option. So you need to select the one based on the type and brand you require for your truck operations. You must consider whether a fixed-price or pump-price option suits your purpose depending on the price fluctuations of that particular type and brand.
● Discounts Offered
We all love discounts. So, it is one of the crucial components in the decision-making process. As fuel forms a significant part of the expenses in fleet operations, any kind of discount is preferable to none. Different companies offer different discounts, so you have to consider the best option while choosing a card. This discount can be applicable at the point of purchase or applied as a rebate on the diesel purchased throughout the month.
● Advanced Features
It would be highly beneficial to have features associated with these cards that you can integrate with the overall fleet management software. It helps to provide detailed information about the diesel consumption, price, location, driver, routes, etc. You can further analyze these data to make calculations and informed decisions regarding cost control, asset utilization, and efficiency improvement.
Fuel is the major contributor to overall expenses in vehicle operations that can significantly affect the profit and loss figures. One of the most popular ways to save on expenditure is fuel cards. It is a tool to control your expenses, particularly when petrol and diesel prices constantly rise.
By using the most suitable option for your automobiles, you can optimize consumption and reduce the chances of unauthorized or inefficient use. It helps to manage your vehicle operations most efficiently and cost-effectively.