Our Fuel Cost Calculator can give you insight into the potential savings your company can make if you choose a fuel card for your fleet operation, and in some cases that saving could run into thousands of pounds a year*.

Here are the main advantages of using fuel cards, whether your business runs just one pool car, a mixed fleet of company cars and commercial vehicles, or several HGVs.

Fuel cards help you find and buy cheaper fuel

Fuel cards can offer discounted prices throughout the network of fuel stations they are affiliated with across the UK – that means the price you pay is less than the price you see at the pump.

Pre-negotiated commercial fuel prices through a fuel card supplier generally offer savings of around two to three pence per litre on the national average pump price which, when multiplied across a fleet of company cars and vans, or an HGV haulier, could amount to significant savings every year. However, they do often restrict where your drivers can fill up with fuel.

Alternatively, some fuel card suppliers offer a ‘pump price’ service. These allow company car and van drivers to fill up at more locations, and the price paid is what is seen at the pump. While this leaves the business open to fluctuations in fuel prices and higher charges at motorway service stations, it does offer lots of flexibility. The best of these cards may offer savings on pump pricing at some sites across their network for specific products though, such as diesel.

Another key feature for businesses looking to get their fuel costs under control is the ability to access low cost fuel at major supermarket fuel stations. This is important for many businesses because these outlets generally tend to be among the cheapest - the AA Fuel Price Report reveals that supermarket pump prices are generally six pence per litre less than the UK national average for diesel.

But when these sites are not practical to use, company car and van drivers need to be able to make good purchasing decisions quickly while on the move. Many fuel card suppliers will offer a companion website or mobile phone app which gives an interactive fuel price checker on nearby fuel prices, helping fleet drivers find the cheapest possible petrol and diesel every time.

Some supplier apps go further still, for instance letting HGV drivers know where the nearest fuel station is with a high-roof canopy to accommodate an articulated lorry, or for company car drivers who have opted for an electric vehicle, directing them to the nearest charge point.

Integration with route planning is also offered on the best fuel card apps – this means you can type in your route and the app will generate a list of filling stations which accept your fuel card. You can also add in filters such as 24-hour opening and, should your business journey take you off your chosen route, the ability to find a fuel station in an emergency.

By making these changes to how you buy fuel, your business can make its fleet operation far more efficient – company cars, commercial vehicles and HGVs covering less miles, driven in a more economical way and using cheaper fuel, is all good news for your bottom line.

For instance, a business running a fleet of 10 diesel commercial vehicles (averaging 20,000 miles per annum and averaging 43mpg) could save around £2,120 by using a fuel card, according our fuel cost calculator at comparefuelcards.co.uk.

Similarly, a haulier with five HGVs covering 40,000 miles per annum each and averaging 8mpg, could make savings in the region of £11,000 a year.

Fuel cards control the fuel drivers can buy

Once you have implemented a new company vehicle policy, a fuel card can help you manage the process. Some fuel cards will allow a business to put in place measures which restrict what is purchased by drivers when at a filling station.

The leading fuel card suppliers can put in place systems to stop business drivers from buying certain types of more expensive fuel, or put limits on the amount of fuel being purchased. For instance, banning the purchase of premium/super unleaded petrol in favour of regular unleaded can offer significant business fuel cost savings – the most recent AA Fuel Cost Report puts the average pump price for regular unleaded at 106.7 pence per litre while premium/super unleaded is 122.9ppl.

Further restrictions can be imposed on items the company should not be paying for, such as food and drinks, or car-related items which company car drivers should be purchasing themselves such as oil, screenwash and AdBlue.

Having these exceptions logged into the card means that if a potential transaction includes vetoed items, the card will alert the cashier. This gives fuel cards an advantage over a standard credit card – built-in exception reporting negates the need for a company to investigate every receipt submitted by an employee.

Explore potential fuel cost savings with our calculator here

Fuels cards give you clear picture of fuel spend

The most obvious way your company can save money by introducing a fuel card is by giving you a clear picture of what you are actually spending on fuel. After all, you can’t manage what you don’t measure. Most fuel card suppliers offer an online service which allows customers to log in and analyse a host of information, from breaking down which company drivers spend the most on fuel to which vehicles are performing best (and worst) in terms of meeting expected fuel economy returns.

Being able to drill down into this data will allow your business to amend its fleet strategy – for instance, ensuring drivers avoid filling up at more expensive petrol stations such as those located on the motorway network, where pump prices can be up to 25 pence per litre more than the cheapest fuel outlet in the area.

It can also allow a business to make changes to the make-up of its fleet, such as changing the type of commercial vehicle used for a particular delivery round or business journey if the vehicle is not performing as efficiently as it should.

Fuel cards save VAT, and improve cashflow

Fuel cards make it easier for companies to reclaim VAT on the fuel they buy. Ensure your fuel card supplier will generate VAT-compliant invoices, meaning you won’t need to chase drivers for paper receipts.

This feature allows an entitled business to claim back the VAT on fuel quickly and efficiently thanks to the invoices being HMRC compliant, ensuring that you don’t miss out reclaiming any tax you are owed. A fuel card will also saves a lot of time, by streamlining the administration of this process through automatic generation and storage of receipts and invoices.

Further benefits of some fuel cards is the availability of interest-free credit for a period after purchase – a facility which enables a business to maximise its cashflow, whether it is a an SME or a larger fleet of company cars, commercial vehicles or HGVs.

*For instance, a business running a fleet of 10 diesel commercial vehicles (averaging 20,000 miles per annum and averaging 43mpg) could save around £2,120 by using a fuel card, according our fuel cost calculator at comparefuelcards.co.uk.

Why compare fuel cards?

  • Get the best value

    By comparing business fuel cards you can find the one that offers the best value for your requirements.

  • Fuel cards offer different benefits

    Some fuel cards offer HMRC-compliant invoices meaning no need to keep receipts, some offer discounts on vehicle servicing and repairs whilst others are more widely accepted so it’s important you find the one that’s right for you.

  • Weigh up your options

    The best way to find the right card for your business is to compare the specific benefits and then you can choose the right business fuel card for you.