Do you run a small business that relies on one or more sets of wheels? In many cases, company credit cards are issued to refuel the vehicle, possibly even earning some reward points in the process.
But then the paperwork keeps mounting in administering and managing the expenses of your fleet of vehicles.
You may also notice that some charges are a little suspicious. However, managing your day-to-day affairs provides less time for investigating these suspicious purchases, so you rationalize this and continue.
As your business expands, keeping a record of fueling may turn into a mammoth task. This is where a fleet card becomes quite handy.
What Are Fleet Cards?
A fleet card is a type of payment card, which is embossed or laser printed with details including the card number, company name, and expiry date (if applicable).
Also known as fuel cards it helps businesses to manage the cost associated with the vehicles they own or use.
A Fleet card is given to personnel by the company for fuel, repairs, and maintenance of vehicles.
Benefits Of Fleet Cards For Your Small Business
Fleet cards help businesses to manage and budget vehicle-related expenses by minimizing the hassle of administering costly expense reports and reimbursement. It also allows for managing and reviewing itemized expenditures for their equipment assets.
Fleet cards offer some advantages that business credit cards lack.
Fleet cards allow you to:
1.) Detailed Track Of Fuel Purchases
Fleet cards provide comprehensive details about every fuel purchase, including the number of gallons purchased, the odometer reading of the vehicle, the date and time, the total cost, and the name of the driver who filled the tank.
According to Tom Coffey, senior vice president of sales for Merchants Fleet (a national fleet management company that provides fleet fuel cards), “information is available in real-time or within hours”.
Most companies provide a website where you can check your data and purchases based on your specified criteria. You can also be able to set up text or email notifications.
2.) Safeguard Against Fraud
Paul Clinton, senior web editor for Automotive Fleet Magazine explains that fleet cards offer point-of-sale security and controls, enabling a business owner to decide in advance which charges will be permitted.
“Initially referred to as the Twinkie defense, so that the fleet card owners could prevent employees from buying food items or charging fuel during non-business hours”, Clinton says.
So a fleet card may come in handy, if you would like to give the cards to drivers, but are concerned about them being used in unauthorized service station transactions.
You will be aware of any fuel purchases made by your drivers at high-priced stations or the selection of an overly-high grade of fuel.
This feature will allow you to take action to stop it from happening again. You may also take care of it if your drivers buy unapproved products like food and beverages.
Employees’ daily spending limit can be set, and the card can even be disabled if it is used after working hours or by someone else without permission.
3.) The More You Fuel, The More You Save
Do you buy more than a thousand gallons of gas or diesel each month? A decent fuel card enables you to save a few cents per gallon.
You might save money for your company by using a fleet card that offers bulk discounts on fuel.
Fleet cards generally offer one to five percent off per gallon. Some card offers tiered programs, which means you can save more by buying more gas each month.
4. Maximize The Fuel Efficiency Of Your Vehicle
The odometer reading helps you find out how many miles per gallon each vehicle each time you are fueling up.
The odometer, through its precise tracking, assists in checking whether your vehicles are utilizing their maximum fuel efficiency.
Also, when it indicates poor gas mileage, it may serve as a warning sign that you need to put the brake on reckless driving or pump up the tires.
5.) Additional Services
Many fuel card companies include extra services in their customers’ packages. For instance, you might receive a specialized account manager. Some companies may provide fleet management reports to assist you in managing a fleet of vehicles.
You can use some cards to make purchases outside fuel. It may consist of essential lubricants like engine oil, coupons for nearby car washes, and car-related accessories.
A fleet card makes sense if your company relies heavily on transportation and you put a lot of miles on a lot of vehicles.
The bottom line is that technology has given you the power which enables you to know where your fleet is at all times, as well as the resources required to keep them safe, effective, and one step ahead of the competition.
All fleet cards are not the same. Different types of fuel cards are suitable for the demands of different types and sizes of enterprises. Many companies tailor fleet cards according to the needs of the customer.
Hence, only you can choose a fleet card for your fleet business. The correct fuel card can make all the difference in terms of ease, management, and overall cost savings, regardless of how many drivers, trucks, or other drivers you have to handle.