Speaking from experience, I happen to think the answer to this question is yes, and no. If you run a removal company, or any other company that has vehicles on the road every day, you will know that fuel is one of the largest overheads associated with your fleet.
There are a few benefits to having fuel cards. It means your drivers don’t have to constantly hassle you for petty cash so they have the money to pay for fuel when they’re out on the road, and it also means you won’t have the need to have one of your accounts staff keep an “eagle” eye on the expenses your drivers hand in.
Many companies that offer a fuel card service will make it easier for you to see who is using the most fuel, and doing the most miles. Unfortunately, I have had experience of finding out that drivers have abused the use of a fuel card, in that they take their friends, and family to a garage, have them fill up, and charge it to the card.
Whilst most petrol stations will do their best to make sure this doesn’t happen, it’s not always possible. When you use a fuel card company, they will issue you with weekly, or monthly reports detailing which registrations have made charges against their cards, where, and for how much. These reports will also tell you how much was put into the vehicle each time.
This is a really good way of keeping the amount of money you spend on fuel under control, and I hear you ask what are the disadvantages?
Well, if you operate nationally across the UK, or indeed, if you’re a removal company that travels to Europe on a regular basis, you will need to be able to fill up at any petrol station of your choice, and this is where it can go a bit wrong. Fuel card companies don’t always have contracts with all petrol stations, so it may be that you can fill up at a BP garage but not Shell, and this can be a tad inconvenient.
Also, if you travel to Europe, you will probably need special fuel cards to use and these will more than likely cost you extra. I personally think, making a decision like this should be thought about carefully, and you should do some “number crunching” before you sign on the dotted line with a fuel card company.
Author: Julie Coburn