A fuel card is, as the name suggests, a payment card that is used specifically for fuel. Sometimes they can be used for other vehicle-related purchases such as engine oil and screenwash, but generally the cards are very limited in their reach.
However, this is exactly why they’ve come to prominence. Other methods of paying for fuel, such as cash or business debit cards, have become outdated. Carrying around wads of cash is hardly the most secure way of managing company funds, and it means drivers will have to keep hold of receipts which then get sorted through at a later date. There are lots of steps where things can get missed or neglected.
With business credit cards, the receipt issue remains, on top of the fact that an employee will have unbridled access to the company bank account, and it’s not always clear what’s been spent and by whom.
Business fuel cards eliminate these issues. When a driver uses one at a petrol station, they carry out the transaction as normal, and that’s all they need to do. The business will then receive HMRC-compliant invoices displaying all the payments for a particular period. This means there’s no need to sort through piles of receipts, and because the card can only be used for fuel, there’ll be no mystery payments.
On top of this increased visibility and security that fuel cards have over other payment methods, a major appeal of these cards is that most of them offer cheaper fuel rates than those advertised at the pump. It may only be a few pence per litre, but this can make for considerable yearly savings.