A comprehensive guide to fleet card management 

Everything you need to know about fleet cards and how you could simplify your company’s fuel spend

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Fleet cards at a fleeting glance

Thinking of changing the way you manage fuel expenses? You’ve come to the right place. If you already use fuel cards, then you may be familiar with some of their downsides: they can come with a number of fees, there’s often a minimum monthly spend, and, crucially, they can’t be used at every petrol station.

These issues can lead to financial and logistical hurdles for your business, and they can prove frustrating for drivers. Why not go with something more versatile?

Soldo’s smart prepaid cards are infinitely customisable and offer total visibility. They can be used at any petrol station in the UK, and our receipt capture system eliminates the need to carry physical receipts.

Ultimately, Soldo’s cards offer functionality and freedom. So for a fuss-free way of managing fuel spend, give Soldo a try.

What is a fleet card?

Fuel costs can add up fast, even if you only have a couple of employees who regularly drive for work. A fleet card (usually referred to as a fuel card) can make managing those costs far more straightforward by providing insights into fuel efficiency and reducing your admin load. But what exactly are these cards?

A fuel card is a payment method used specifically to allow drivers to fill up at fuel sites. Unlike credit cards, which are much more versatile, fuel cards tend to be exclusively for fuel, so there’s no room for confusion as to what’s being spent and where. They can sometimes offer other vehicle-related purchases, but this will depend on what the specific fuel card provider allows.

There are a range of fuel cards offered by numerous companies. Some providers are big, recognised brands, whereas others are smaller, more specialised companies. Whichever you choose, a fleet card management system can make a real difference to your business’ finances.

How do they work?

When it’s time for filling up, the driver goes about this as normal, then uses the fuel card to pay. This will require a PIN and possibly a unit number as further verification. The business then receives regular HMRC-compliant invoices showing each purchase for that particular period. If you use a Soldo prepaid card, this data can be automatically integrated with your accounts software.

This method of paying for fuel can save a lot of time as it eliminates the need to collect receipts and calculate VAT manually. It also means that employees won’t need to carry cash or a company credit card for their purchases. So not only is it more efficient, it’s more secure as well.

How can a fuel card benefit my business?

By improving the visibility of fuel transactions in real-time, you’ll gain valuable insights into fuel economy and efficiency, as well as CO2 emissions, so you can keep an eye on environmental impact. Comprehensive reporting helps to improve driver and vehicle performance and to minimise your overall fuel spend.

A fuel card management system can give you access to:

  • Real-time insights and bespoke reports on performance and fuel efficiency
  • Additional cards and card cancellation
  • Invoice history
  • Streamlined monitoring fleet and telematics data

What should I look out for in a fuel card?

Deciding which is the perfect fuel card for your business all depends on what your business’ specific needs are, as there are a range of benefits depending on the fuel card provider. Do you have a large fleet of cars and vans, or just a few drivers? Will you need a petrol, diesel, or combination card?

One consideration you’ll want to keep in mind is fuel usage. A fuel card supplier can establish a minimum spend per month, so if your drivers aren’t reaching this threshold of fuel consumption, you’ll want to go with a different provider.

On top of a minimum spend, there are other charges you should be aware of. Most providers charge an annual card fee, although this shouldn’t be too much, as the standard cost is around the £20 mark. Some cards charge transaction fees, too, so that’s another factor you’ll want to keep an eye out for.

One of the biggest draws of a fuel card is that they can offer lower fuel prices than those advertised at the pump. The majority of fuel cards will offer this benefit, and though it may only be a few pence per litre, this can certainly build up over the course of a year.

This can be especially useful if you’re a small business owner and you’re looking to cut down on those smaller costs.

When you’re considering a fuel card management provider, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What’s the monthly fuel usage? How is that likely to change in the future?
  • Is it possible to limit purchases by cost, category, or location?
  • Are fuel prices discounted? If so, are there any conditions?
  • Is the card supported by the reporting tools you need? Will they allow you to gain insights into your fuel spending and identify possible economies and efficiencies?
  • Does the fuelling network cover your area? Or are you likely to fall foul of convenience charging?

Fuel card alternatives

Despite the benefits, there can be drawbacks when it comes to using fuel cards. Remote stations can be hard to find, and some sites carry a surcharge. On top of this, our petrol station distribution map shows that the coverage of different brands differs dramatically throughout the country. This means that the specific stations that are relevant to your fuel card may be few and far between in some places.

If you’re wondering whether fuel cards are right for your business, why not consider the prepaid business card option? These cards can be used for a far more extensive range of expenses whilst still delivering some of the benefits of a fuel card and more.

Rather than being restricted to fuel management, this system delivers the added convenience of a versatile business card, relevant across a far broader range of expenses.

With these cards, employees have controlled access to company funds to cover expenses, so they are no longer left out of pocket. Business owners will have the financial intelligence needed to protect the firm against expenses fraud and to make additional savings.

A card management system like this will allow you to track individual spending habits. The ability to verify vehicles and drivers enables you to analyse spending at a granular level and reduces the opportunities for expenses fraud. This is particularly beneficial right now, as fuel card fraud is on the rise.

And employees only need to carry one card for every type of expense, meaning less admin and less hassle. Rather than tracking payments from numerous card types and reimbursements, you can see every transaction in one place with Soldo’s integrated system.

Simplify fuel spend with Soldo

Soldo offers a complete spending solution with our prepaid cards and intuitive app. You can assign cards to an individual, team, or vehicle, and automatically track what is being spent and where. And because Soldo cards can be set to be used on more than just fuel, your employees are given greater flexibility, and you have complete visibility and peace of mind.

Managers can load cards with the required fuel money for staff, whilst still being able to keep tight control over company-wide spending. Soldo offers fully customisable physical and virtual prepaid business cards for your whole team that you can tailor to your exact needs, offering the same time saving and administrative benefits as a fuel card, but with a wider scope.

And it’s worth bearing in mind that having a fleet of drivers will come with other financial considerations beyond those covered by a fuel card. For example, you may want to keep records of your employees’ travel expenses in order to comply with HMRC’s mileage allowance guidelines. Soldo can help with this, too, as our receipt capture system means you can digitally store the relevant spend data in one accessible place, so you won’t have to rely on physical receipts.

Although fuel cards can provide some of the benefits discussed here, Soldo allows you to cover a much larger range of business expenses. Streamline your cash flow by joining Soldo today.

What is a fleet management system?

Fleet management refers to the systems you have in place to keep track of all of your company’s vehicles and their operation. This can cover fuel, as well as other factors such as mileage tracking. With a system like Soldo, you can track every type of expense all on one card, and view the transactions of every card all in one place.

How do I become an efficient fleet manager?

One of the most crucial aspects of managing a fleet is keeping on top of the paperwork associated with your drivers’ activity. Receipts, mileage, and tax relief are all important, and it’s easy to feel daunted. The right technology can help you keep on top of this, and Soldo’s software is designed with businesses in mind. Our system offers total visibility and security, so why not try it out for yourself and sign up today.

What’s the best fuel card for small businesses?

Fuel card companies all offer varying benefits, but if you’re a small business owner you’ll want to go with a card that is more suited to smaller fleets. This will allow you to keep costs down by choosing a provider with low yearly fees and transaction charges. With a Soldo fuel card you can track expenses as they happen with our smart software.

How can Soldo help manage fuel costs?

Soldo offers a complete spending solution with our prepaid cards and intuitive app. You can assign cards to an individual, team, or vehicle, and automatically track what is being spent and where. Soldo cards can be used on more than just fuel, too, giving your employees greater flexibility, whilst giving you complete visibility and peace of mind.

Switch to smarter fuel spending with Soldo

Get started with a Soldo Pro plan and request a fuel card for just £2 per month.

Monitor fuel spend from anywhere

As soon as an employee makes a payment you can view it on the Soldo dashboard. You can even set notifications

Refuel wherever you want

Save time, money, and effort looking for petrol stations affiliated with a specific brand. Choose convenience instead

More than just fuel

With Soldo you can pay for an endless variety of business expenses, all with one card. 

All Soldo plans include

Soldo Mastercard® cards

Get as many cards as you need for employees and departments. Our contactless cards are accepted by millions of merchants worldwide.

Web-Konsole und mobile App

Web console and mobile app

See spending in real time on the web console. View balances, capture receipts and manage cards on the employee app.

Accounting integration

Export transaction data to every major accounting software, in two clicks. Connect expenses to Xero and QuickBooks.

Kostenlose und unbegrenzte Transaktionen

Free & unlimited transactions

Soldo Mastercard® cards have no fees for domestic transactions and our foreign exchange fee is fixed at just 1%.

No charge for deposits

It’s free to add funds, and money is available to spend instantly. Allocate funds to cards when your team needs it.

Individuelle Unterstützung

Dedicated support

Need a hand? Our friendly customer success team is at your service, providing support whenever you need it.

“We’re a caring company and always look after each other. With Soldo I know I’ve always got my drivers’ backs and the best bit is that I don’t need to do loads of work (or miss out on VAT claims) at the end of the month.”

Karen Green
Operations Manager at Titans Group

“Since we started using Soldo, it’s been such a relief not to have to regularly email or phone the banks to ask for our credit card limits to be raised. I love Soldo’s flexibility – it’s so easy to maintain and everything is in real time.”

Dennis Koehler
Head of Payments and Fraud at GetYourGuide

Read more about fuel cards