Fuel cards: what are the benefits for employees?

Keeping track of business expenses is time-consuming and often a frustrating process too. Missing or damaged receipts make it tricky to uncover who bought what, which causes difficulties even when the sums involved are relatively small. But when it comes to filling up a vehicle’s fuel tank, the costs can be substantial, so it’s essential to keep tabs on employee spending.

HMRC would appear to agree. Fuel invoices need to adhere to strict criteria, so your administrative staff need to keep on top of these receipts. But as countless organisations know, chasing up missing receipts for employee expenses takes up valuable time. Yet your employees don’t want to be out of pocket when they need to fill up either, so it’s essential to find a solution that works for everyone.

This is where the use of fuel cards can prove useful. These dedicated cards enable your staff to fill up with fuel at a variety of service stations around the country. Each fuel card comes with its own partners, so it’s relatively easy to find a suitable option for the majority of UK businesses, and they bring substantial benefits for your team too, such as:

1. Fuel cards are simple to use

When an employee needs to fill up their vehicle, the entire process is simplified thanks to the use of a dedicated fuel card. Employees can drive into a partnered service station, fill up their vehicle then use their fuel card, in combination with a unique PIN, to pay for the transaction. Every fuel card has a unique PIN, so the fuel spend of each individual can be tracked, ensuring that there is no confusion at a later stage and minimising the risk of fraud. 

2. No need to collect paper invoices

Receipts come in all shapes and sizes, but they are very easily lost, mislaid or damaged. When it comes to the end of the month, trying to collate an extensive collection of paper invoices, remembering what was spent and the date it was spent, can be both challenging and highly time-consuming.

Fuel cards enable your employees to fill up whenever they need to, without having to keep personal records of each trip to a filling station. The fuel card company collects all the requisite data, presenting your company with one single VAT invoice which is compatible with HMRC systems. Each employee’s spending is listed clearly, showing the date and time at which they refuelled for complete avoidance of doubt.

3. Your employees won’t have to spend their own cash

Asking employees to pay for their fuel upfront can be stressful and leave staff out-of-pocket until reimbursement at the end of the month. Staff members that are low on funds are unlikely to give of their best to your firm if they’re feeling taken advantage of by having to dig into their own wallets or credit card balances to fund their work costs. The old approach places the onus on your staff to control their personal expenses, which creates added work for them. 

At any given time, an employee might be experiencing financial difficulties that they don’t wish to draw attention to, or they may not have the cash readily available at the time they need to fill up. A fuel card relieves them of the necessity to carry their own cash or cards with them. It also reinforces the fact that your team are working for a thoughtful and considerate firm which values their time and efforts, helping to generate goodwill.

4. Potential for earning rewards

Depending on the choice of fuel card, it may be possible for your team to collect loyalty points, which can then be used toward supermarket goods or gifts. Some fuel cards operate exclusively with certain supermarkets, for example, so that every visit to the forecourt results in the accumulation of reward points. Select fuel cards may offer a discount on fuel prices too. 

Fuel card benefits aren’t limited to staff only. Companies will also reap the benefits of a happier, more satisfied workforce and your administrative team will spend less time chasing up individual employees for expense claim forms — a win-win situation for everyone.

However, opting for dedicated fuel cards isn’t the only solution. There may be plenty of different types of fuel cards around, but an alternate solution for your employee fuel expenses might be to buy a prepaid card. Prepaid cards, such as Soldo, offer business owners adjustable rules so employees can use them for appropriate and necessary business expenses.

While Soldo is not a dedicated fuel card, you’ll still receive detailed account information showing all costs in real-time, thereby enabling you to keep a close watch on company-wide spending with little fuss. Essentially, a Soldo prepaid card offers all the benefits of a fuel card, but across a far more extensive range of business expense categories.

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