Business

Fueling Savings – How Fleet Fuel Cards Can Help Reduce Costs

Fuel costs are a major fleet expense, but they can be controlled with effective strategies, including route optimization, driver training, and vehicle maintenance. Fleet managers can also lower their costs with a fuel card.

These cards provide fleets with valuable controls for driver spending and detailed consolidated reporting, reducing time-consuming back-office tasks. They can help you save more through rebates, offers, and more.

Efficient Routing

Fleet managers can use a fuel card to monitor fuel consumption and ensure only company vehicles use the product. This helps control costs by eliminating unauthorized purchases and excessive fueling. Additionally, many fuel cards provide reporting and accounting features that can help business owners monitor spending and usage across all vehicles and drivers.

A fleet fuel card allows you to choose a specific purchasing profile for each driver or vehicle, so your drivers can only purchase fuel at the locations you want them to. This can eliminate unnecessary purchases, which significantly cuts your fleet’s total cost of operation.

Depending on your needs, some cards have a national network of over 2,000 stations, while others are limited to certain brands or geographies. When choosing a fuel card, look for one that offers nationwide coverage and allows you to customize your purchasing profiles so that the card is only used at approved locations.

While fleet fuel cards are typically designed to save you money on gas, they can also offer discounts on other products, including engine lubricants, tires, and cleaning products. Some cards even offer discount programs for food and hotels, which can further reduce your overall business expenses.

Streamlined Payments

Fuel cards offer business owners a variety of benefits. They can include features like granular purchase controls over who, what, where, and when to make it easier for fleet managers to keep track of spending and prevent fraud. They also improve cash flow management by enabling managers to place limits on top-ups, which helps prevent overspending and helps fleets avoid out-of-tank purchases. Additionally, they can enable real-time alerts delivered to a driver’s mobile device to help them stay on top of their vehicle’s fuel usage and location.

The vast majority of these types of cards work just like credit cards, which means they can be used throughout the month, and at the end of each billing period (or whatever timeframe you’ve agreed to with your provider), you pay off what’s owed. Some cards, known as prepaid cards, have the additional benefit of allowing drivers to pre-load their fuel with a set amount of money and then only use it when needed, which makes tracking costs much simpler.

Many fuel card solutions can reduce operating and maintenance expenses by providing discounts at specific gas stations or across a network. They can also help reduce engine idling by automatically shutting off engines when parked, which is especially helpful for heavy-duty vehicles since they can lose up to 15% more energy from idling than gasoline-powered vehicles.

Reduced Risk of Fraud

Much time, energy, and money goes toward tracking and paying for fuel in a fleet. Unfortunately, fraud and slippage are common threats to the industry. Whether it’s an employee abusing their privilege, a thief hacking into a POS terminal, or a driver purchasing personal items at the pump, fraud is costly for businesses.

The good news is that internal fuel fraud is fairly easy to detect with proper data analytics and routine monitoring controls. The key is to set up red flags like frequency of fill-ups at specific stations or frequent double-billing in one location that may indicate something is fishy.

Having a fleet card that allows you to limit purchases to certain days, times, and product types can help reduce your risk of fraud. This can prevent drivers from purchasing unauthorized items at the pump or charging them to the wrong company account. You can also set up product alerts, such as unleaded use and regional blocking, to ensure that only authorized purchases are made.

If you’re tired of sorting through piles of receipts, consider switching to a digital record-keeping system. This can eliminate the need to collect and report on paper receipts while making it easier for your team to spot suspicious activity. It can even be integrated with telematics to track vehicle locations and provide more detailed reporting.

Increased Flexibility

Fleet fuel cards allow you to control how and where your drivers buy gas. You can set transaction limits, daily gallon limits, and other restrictions to prevent fraud and over-consumption. This helps reduce fleet fuel costs and improves driver accountability. Additionally, some of the best fleet fuel cards provide nationwide coverage and offer discounts on gas and tires to help you save even more. For example, the RTS card offers a generous weekly line of credit and a 25 cents per gallon discount at stations on their network.

Some fleet fuel cards also have tools that keep track of your drivers on the road. These can include GPS tracking, pump security code prompts, and more. This allows you to monitor your drivers, ensure they drive efficiently, and reduce the time spent preparing expense reports.

Whether looking for ways to reduce fuel costs or increase your ROI, a fleet fuel card is the way to go. You’ll find that they streamline many aspects of fleet management and help you achieve precise budget control. For instance, many cards have customizable data and detailed online reporting that allows you to track your purchases in real-time. This saves you time chasing receipts and filling out expense reports and gives you the data you need to make smart decisions for your business.

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