In a nutshell, a fleet card (or fuel card) is a type of payment card that allows for easy management of expenses associated with company-owned vehicles. Unlike a corporate credit card—which can be used for a broad set of authorized purchases – fleet cards are designed to be used specifically for expenses related to managing vehicles. Businesses such as trucking companies, ridesharing services or delivery providers will often issue individual fleet cards to employees who use and operate corporate vehicles, to cover fuel, vehicle repairs and maintenance expenses.
This is an exciting time for the fleet card industry. Businesses are looking to improve the management of fuel bills, and fuel cards are a useful tool regardless of the size of your business —from a sole operator with one delivery truck, an owner of a mid-sized fleet or a large national trucking company. Fleet cards can help your organization in many ways. Here are just a few examples:
Accurate Records and Flexible Reporting.
With exceptional reporting and analytics abilities, fleet cards enable owners/managers to stay informed of all business-related expenses, via real-time purchase reports. Automated data also removes the requirement for the completion of costly expense reports and manually administering reimbursements to employees.
Spending History & Budget Control.
Since each fleet card is linked to an individual employee, a business can use their transaction information to monitor spend efficiency and fuel consumption. These types of detailed purchasing controls help better manage overall company fuel expenses and allow for accurate budgeting estimates and adjustments in credit limits when needed.
Another consideration when deciding whether to use a fuel card program is the added convenience for the driver, as extra mileage traveled to find an accepting merchant results in added cost to the company. Since fuel cards are accepted at the vast majority of gas stations, drivers will be able to fill the tank when and where they need to.
Reduce Fuel Expenses.
As a bonus, many fleet cards that are currently on the market offer additional fuel discounts and regular promotions. As fuel is the highest expense in the transportation industry, this can account for some significant savings at the pump!