When you’re responsible for managing an entire fleet, you know how important it is to save wherever possible. And fuel is one of the most significant costs associated with fleet management—it can make up well over 25% of your operating expenses! Since you can’t control how much fuel your fleet’s vehicles use, you’ll need to look into other opportunities to save on fuel.
One way to improve your fuel fleet management strategy is using a fuel card. With these cards, you can:
- Save big on gas with discounts and benefits
- Consolidate other fleet expenses, like truck repairs
- Receive additional benefits
These cards aren’t “too good to be true” by any means, but there is a slight catch. Since there are so many different fuel cards on the market today, picking just one can be difficult.
To help you get started, here’s Fullbay’s complete guide to choosing the right fuel fleet management card for your business.
What Fuel Discounts Does the Card Offer?
One of the main reasons fleet managers use fuel cards is the discounts they offer. With that in mind, be sure to pick a card that delivers competitive discounts and rebates, along with extra perks like info on local fuel prices for your drivers.
Along with this, you’ll need to decide whether you prefer a pump-price or fixed-price card.
With the former option, you’ll pay whatever price your gas station of choice is advertising (which means you’ll buy fuel the same way you usually would).
On the other hand, fixed-price cards will allow you to pay for gas at a predetermined rate. Better yet, these rates can be two or three cents cheaper per gallon than the national average. And if gas prices skyrocket, it goes without saying that fixed-price cards are something you should seriously consider.
Where Is the Fuel Card Accepted?
Coverage is another factor that can help you narrow down your fuel card options. After all, not all fuel cards are accepted everywhere you go—and finding a card that meets your company’s needs is crucial.
To pick the right fuel card for your business, think about where your drivers will use the card the most often. If they primarily drive in a relatively small area, picking a branded fuel card from the biggest local gas station chain would be wise. On the other hand, if your fleet travels across the country, make sure the fuel card of choice offers extensive motorway coverage.
What Other Benefits Are Included?
The primary benefit of using a fuel card is obvious—it can help you save cash on gas for your fleet. But the perks of having a fuel card shouldn’t stop there.
When it’s time for your business to choose a fleet card, look for cards that deliver advantages like:
- Roadside assistance. No matter how careful you are about keeping your fleet in great shape, there’s no shortage of things that can go wrong on the road. Some fuel card providers connect you with their partners to provide towing and other roadside services.
- Non-fuel discounts. Fuel is one of the largest expenses for any commercial fleet, but it certainly isn’t the only cost you’ll need to think about. If you pick the right fuel card, you could get opportunities to save on tires, retreads, and more.
- Easy repayment. As a fleet manager, you don’t need someone else to tell you how confusing financial management can sometimes get. A good fuel card can make things a bit simpler by allowing you to settle your balance with a credit card.
- Location guidance. No matter what fuel card you pick, your drivers will need to know where they can use it on the road. Many fuel card companies offer systems for drivers to find the closest station that accepts their cards.
Does the Card Offer Reporting or Financial Tracking Capabilities?
While most fuel cards offer some benefits beyond their basic functionality, the best cards go above and beyond. If you choose the right fuel card, it will actively help you deal with big-picture fleet management by offering features like:
- Fuel and tax reporting
- Driver reporting
- Data on mileage/miles per gallon
- GPS software integration
Of course, not every fuel card comes with some or all of these benefits. If these are high priorities for you, double-check that they’re included with any fuel card you’re seriously considering.
Does the Card Fit Your Fleet Size and Type?
While the title of this article might suggest otherwise, finding the right fuel card for your fuel fleet management strategy isn’t actually about picking the “perfect” offering. You’ll want to weigh your fuel card options and choose the best one for your situation—that’s especially crucial when you take the size and type of your fleet into account.
For example, many fleet cards offer loyalty bonuses and discounts—but only to clients who reach a predetermined usage threshold. If you run a smaller fleet, it pays to ensure your drivers can realistically hit these thresholds before signing up for one of these cards.
It’s also essential to ensure your card of choice reflects your service area and fuel needs, like whether your fleet runs on diesel or unleaded gas.
How Secure Is the Card?
Fraud and theft aren’t fun topics to discuss, and it’s easy to assume these things will happen to “the other guy.” But your fleet is just as susceptible to fuel card fraud as any other, so don’t forget security when weighing your card options.
Generally speaking, it’s wise to look for fuel cards tied to reputable banks or large brands. After all, these entities have reputations to uphold. Your card should offer some level of fraud monitoring and business identity protection, too. On top of all that, your fuel card provider needs to make it easy to deactivate lost or stolen cards.
Does the Card Charge Any Fees?
So far, we’ve focused on how fuel cards can help you save money. What you might not be thinking about is the costs associated with these cards. Yes, many fuel cards come with fees—but that doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker.
The fees associated with fuel cards vary from one provider to another. These expenses can include setup, monthly, and annual fees. When looking at one or more fuel cards, run the numbers to ensure your savings will cover these costs.
Is the Card Easy to Manage?
As a fleet manager, you already have enough “spinning plates” to worry about from one day to the next. That means your fuel card should make your life simpler—not add more complexity to what can already be a stressful job.
At a bare minimum, your fuel card must offer easy-to-access customer service. Additionally, today’s fuel cards should allow for account access and management from a mobile device.
Enjoy Simplified Fleet Management the Fullbay Way
Ready for our pitch about the official Fullbay fuel card for your fleet? While that’d be really cool, we don’t actually have an official fuel card. You’ll need to follow the advice above and do some research of your own to pick the card that best suits your needs.
Still, Fullbay can make your job easier in other ways. When you use Fullbay software to manage your fleet, you’ll benefit from:
- Automatic mileage/engine hour tracking
- Service order workflow guidance
- Simplified fleet maintenance reporting
This is just scratching the surface of what Fullbay can do for you. Schedule a demo today to learn more about all the power and efficiency we bring to your fleet!