Company credit cards or petty cash can both be used for fuel accounting, but you’ll quickly find these can be an inefficient and inaccurate way of keeping on top of costs.
That’s why fleet managers across the country use an Allstar fuel card to keep the wheels of their business turning.
What is a fuel card and how does it work? A fuel card is a payment card that drivers can use to purchase fuel they buy for any vehicles they use for business purposes, from taxis to fleet vans to HGVs.
An Allstar fuel card looks just like a credit card and works in much the same way – drivers simply fill up at an approved forecourt and present the card for payment. This payment is automatically charged to the fleet’s Allstar account, and the balance is then settled by the business at the end of each month. No interest is charged on purchases, but fuel cards do come with an annual fee.
For security, most Allstar cards use Chip and PIN technology (although contactless technology is available for small purchases) while vehicle registration numbers and mileages are also recorded at the point of sale.
You no longer need to be concerned that your drivers might get caught short if there are no approved forecourts nearby as Allstar fuel card holders have access to the UK’s largest fuel network. With thousands of conveniently located fuel sites, your fleet will never be far from an Allstar site.
Each time a driver fills up and pays with a fuel card, the payment is charged to the fleet’s fuel card account. The balance of the fuel card account is then settled at the end of each month. There are no interest charges, just an annual subscription fee for using the card.
Using a fuel card makes life much easier for drivers as there’s no need for them to use their own money and claim expenses back, nor is there any need to dish out petty cash to cover costs. Fuel cards can also make things much easier for you in your role as a fleet manager, too.
If VAT returns are a headache, an Allstar fuel card can lighten the administrative load by providing you with one, HMRC-approved invoice. All transaction information, including the VAT breakdown, is recorded at the point of sale, so there’s no need to keep receipts. Plus, our Business Mileage Monitor (BMM) tracks your drivers mileage, but allows you to easily separate your drivers’ private and business mileage. Then, you can simply submit your business mileage for HMRC compliance, giving you one less thing to worry about.
It really is that simple, but if you’re still not convinced an Allstar fuel card is the way to go, here are some more ways in which an account could benefit both you and your business.
Fuel cards offer a range of benefits to businesses, drivers and fleet managers; the first and most obvious being a convenient way to pay for fuel.
But there are so many more ways in which an Allstar fuel card can make life better for you and your drivers, some of which you may not have even considered, including:
Fuel card operators buy fuel at the wholesale rate, and then pass any savings on to fuel card holders, who pay a reduced rate to the one advertised at the pumps. Allstar fuel cards give you access to the lowest price fuel and the largest network of sites in the UK.
Allstar fuel cards provide detailed information on each transaction, which lessens the risk of employees being both tempted and able to abuse the system. Cards can be embossed with driver and company names, or vehicle registration, and also use Chip and PIN technology to further protect against fraudulent use.
Having full visibility and control over fuel spend and driver activity makes it more difficult for drivers to increase their mileage to maximise the amount reclaimed, as can happen when companies use the pay and reclaim method. Using a fuel card means drivers report overall mileage, which feeds into management information reports and makes it easier to track vehicles fuel usage and identify any anomalies. Alerts can even be set up to notify when unusual activity occurs.
The detailed information provided by fuel cards can also help you monitor individual driver and overall fleet fuel consumption. This means you can see which drivers are buying the most fuel and where they’re buying it from, and put processes in place to help save fuel and money.
This could be something as simple as suggesting drivers fill up at alternative forecourts, or as far-reaching as implementing eco-driving training and techniques to help cut fuel usage and save money. You can even limit the amount they can use on the card, to help combat overspending and promote more conscientious motoring.
Fuel cards can save time and effort for both you and your drivers. Because Allstar cards offer access to the UK’s largest network of forecourts, drivers don’t have to shop around or go out of their way to fill up, while the detailed reporting system will significantly cut down the amount of admin you have to contend with. Consolidated invoices make calculating VAT and personal fuel use much simpler, and 24/7 access to your account means you can check real-time fuel transactions and company spend.
Allstar fuel cards can help improve your cash flow with regular fuel payments to suit the needs and budget of your business. To find out how much your business could save, check out our fuel card calculator.
The key to making the most of your fuel card is choosing the one that’s right for your business, and we have a range of cards on offer to suit all sizes and types of fleet.
Compare fuel cards with us to find the best value fuel cards to meet the exact needs of your fleet, whether a local delivery business or a national freight services.
HGV Fleets – The Allstar One card is the ideal choice for HGV fleets who not only need to top up at high-canopy truck stops, but also need to keep an eye costs. The Allstar One card allows drivers to top up at more than 2,000 HGV friendly fuel stations and offers access to the Discount Diesel network, saving more than 2p per litre on average diesel prices.
Small or local businesses – If your fleet mostly runs around town, the Allstar Supermarket fuel card is accepted at all major supermarket forecourts and offers savings of up to 3-4p per litre compared to the national average.
Mixed fleets – If you manage a fleet of cars, vans and HGVs, the Allstar One card offers great fuel prices as well as a comprehensive network of inner city and motorway fuel stations - the ideal solution for mixed fleets.
Unleaded fleets – If you can’t take advantage of diesel discounts, you’ll need a card that offers the most comprehensive range of forecourts. Using an Allstar Supermarket card will guarantee you access the cheapest pump priced fuel, while ensuring your unleaded fleet can service your area.
Allstar fuel cards also come with the added benefit of a comprehensive Business Mileage Monitoring system, which makes managing your drivers’ fuel expenses simple and stress-free.
The completely automated system instantly integrates with all our fuel cards, meaning you can accurately measure and monitor the mileage of your drivers and run detailed reports on all routes taken, and work out accurate pence-per-mile costs to work out exactly how much each driver is spending.
And because our Business Mileage Monitor automatically tracks each driver’s spend and mileage, there’s no need to keep receipts or worry about reimbursement issues – the system does it all for you and is 100% HMRC compliant, meaning you can easily claim all of your fleet’s fuel VAT.
Allstar fuel cards can help keep your fleet on the road in more ways than one.
Our ServicePoint feature offers fleet servicing, maintenance, repairs and MOTs to help keep your vehicles in top condition, while we also offer ‘pay as you go’ AA Roadside Repair and AA Fuel Assist if one of your vehicles breaks down or has the wrong fuel put in the tank.
For national fleets, all M6 toll payments can be made on your fuel card, meaning fewer driver expenses and VAT claims to process and less paperwork for you, saving you time and money.
And if your business is looking to go green, we’ve partnered with Forest Carbon to help offset its carbon footprint. For more details, check out our carbon offsetting guide.
Now you know exactly how a fuel card can help your fleet, it’s time to join the 38,000 businesses and 1.1 million drivers who save time, money and hassle by becoming a part of the Allstar fuel card family.