By Mecca Burris, TruckersB2B
Even with diesel prices dropping, fuel is still one of the largest expenses for carriers. The better you’re able to control that cost, the more profitable your business will be. One of the easiest ways to manage fuel costs is using a fuel card rather than relying on a corporate credit card or cash for diesel purchases.
Below are five advantages of using a fuel card.
1. Spending Control for Fleet Managers
With fuel cards, you can set limits on how much can be spent, how often purchases can be made, and what drivers can buy. They also allow you to establish daily or weekly gallon limits, plus maximum transactions for each card. If needed, a fleet manager can limit a card to “fuel only” or restrict purchases during off hours.
2. No Out-of-Pocket Expenses for Drivers
Using a fuel card offers extra convenience for drivers, too. There’s no need for drivers to pay for fuel out of pocket, handle receipts, or ask for reimbursement. Additionally, drivers can feel more secure by not needing to carry cash.
3. Save Time on IFTA Taxes
All major credit cards tell you the purchase amount, merchant name, date, and time of each transaction, but you get much more data with a fuel card. Drivers will be prompted to enter extra information such as odometer readings and driver ID (PIN) whenever he or she swipes the card. That access to fleet usage statistics, invoices, and fuel prices will lower your accounting and administrative costs and save you time when filing IFTA taxes.
4. Fuel Discounts and Rebates
Fuel cards are accepted at more than 90% of the country’s fuel stop locations. Most offer competitive discounts and rebate programs, like 2¢ to 20¢ off every gallon. Many fuel cards also offer low to zero transaction fees.
5. Security and Fraud Protection
Utilizing a fuel card is the safest way to purchase fuel. Fuel cards use a driver ID/PIN at the point of sale, providing added security for users. Only fleet executives have secure access to account information and can immediately deactivate lost or stolen cards.
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Note: This article was adapted from DAT’s blog post on www.DAT.com. It was first published in April 2015