How Does a Company Fuel Card Work?

We break down all you need to know about fuel cards, the handy method to pay for petrol/diesel…

Updated: May 20, 2024
Matt Crabtree

Written By

Matt Crabtree

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To put it simply, fuel cards let employees fill up at any service station within a certain network. 

Employees can avoid using cash or other payment methods by showing their corporate ID card at checkout. The business gets invoiced immediately, and the worker may get a receipt to show for the transaction.

While most of us pay for fuel with cash or credit cards, many find that fuel cards are a more practical and secure option. Learn about gasoline cards, their benefits, and how to use them with this helpful guide!

Fuel cards — What are they?

A fuel card is an alternate payment option that makes it easier to keep tabs on money spent by drivers, set spending limits, and report costs. It might also assist you in controlling the fuel expenses of your company's cars. Using a fuel card to monitor expenses is helpful regardless of the size of your fleet.

Using a fuel card to pay for petrol or diesel on business trips eliminates the need to provide receipts for reimbursement. We'll break down how they work and provide our thoughts on whether or not they make sense for your company in this article.

First, let's consider how fuel cards impact workers. A personal identification number (PIN) will be assigned to your card if you are given one. The card and PIN may then be used to pay for gas at petrol stations, albeit it is vital to remember the specific brand of fuel card used.

This is because certain gas stations only take certain brands of fuel cards, and vice versa. The logos of AllStar, KeyFuels, FuelGenie, FleetOne, FuelPlus, Esso, Shell, and Texaco are just some of the brands you may see as you drive up for a fill-up.

The petrol station employee will need your number plate number in order to provide a receipt. Since the fuel was previously paid for by the business, there is no need to submit this receipt for reimbursement via the formal channels established by the corporation.

Even with a fuel card, employees may earn loyalty points at selected petrol stations, which they can then use for future incentives.

For businesses, how should fuel cards be used?

No matter how big or small your company is, it may benefit from using fuel cards.

Joining a fuel card plan can help you save time and money on managing cost claims. You may save money by issuing HMRC-approved invoices and requiring staff to fill up at just specified gas stations (such as supermarkets, where prices tend to be lower).

There are also fuel cards with weekly fixed-price schemes, in which you pay a certain amount per litre of gas or diesel rather than the wildly changing rates at the pump. This is helpful for keeping expenses down when workers have a habit of filling up at more expensive locations, including rest stops along major highways.

Businesses may keep track of their fleet's total mileage using fuel cards; in addition to the vehicle registration number, workers can be asked for the vehicle's annual mileage. This not only helps you maintain tabs on your fleet, but it can also be used by workers to keep track of their mileage and costs.

For safety reasons, you may also keep tabs on your staff's petrol money by tracking their fill-up locations, totals, miles and vehicle registration numbers. This has the potential to reduce fraud.

What are the advantages of using a fuel card?

For commercial drivers, fuel cards provide a number of advantages.

Fuel cards provide several advantages, for some, including HMRC-approved invoicing, an unlimited number of cards at no cost to workers, premium fuel for company cars, supermarket loyalty points for each purchase, and lower fuel expenses than non-supermarket alternatives.

Where can I use my fuel card?

Which fuel card is best for your company will depend on how large your fleet is and how far you need to go. Before signing up for a fuel card, it's crucial to be sure you'll be able to use it at petrol stations throughout the country. 

Some fuel cards are free and may be used at any petrol station that accepts them (including Tesco, Morrisons and Sainsbury's; at Tesco Express, ESSO is sold). The best option if you want to control your gasoline costs without breaking the bank. Apps help drivers locate gas stations quicker, while also making your administrative and account management tasks easier.

Who can use a fuel card?

A fuel card may be used by anybody; businesses of all sizes in the United Kingdom may benefit.

Companies may help their employees keep track of their fuel costs by providing them with fuel cards. The cost of petrol will be covered by the corporation. fuelGenie fuel cards can't be used by people, unfortunately.

Fuel card instructions

  • Check in at any service station in the approved network.
  • Put the proper quantity of petrol in your car.
  • Show your fuel card and loyalty card (if you have one) to the cashier.
  • A VRN number will be required of you.
  • If your company keeps track of its employees' mileage, you'll be given the choice to do so.
  • After that, payment is made by swiping the fuel card.
  • You will be required to sign for the transaction if payment is approved.
  • You will get your card returned along with your receipts and be free to go!

Three top characteristics of Fuel Cards

1. Get better control over business expenses

A fuel card may be a useful payment mechanism since you have complete oversight of how much money each driver spends. You can feel certain that your money is being utilised properly if it can only be used to buy petrol. You can also load unavoidable expenses onto certain fuel cards, such toll road fees or a new set of tyres.

2. It may cut costs

You may be able to identify areas for cost savings by analysing gasoline use and fuel card expenditures. Some fuel cards allow you to choose which stations your drivers may use to refuel at, while others are acceptable at most petrol stations in the UK.

Having your own station network allows you to precisely estimate the cost of a trip and the amount of gas required per mile. Managing where your drivers refuel is another way to save costs and improve efficiency.

3. All invoices pass muster with the UK's HMRC

Using a fuel card to pay for your fleet's petrol or diesel reduces the number of moving parts that may lead to an inaccurate accounting of costs. You won't have to waste time looking for gasoline receipts or digging through old invoices to get the right numbers.

Your fuel card statement will include all of your fleet's gasoline transactions in one convenient location. In addition, HMRC accepts fuel card bills, making it a quick and painless process to figure out how much petrol your drivers have used.

It's easy to see how having a fuel card may improve fleet management, from route planning to expenditure tracking. RAC provides its members with a fuel card that is both competitive and advantageous.

Verdict: How do fuel cards work?

What are the financial benefits of using fuel cards? 

Businesses have many opportunities to save money while using fuel cards. First of all, your business will save time and money by not having to manually balance fuel purchases and invoices. 

Second, you may save time and money at the end of each VAT quarter since your fuel card account will automatically issue an HMRC-approved VAT invoice. 

Finally, a reliable gas station system includes well-known supermarkets like Tesco, Sainsbury's, and Morrisons, where gas is normally 3 pence per litre cheaper.

Related Guides:


What are fuel cards?

Who should use a fuel card?

How do fuel cards work?

Is it advantageous to have a fuel card?

Do fuel cards have any other uses?

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