Best Fuel Cards for Truckers

Fuel cards can help your business to control fuel purchases.

Updated: March 27, 2024
Matt Crabtree

Written By

Matt Crabtree

 
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Tracking expenses is easier than ever before, with numerous apps and cards available for all areas of your business. Monitoring fuel expenditure with business fuel cards is one aspect of expense tracking that could help lower fuel costs and prevent employee theft.

Trucker businesses have an average annual fuel expenditure of over £36,400 per vehicle, making trucker businesses vulnerable to overspending. However, fuel cards can help your business to control fuel purchases.

In this article, we will highlight the benefits that fuel cards can have for your trucking business, expertly reviewing the 6 best fuel cards for truckers in the UK.

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1. Truckone Fuel Card★★★★★Click Here
2. Smartdiesel Fuel Card★★★★★Click Here
3. Diesel Tracker Fuel Card★★★★★Click Here
4. BP Plus Bunker Fuel Card★★★★Click Here
5. Esso National Fuel Card★★★★Click Here
6. Soldo★★★★Click Here

What Is a Fuel Card?

A fuel card is a physical or digital card that is used as a payment method to pay for fuel. Fuel cards are used in a business so that management can control the amount of fuel purchased by the business as well as obtain some financial discounts. 

An employee no longer requires employee credit cards for purchases when fuel cards are in use.

Limits can be imposed on a fuel card account to stop employees spending too much of the business’s money. You can also limit the fuel stations an employee can visit with some fuel card providers so you know your business is paying the most cost effective prices available for fuel.

How Do Fuel Cards for Truckers Work?

Company fuel cards work as a payment method to pay for fuel, just like credit cards or virtual debit cards. A business will decide which fuel card provider they think offers the best value to their business and make a fuel card account.

Once set up, the employer will disseminate fuel cards to its employees, with one fuel card and one PIN provided to each relevant employer.

Employees will be provided with a fuel card if they are expected to travel during their employment. This includes HGV drivers as well as employees who drive to different locations or business trips on a regular basis.

To use a fuel card, the employee will follow these steps:

1. Fuel card limits: The employee will be provided with a fuel card and PIN from their employer. They must also know about any limits or restrictions imposed on the account.

2. Find an authorised fuel site: The employee must use fuel stations authorised by the employer. This may include using supermarket fuel stations so that the cheapest prices can be obtained. 

However, HGV drivers must also be aware of whether a fuel station is appropriate for their vehicle size.

3. Top-up fuel: The employee should put fuel into their vehicle in the normal way, adhering to any limits imposed.

4. Paying for fuel: The employee will pay for fuel using the fuel card. Depending on the fuel card provider and the fuel station used, you might be able to implement a contactless payment at the fuel pump by tapping the card onto the card reader.

Or, you might need to go to the fuel store and complete a chip and PIN transaction. Some fuel stations may also record your vehicle registration and mileage.

5. Tracking: As soon as a purchase is made using a fuel card, the business fuel card account will be updated. You can see how much fuel was purchased by the employee as well as the location, time and date.

6. Paying the invoice: Unless you have opted for prepaid fuel cards, your business will receive an invoice for payment every few days or once per week, detailing all fuel purchases made and a request for payment.

What Are the Benefits of Fuel Cards?

Fuel cards provide several benefits for your business when purchasing fuel:

1. Controlling Fuel Purchases

Using a fuel card ensures that your business can control how much money an employee spends on fuel purchases. 

You can set limits and require that only certain fuel station brands are used so your business can gain the best value when an employee purchases fuel.

2. Reduce Costs

When sticking to limits and using approved fuel stations, an employee cannot purchase more fuel than is required, or purchase an expensive fuel brand.

Immediately, costs are reduced due to the limits imposed. You can also have greater autonomy to plan and budget fuel costs in your business, accurately predicting how much your business will spend on fuel each month.

3. Easy to Use

Fuel cards are easy to use, just like credit cards and debit cards. You might be able to use contactless transactions with your card, or even use an app or digital wallet to make payments.

4. Accessibility

With thousands of fuel stations across the UK accepting fuel cards, there will always be a fuel station close by, whatever your location. However, this will depend on the fuel card provider you opt for.

5. HMRC-Approved Invoices

Most fuel card providers ensure that your fuel card account provides HMRC-approved invoices, detailing the entire fuel purchases made by your business during the period.

This document will save your business time when completing admin tasks whilst also increasing the accuracy of the information in your accounts.

6. Discounts

Some discount fuel card providers will offer specific fuel discounts for your business, such as 5p off every litre of diesel purchased. Your business can place restrictions on the fuel account so that the employee uses the fuel that offers this discount, saving your business money.

7. Security

Fuel cards add a layer of security to your business as they are PIN protected. Additionally, fuel cards deter employee theft due to the high level of tracking and management in place.

8. Fuel-Only Purchases

When using an employee credit card, purchases could be made that exploit the expense benefit offered by the business. 

For example, the business could not prove that a £50 purchase from a fuel station was solely for fuel when using an employee credit card, as the employee might have added drinks and other items to the purchase.

A fuel card ensures that only fuel is bought. You can sometimes amend this restriction to allow the employee to purchase oil or other items required for the vehicle, however.

What Are the Disadvantages of Fuel Cards?

Whilst there are many benefits of using fuel cards for truckers, there are also some disadvantages to be aware of:

1. Misuse

Unless you have placed limits and restrictions on the fuel card account, unauthorised purchases could still take place. It is a responsibility of the business and the management to monitor and track fuel card purchases to prevent misuse.

2. Charges

Some fuel card providers may charge your business set up costs, transaction fees, or monthly charges to use the fuel cards. Be aware of all fees and charges that your business will need to pay before signing-up with a fuel card provider.

3. Limited Accessibility

Depending on the fuel card provider you use and the restrictions you have imposed, employees might find it difficult to find a fuel station nearby.

To prevent this, ensure the fuel card you want for the business is accepted in many fuel stations.

At a Glance, Pros and Cons

Do you need a quick and clear overview of the pros and cons of fuel cards for truckers?

Take a look at this section which contains everything you need to know:

Pros

✔️ Limits and restrictions — Imposing limits and restrictions on fuel card accounts prevents employee misuse and ensures that your business is gaining the best value for its money.

✔️ Accessibility — Major fuel cards are accepted at thousands of UK fuel stations. However, you must find the most accessible brand for truckers as some locations may not be suited to HGV’s.

✔️ Costs — Controlling the fuel purchases in your business will help to lower costs. Employees will not spend too much when they know the limits and restrictions and understand that the purchases are being tracked.

✔️ Easy use — Fuel cards are used in exactly the same way as bank account cards. Employees will be provided with a physical card and PIN to make a chip and PIN purchase, or a contactless card for contactless payments.

It may also be possible to add the digital card to the employees digital wallet to increase ease of use.

Cons

❌️ Fees — Ensure you are clear as to any set-up costs, monthly charges and transaction fees that may be applicable to your fuel card account.

❌️ Unrealistic restrictions — Ensure any restrictions placed on a fuel card account are realistic, considering accessibility as well as how much a vehicle needs when topping-up fuel at a fuel station.

❌️ Relaxed monitoring — Fuel cards will only prevent misuse and employee theft and a higher risk of fraud when limits and restrictions are in place and when the business monitors and controls those fuel card accounts.

❌️ Missing a discount — If your employees can only use certain fuel stations and fuel brands, you might miss out on a discount offered by other providers.

6 Best Fuel Cards for Truckers — Reviews

Which fuel card suppliers offer you the best value in fuel spending when your employees purchase fuel?

Take a look at our 6 best fuel cards for truckers and fuel card prices available in the UK:

1. Truckone Fuel Card — Best for Tariff Choices

Features:

  • Accepted at over 3,000 fuel stations.
  • Bulk diesel purchases at 750 HGV fuel stations.
  • Accessible at UK motorways and ports.
  • Velocity online management portal.

Tariffs:

  • Weekly fixed tariff — fixed prices across the network across the week.
  • Pump saver tariff — offers savings on fuel purchases.
  • Pump checker tariff — fixed pricing yet also allows you to pay the lowest price if it falls below the fix.

The Truckone fuel card is tailor-made for truckers, ensuring that this card is accepted at over 3,000 fuel stations and 750 HGV fuel stations, including UK motorway and port accessibility. Control and manage your business fuel expenses at any time when using the Velocity online management portal, providing you with clarity.

There are three tariffs on offer with the Truckone fuel card, starting with the weekly fixed tariff that is suited to high mileage diesel vehicles. The price of the fuel you purchase will be fixed each week so you know the price to expect and budget for.

The pump saver tariff aims to provide a saving every time your business makes a fuel purchase, providing you business with greater clarity over expenses.

Additionally, there is the pump checker tariff that fixes the price at the pump yet so prices do not rise, yet allows you to purchase fuel at a lower price if the pump price falls lower than the fixed price.

2. Smartdiesel Fuel Card — Best for Low Prices

Features:

  • Accepted at over 2,000 fuel stations.
  • Bulk diesel purchases at 450 HGV fuel stations.
  • This includes 135 discounted Smart Saver sites.
  • Desktop and smartphone control apps.

Tariffs:

  • Smartdiesel pricing — you set the price you will pay according to the amount of fuel you use.

The Smartdiesel fuel card is accepted at over 2,000 fuel sites, of which 450 are HGV sites. In addition, you can use your fuel card at 135 discounted Smart Saver sites for lower fuel prices.

You can manage your fuel purchases with desktop and smartphone control apps with 24/7 access, utilising tools to send text and email alerts.

The pricing structure of Smartdiesel is clear and transparent, ensuring that your fuel price is set according to the amount of fuel you purchase and use.

3. Diesel Tracker Fuel Card — Best for Fixed European Prices

Features:

  • Accepted at over 3,600 fuel stations.
  • Bulk diesel purchases at 750 HGV fuel stations.
  • Prices are linked to European trade prices.
  • Use the Velocity app to manage and control fuel purchases.

Tariffs:

  • Diesel Tracker pricing — prices are tracked to European trade prices.

The Diesel Tracker fuel card is best for truckers who travel across the continent, with prices tracked to European trade prices.

This fuel card is accepted at over 3,600 fuel stations and 750 HGV fuel sites, while you can manage fuel purchases using the Velocity app.

4. BP Plus Bunker Fuel Card — Best for Branding

Features:

  • Accepted at over 1,200 BP fuel stations.
  • Bulk diesel purchases at 600 HGV fuel stations.
  • Prices are fixed each week.
  • Use the app to manage and control fuel purchases.

Tariffs:

  • Fixed weekly tariff — prices are reviewed and fixed each week.

The BP Plus Bunker fuel card is the best fuel card for truckers if you are looking for a reliable and successful brand, such as BP.

Use this fuel card at over 1,200 BP fuel stations and 600 HGV sites. You can manage fuel purchases online so you can stay one step ahead to control and manage expenses.

Fuel prices are reviewed and fixed each week with the BP Plus Bunker fuel card so you know you are getting value for money.

5. Esso National Fuel Card — Best for Additional Purchases

Features:

  • Accepted at over 3,400 fuel stations.
  • Bulk diesel purchases at 1,170 HGV fuel stations.
  • Accepted at BP and Shell fuel sites.
  • Purchase other products such as oil and lubricants.
  • Use the app to manage and control fuel purchases.

Tariffs:

  • Esso National pricing — weekly fixed tariffs.

The Esso National fuel card is the best fuel card for truckers if you want your employees to be able to make additional purchases whilst still remaining in control of expenses. Employees can add items such as oil and lubricants to their fuel card purchases.

This fuel card is accepted at over 3,400 fuel sites including BP and Shell, as well as 1,170 HGV sites. Monitor purchases and control expenses in your business by using the app to manage and control fuel purchases.

Additionally, you will receive fixed prices when using the Esso National fuel card, ensuring you can effectively budget your fuel expenses.

6. Soldo — Best for Integrations

Features:

  • Accepted at all fuel sites.
  • Integrate with accounting software.
  • Use the app to manage and control fuel purchases.

Tariffs:

  • Use at any fuel station so you can get the best price.

Soldo fuel cards are a good choice if you want flexibility and integrations. Soldo fuel cards are accepted at all fuel stations so you can obtain the best fuel prices available at that moment.

Use the app so you can manage and control your expenses and fuel purchase even on the move. 

However, a key benefit of the Soldo fuel card is the ability to integrate with other software such as Xero web-based accounting software. When linked to Xero, the fuel card purchases will automatically update to your accounts, providing your business with accurate data and saving time on admin tasks.

Leading Best Fuel Cards for Truckers: The Verdict

Business fuel cards can increase fuel efficiency in your business and improve cash flow, with branded fuel cards offering reliability and trust in their brand. But, which is the best fuel card for truckers in your business?

If you are looking for a choice of tariff for your business, the Truckone fuel card offers fixed weekly pricing to pump saver and pump checker options. However, if you want the freedom for your truckers to use any site across the fuel network, Soldo fuel cards could be the best choice for you.

However, HGV fuel cards allow purchases of just fuel. If you want your truckers to possess the freedom to buy other items for their vehicle, such as oil and lubricants, opt for the Esso National fuel card for employees in your business.

Related Guides:

6 Best Fuel Cards for Truckers: FAQs

Why should I use a fuel card in my business?

Can employees buy food with a fuel card?

Is fuel cheaper with a fuel card in the UK?

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