Best Fuel Cards

The best fuel cards are and how they actually work.

Updated: May 18, 2024
Matt Crabtree

Written By

Matt Crabtree

|
Rebecca Goodman

Edited By

Rebecca Goodman

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It goes without saying that every penny counts when you're trying to manage your expenses as a business owner, and depending on what kind of industry you're in, fuel spending can really stack up.

Fortunately, though, fuel cards can mitigate a huge portion of some of these fees, so throughout this article, we'll be taking a closer look at what the best ones are and how they work.

ProviderScoreDetails
1. Texaco★★★★★Learn more
2. Allstar★★★★★Learn more
3. The Fuel Store★★★★★Learn more
4. Shell★★★★Learn more
5. BP★★★★Learn more

What are fuel cards?

You've probably heard fuel cards being referred to as business fuel cards in the past, and these are essentially the same thing — a specialised kind of payment card that's designed to help you reduce a lot of your fuel-related expenses.

Generally speaking, these operate a lot like credit cards, but the obvious difference is that while you can use your credit card to purchase fuel, fuel cards are exclusively used for fuel purchases.

So, in essence, these are useful financial tools that can help you improve your business's bottom line — by reducing fuel costs.

Still, how do these cards actually work, and what can you expect when you start using one? Let's dive into some of the details.

How does a fuel card work?

Put simply, these cards simplify the overall process that's involved when you purchase fuel for your business vehicles, from taxi driving services to large fleets of trucks.

Fixed weekly prices

One of the main reasons you'd want to get one of these cards is because they have fixed weekly prices for fuel, essentially meaning that you're locked in a stable rate rather than having to keep up with ever-changing fuel prices.

Now that you have some level of predictability, it can be a total game-changer for your business, given that you're able to budget a lot more accurately and ultimately avoid any unexpected spikes in fuel costs.

Minimum spend requirements

Still, to actually benefit from the fixed weekly prices and other perks we just mentioned, the vast majority of fuel card providers require some form of minimum spending on fuel.

This is simply so you're encouraged to use fuel at a consistent rate, but this shouldn't be an issue for you if your business is built around driving.

Having said that, you'd still want to ensure whatever fuel card you end up settling on has a minimum spend requirement that aligns with your business's overall fuel expenses.

Cash flow improvement

These kinds of cards can do wonders for improving your business's cash flow since you no longer have to deal with pump prices fluctuating in an unpredictable way.

This way, you're able to allocate your business's resources a lot better and maybe even plan for other essential expenditures, which is a kind of financial stability that's invaluable regardless of the size of your business.

The pros and cons of a fuel card

At first glance, there are plenty of benefits associated with a business fuel card, but they also have some less desirable traits too.

Pros

Discounts and rewards ✔️

The majority of these cards come with some form of discount or rewards scheme — cashback or loyalty points for every litre of fuel purchased using their card, for instance.

Exclusive offers ✔️

You might also gain access to exclusive promotions and offers, depending on your fuel card provider

Accepted at multiple locations ✔️

Aside from obviously being accepted at the issuing company's outlets, most fuel cards are also accepted across a network of affiliated fuel stations

Cons

Interest rates ❌️

Unless you're using prepaid fuel cards, you'll find that many of these cards come with quite high annual percentage rates (APRs) if you end up carrying balances from month to month

Potential for overspending ❌️

A lot of the additional features and discounts that are offered by fuel cards can definitely tempt you into spending more money on fuel than you might actually need

Annual fees ❌️

The majority of fuel cards out there are free, but some of them still might come with annual fees, as we'll discuss later in the review section

The best fuel cards

Now that we've covered a lot of the basics, let's dive deeper and explore our top picks:

1. Texaco

Kicking things off, let's take a look at Texaco. Now, while many of the options we'll be covering in this list are geared quite heavily towards truck drivers and fleet managers, Texaco actually has the majority of its European presence within the United Kingdom, specifically in Wales and England.

As such, given that they don't need to drive for half as long as Euro truck drivers, we recommend this fuel card provider to any businesses that operate in more local areas — delivery companies or taxi drivers, for instance.

You also can't use this card for electric vehicle charging — making it an unfeasible option for any drivers out there who drive a hybrid or another kind of electric car, for instance.

Of course, you'll have no problem buying diesel or petrol, though, so while it might not be the most eco-friendly card we'll cover on this list, it's definitely still useful.

As for the price of this card, there are no fees in any of the Texaco fuel stations, and there are around 3,200 of these locations available, with 1,200 of these being BP stations where you can also use the card.

So, for something with a bit more coverage, you might be better off with our next choice.

2. Allstar

Allstar One is by far one of the best options available to you if you're looking for a huge amount of network coverage within the UK.

In fact, their website says they cover around 90% of England, so with around 7,700 sites, you shouldn't ever struggle to find a station where you can use your card — even giving you the option to use their Co-Pilot app if you need some help in finding your nearest station when you or your drivers are on the road.

For a bit more context, options like the UK Fuels fuel card only give you access to around 2,950 sites, so this is definitely one of the most impressive cards out there for UK businesses.

However, one of the areas they are lacking in compared to some of the other options on this list is with things like discounts or some sort of point scheme.

Having said that, they do offer discounts for some services, including roadside breakdowns with the AA.

You can also use the card to pay for vehicle maintenance services — whether that's paying for toll fees or oil for your engine — so they do still come with a few extra benefits.

3. The Fuel Store

When it comes to these fuel card suppliers, you've actually got a few different cards at your disposal here, but the one we'll be focusing on the most here is the ‘advantage' card.

Now, what makes this card particularly interesting is the fact that it's a prepaid card. This means you can simply spend however much you want by loading it up with a fixed amount and this can also be refunded whenever you please.

This also means you can get most of the advantages of having a fuel card without needing to have a perfect credit score.

As such, this actually makes The Fuel Store one of the most accessible options for businesses and individuals alike out of all the other options we're going to be covering, allowing anyone to use their cards in the UK regardless of what their credit rating looks like.

Still, aside from its fairly impressive accessibility, it's worth noting that you'd not be able to use this car for any electric vehicles.

In terms of the Fuel Store card pricing, just keep in mind there's a £15 annual fee you'll need to pay for using it.

4. Shell

Next on our list, we have an option that's primarily focused towards anyone out there managing fleets, given that you'll gain access to over 50,000 stations across the world with one of these cards.

Aside from being able to receive discounts on fuel at each of these 50,000 stations, one of the best features of this card is how good an option it is for hybrid fleets, too, given that over 18,000 additional stations are charging points for electric vehicles.

So, not only is it one of the few fuel card providers that cater towards electric vehicles, but it does so in mass numbers, too, making it by far the best option for overall coverage in Europe.

Furthermore, just like the Allstar One card, you're able to use this card for a range of tolls across the majority of countries in Europe too.

Again, similar to Allstar One, you're able to use this card for assistance if you ever break down on the road, so you don't have to worry about any major delays for your drivers reaching their destinations.

5. BP

Next on our list, we have BP, which is probably the most efficient option out there for any particularly large fleets, given how the amount of fees that you're subjected to rapidly decreases when you've got over 200 vehicles.

And yes, while you still have to pay the fixed weekly prices for your account, having a larger fleet actually eliminates all of the transaction fees, making this fuel card by far the best option for major fleets.

While you'd be hard-pressed to find a more accessible fuel network than Shell with its 50,000 stations, BP actually has approximately 24,000 stations across Europe, making it far more impressive than some of the other fuel cards made for truckers.

And lastly, as we hinted towards earlier on in our list, you'll be able to earn rewards for every single transaction you make with BP, so you're getting a lot more than mere fuel savings from using this particular card.

Final thoughts

So, all in all, fuel cards save money at an extremely efficient rate if you're a business owner who's looking to cut down on the price of fuel for your drivers.

It's not just fuel either and many come with a host of other benefits, such as more organised tax reporting for reclaiming VAT, for instance. Just be careful to pick a card that suits your business, and always check the small print. If there is a fee, you'll need to factor this into any savings being made to make sure the card is worth it.

Related guides:

FAQs

How Do Fuel Cards Help With Tax Reporting?

How Can I Apply for a Fuel Card?

What Types of Expenses Can I Cover With a Fuel Card?

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