It was Benjamin Franklin who famously observed that time is money. Old Ben was one clever fella so if he were around today he'd be sure to have fuel cards. Why? Because the right fuel cards are the perfect way to save both time and money when you're out and about on the road.
Let's take a look at how fuel cards stacks up against the way you're paying for fuel now, and why it beats cash, credit cards and shopper dockets hands-down.
Fuel cards vs cash
Paying for fuel with cash is a hassle. Keeping track of all that petty cash and all those little invoices is a waste of time when you could simply swipe a card at the counter and be on your way again. If you're an employer your staff will thank you for taking that tedious duty off their shoulders and letting them get back out on the road.
Back in the office your accountant will thank you as well for making their task easier. Fuel cards replaces hours of petty cash reconciliation and chasing up missing pieces of paper with a single monthly statement. Does that sound a whole lot simpler to you?
But not only do fuel cards save time, they save money too, with discounted fuel all year round. You don't get that by simply handing over cash.
Fuel cards vs credit cards
Credit cards are undoubtedly more convenient than cash, giving you a record of your fuel purchases that simplifies your accounting. As well as that they can be used at any service station, which makes them more flexible than some fuel cards which limit you to one fuel company.
But that's really where the advantages end. Unlike Fleetcare fuel cards, credit cards don't offer you discounted fuel. On the contrary, those interest rate charges mean you'll probably be paying more for it. Ouch!
Think for a moment; some credit cards attract a fee, 1.2% to 3.75%. On an average fill of 50l @ 1.35 a litre with a 2% credit card fee will cost you $1,22. That’s a lot to pay on transactions that can happen multiple times per day for an average sized fleet.
Unlike credit cards, fuel cards also gives you a range of information when you combine it with GPS and odometer readings to make business budgeting easier. Information like when your drivers are buying fuel (is it the bottom of the fuel cycle?), the most fuel-efficient routes, and who's using too much fuel.
So while credit cards are probably better than cash they’re really a poor substitute for Fleetcare fuel cards.
Fuel cards vs shopper docket
Perhaps you're thinking shopper dockets are the answer to saving money on fuel? Well there's no argument that they offer you discounted fuel, but compared to the advantages of fuel cards they really don't stack up.
For starters you have to pay for them, which means you have to buy your groceries at one particular shop. This doesn’t work for a lot of us who like to shop around. Then you have to keep track of them, so you're still scrounging around for pieces of paper, or worse, fiddling with apps and rewards cards to figure out if you’re entitled to the saving, every time you buy fuel. So that's cash, invoices AND a shopper docket/cards/apps you now have to worry about.
Then there's the problem of driving around to find the right fuel station to match. Really, haven't you got better things to do?
Finally there's that nagging doubt that you might be spending more at the supermarket than you really need to just to save money on fuel. That's a bit daft!
Doesn't it make sense to forget the shopper docket and just use fuel cards that gives you the same discounts but so much more as well?
Some fuel suppliers and fleet management businesses will be keen to give you fuel cards offering you the advantages of easier accounting and even discounted fuel. That's good but there's just one catch – and it's a big one – you're limited to the one fuel supplier. So when the fuel's getting low you find yourself driving around looking for the right fuel station. That's bad enough if you're in the city, but if your business takes you out to the country it can be a big problem.
You won't have that problem with Fleetcare's fuel cards. You'll get access to all the major fuel suppliers right around the country, saving you time and trouble.
What to look for with fuel cards suppliers
Getting the right fuel cards for your business is one of the keys to efficient fleet management.
One of the first things to take note of is whether the cards are subject to hidden fees and charges. These can really add up over time.
The next question to ask where, and in how many different fuel stations, the cards are accepted. Providers should have resources like provider lists and maps for this.
While reduced upfront costs, fees and charges are attractive features for any fuel cards, it’s important to note that experienced fleet managers will tell you that this will not be your biggest cost. Fraud and abuse of vehicle expenses are much more likely to be cutting into your bottom line. A good fuel card provider will help you spot these hidden nasties. Unauthorised personal use, filling personal vehicles and personal service station purchases can all be identified and managed via odometer collection and point of sale controls.
If you'd like to know more about the advantages of Fleetcare fuel cards contact us today on 134 333.