Fuel cards are a great business solution for fleet management. Traditionally, they are used as a consolidated payment method offering rebates or discounts on fuel. However, fleet fuel cards also provide real-time data with opportunities to improve operational efficiency, reduce costs and achieve greater financial control over one of your largest business expenditures.

Adding a fleet fuel card to your fleet management toolbox is a great way to optimize how you run your fleet.

“As a streamlined payment option, a fleet card provides cost control, improved fleet efficiency and greater security.”

How Fuel Cards Can Help You Run a Better Fleet

Optimizing fleet management is the goal of every good fleet manager. Many use fleet fuel cards to help with the various facets of running an efficient fleet. Fleet cards can help you better manage your fleet. As a streamlined payment option, a fleet card provides cost control, improved fleet efficiency and greater security.

Using Fleet Cards as a Streamlined Payment Option

Simplified Fuel Payment and Consolidated Spending

One of the primary advantages of fuel cards is their ability to simplify the payment process for fuel purchases. Instead of relying on cash or individual credit cards, fleet managers can issue fuel cards to drivers, allowing them to make fuel purchases seamlessly. This eliminates the need for drivers to handle cash.

Transaction Data and Fuel Expense Tracking

Fuel cards also offer the advantage of real-time data collection — the details of every purchase are captured as they happen. This means fleet managers always have access to fuel purchase data. Common data points include:

  • Date and time of purchase
  • Purchase location
  • Fuel grade and type
  • Purchase volume (gallons)
  • Purchase amount (dollars)

All these data points are automatically recorded in a fleet card dashboard, which means a fleet card automates fuel expense tracking. This is a huge benefit to any fleet manager. Drivers no longer need to collect receipts or complete expense reports, and your accounting department no longer needs to process these reports.

Reporting and Data Analytics

In addition to automated fuel expense tracking, fleet cards include helpful reporting tools. You can view your real-time data in many standard reports, or you can customize them. These reports include data analytics to help you identify trends and interpret your data.

Common reports include:

  • Fuel transaction reports: detailing the breakdown of fuel purchases, including date, time, location, quantity and cost of each fuel transaction.
  • Fuel Consumption Reports: include summaries of fuel usage, including total fuel consumed, fuel efficiency and variations in consumption.
  • Vehicle Activity Reports: offer insights into individual fleet vehicles, including mileage, hours of operation, idling time and distance traveled.
  • Exception Reports: highlight abnormal or suspicious fuel card activity, such as multiple transactions within a short time frame or large purchase amounts.
  • Maintenance Reports: show the maintenance history of each vehicle, including service dates, types of maintenance performed and associated costs.
  • Cost Analysis Reports: offer a comprehensive overview of the fleet’s expenses, including fuel costs, maintenance expenses and other related costs.
  • Card Usage Reports: show how fleet cards are used by drivers, including the number of transactions per card and total spending per card.
  • Compliance Reports: assess whether drivers are adhering to company policies and guidelines regarding fuel usage and vehicle operation.
  • Driver Performance Reports: evaluate individual drivers regarding fuel efficiency, adherence to speed limits and other driving behaviors.

These overviews and deep dives into fuel expenses can simplify expense tracking and reporting, making it easier for businesses to analyze fuel costs, identify trends and optimize fuel consumption.

Fleet Cards and Cost Control

Fuel Discounts and Rewards

Many fuel card providers offer fuel discounts or rebates. Saving a few cents on every gallon can add up. In addition to paying less per gallon, fleet fuel cards give users access to savings programs or savings networks. In these scenarios, you can save on fleet-related costs like parts, maintenance, tires, etc.

“In addition to paying less per gallon, fleet fuel cards give users access to savings programs or savings networks.”

Purchase Controls

In addition to rebates and discounts, fuel cards come with purchase controls. These features help fleet managers set parameters around spending. Common spending limits include:

  • Approved days and times
  • Number of purchases in a given timeframe
  • Dollar amount
  • Volume
  • Fuel grade (regular vs. premium)
  • Fuel type (diesel vs. unleaded)

These purchase limits can be a great way to help drivers adhere to fuel spending policies and reduce unnecessary spending.

Fleet Cards and Fleet Efficiency

Efficient Fuel Planning and Routing

Fuel cards facilitate efficient fuel planning and routing, helping optimize fleet operations. By analyzing fuel consumption data, fleet managers can plan the most fuel-efficient routes including fuel stops. This reduces unnecessary detours or delays and ensures drivers can access fuel stations along their routes. Fleet managers save time and money by minimizing downtime and optimizing delivery schedules.

Fleet Cards and Maintenance

Fuel card data can help with vehicle maintenance scheduling. By tracking mileage, hours of use and trends of use over time, you always know when a vehicle is due for scheduled maintenance.

Enhanced Security

Fraud Prevention and Misuse

Fleet cards offer enhanced security features that can help prevent fraud and misuse. Unlike cash or traditional credit cards, fuel cards can be assigned to specific drivers or vehicles. This helps ensure accountability, minimizing the risk of unauthorized usage.

Fleet cards also include personal identification numbers (PINs) preventing unauthorized use. If a card is ever lost or stolen, fleet managers can quickly freeze or cancel the card.

Spending Controls and Restrictions

Setting purchase limits helps manage fuel spend. However, these spending controls also provide an added layer of security. By assigning specific cards to specific drivers, parameters can be set based on the routes they drive. These customized controls prevent misuse.

Optimize your Fleet Management

Whether you want to consolidate spending, automate fuel expense tracking, rein in fuel costs or increase efficiency, a fleet card can help you run a better business.

Learn more at www.efsllc.com.