Fuel cards explained

If you manage a fleet, drive for work, or own a company that relies on vehicles for business, you may have heard of fuel cards. These cards can help to run your business more efficiently, but how do they work? In this article, we explain what fuel cards are and how you can use them to effectively manage your fleet and finances. 

HGV fuel tank

What is a fuel card? 

A fuel card is a payment card for businesses of all sizes - from sole traders and smaller companies operating with just one or two vehicles, to larger enterprises managing fleets. Fuel cards enable businesses to pay for fuel and vehicle related products, whilst keeping record of all payments on the business’ account.   

Radius offers fuel cards for various retailers, with each card offering its own pricing plans with a choice of weekly fixed rates or money off pump prices. Some cards are for individual fuel station brands (such as BP cards or Esso cards) whilst others, such as our own UK Fuels cards, cover multiple brands.  

Each fuel card is protected by its own unique PIN number known only to the user of the card. A stolen card cannot be used to buy fuel without this number, adding an extra layer of security to your fuel purchase.  

Typically, fuel cards are used by companies to manage fleets, although self-employed contractors with high fuel needs can also benefit from a fuel card.  

fleetone in hand

How do fuel cards work? 

The way fuel cards work is simple. Your driver pays for their fuel as normal, and all company fuel card transaction data is automatically compiled into a single weekly HMRC-compliant invoice. Radius take the payment for your fuel on a weekly basis via direct debit, we then reimburse the individual fuel stations for the fuel. 

Business owners and fleet managers can view all transactions made on their company’s fuel cards at any time using their online account. Vehicle trackers from Radius are also an excellent way to manage and report on fuel efficiency within businesses and can also be added to your account. 

How to use a fuel card

First, head over to the e-route station finder map to find your nearest participating fuel station. Once you’ve filled up as normal, simply hand the card over to the cashier who will ask for the vehicle mileage and registration, this is so that it can be included on your fuel invoice. Once this information has been recorded you will be asked to enter your PIN number to complete the transaction. 

The purchase will then be added to the company invoice. Using fuel cards in this way allows employees to purchase fuel without using personal cards and claiming expenses and reduces the paperwork for drivers and administration teams.  

The managing company can then access an online login to view the weekly invoice. This invoice displays details such as the cost of the fuel and the card that was used to make the purchase. 

Courier driver sat in the front seat looking at their phone

How to set up a fuel card

Whether you operate HGVs, limousines, taxis or company cars, your fuel requirements will be unique to your company. That’s where we can help. To find a fuel card that’s right for you, complete our quick and easy fuel cards form informing us of your needs. Radius will then be in contact to set up your account. Shortly after your application is accepted, your fuel cards will be sent out in the post.  

Man viewing EDC fuel card prices

How could I benefit from a fuel card?

If your company operates a fleet, a large amount of management time will be taken up with paperwork and organising fuel charges. A fuel card compiles these aspects into one easily manageable invoice every week, drastically reducing the time and money you spend managing fuel payments and expenses claims.  

Fuel card plans can also offer benefits for fleets and business vehicles. These range from discounts to chain supermarket loyalty points, and vary depending on the card you choose. Radius also offers fixed weekly rates that prevent fuel prices from fluctuating unexpectedly.  

HGV driver looking at their side mirror

How can Radius Velocity help manage my fuel cards?

Radius Velocity offers online access to your fuel card information and invoices. Radius Velocity gives you a single login to use for all of your fuel card administration purposes, cutting out the need to keep track of multiple logins and invoices. Once logged in, you can view all of your fuel card information, run reports on fuel use and costs, and download HMRC-compliant invoices to quickly file for VAT returns. Find out more about Radius Velocity here.  

velocity

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