13 September 2021

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Fuel cards are a brilliant tool that can support businesses of all sizes and streamline their expenses process.

A fuel card, at its most basic level, is a payment card that is exclusively used to pay for fuel usage, primarily petrol and diesel. Employees simply pay with their fuel card and the firm is billed directly, rather than using a personal card or cash to pay for company fuel.

It’s a simple system that allows users to pay as they would with a normal credit or debit card, making it really easy for employees to make payments and even easier for internal teams to manage their fuel cost.

For organisations with small business fleets, fuel cards can have lots of major benefits including improving efficiency, cash flow and employee experience. At Allstar, we are the fuel card expert when it comes to offering not just an excellent range of fuel cards and fuel card services, but also the best petrol prices through our fuel network. We also offer transparent pricing and a range of online tools, including our mobile app to keep your business fleet, no matter how large or small, running smoothly.

What is considered a small fleet?

A small fleet, sometimes referred to as a mini fleet, usually has between 2 and 20 vehicles, though there isn’t actually any formal or standard definition of a small fleet. Generally, they are the same type of vehicle, for example, a fleet of 10 vans or 5 cars, but not both, however in some businesses a mixed fleet can be considered a mini fleet. You may think that mini fleets wouldn’t need any help with their fuel consumption, or when it comes to saving money on fuel due to their small size, but you would be wrong.

Because of their reduced fuel usage needs, there is a common perception that a small enterprise, sole trader and businesses with smaller fleets aren't good candidates for a business fuel card, or that they don't get any of the key benefits of the fuel card system. This is far from reality, however, as fuel spend can be one of the biggest expenses for small businesses up and down the country.

company fuel card can help both drivers and management if you run company cars, allow employees to use their own cars for business on a regular basis, or have a modest fleet of cars or vans.

However, it’s important that you select suitable fuel cards that are compatible with your small business's goals and satisfies the fuel consumption needs of a small fleet. The right fuel card solutions for small fleets will usually allow you to create as many cards as you need, for a range of different employees and vehicles, as you need them. It will also offer your team access to a large fuel station network with major fuel partner sites that are easy to get to and offer them the best fuel prices on the market.

How fuel cards can meet your small fleet requirements

The great thing about fuel cards is that they are very flexible to the needs of your business, no matter how big or small it is. Whether you have an extensive fleet of mixed vehicles and HGVs, or a much smaller fleet, fuel cards can be used in a way that reduces fuel cost makes sense for you and for your employees. By eliminating the need to keep receipts, complete laborious expense forms, and reimburse personnel, a fuel card system can help you save money, streamline your organisation, and relieve administrative and accounting teams of the burden. Fuel cards provide a variety of business advantages, such as quick payment processing and invoicing.

Fuel cards can be used at any station that is part of the card's fuel network; at Allstar, our network is the largest fuel card network in the UK, and covers 90% of UK fuel stations. Supermarkets, large chain fuelling stations, motorway  service stations, smaller local chains, and many others are included, which means that your drivers won’t ever need to reroute considerably in order to refuel at one of our participating stations. Employees, team members, and cardholders only need to fill up as usual, and then pay using the fuel card instead of cash or a personal credit/debit card.

Cardholders can pay for their fuel transaction with Chip & PIN, swipe or contactless payments, depending on the rules of your specific card. There is so much variety around what small businesses and companies with smaller fleets need their vehicles for, as well as when they need them. That’s why most Allstar fleet fuel cards can also be used to pay at pump, opening up even more stations and allowing your team to fill up with ease out of hours too.

Once your employee has paid for their fuel, the payment is taken directly from the named account of the business. Employee expenditure papers and receipts aren't required because your statement contains all of the information you need with all transactions compiled onto one HMRC-compliant invoice to make VAT reclaim easier and reduce admin time. You can pay off your fuel bills on a regular basis and on a schedule that works for your business, exactly like a credit card, enhancing cash flow management and allowing you to handle your fuel payments when you wish, not when your provider requires you to.

The advantages of fuel cards for employees in small fleets

Employees will never have to worry about combining any business and personal travel expenses if you have a fuel card system in place. Employees can use fuel cards to bypass their personal accounts and charge their business fuel costs to the company directly. Essentially, when you utilise a fuel management system like a fuel card, you will never be out of pocket. Many fuel cards also allow employees to pay for other vehicle related expenses like toll fees for roads and bridges, as well as car washing and oil changes, among other vital purchases. As the fuel card covers these too, employees have even less to worry about when carrying out business travel.

To find out more about our fuel cards, how we can help companies with small fleets or to learn about the businesses we work with, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Our dedicated support team is always happy to help you choose the right card for your business.

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