What is the best way for a business to acquire fuel for its vehicles?

This seems a strange question for Britain’s leading fuel card company to be asking. But we decided to look at the pros and cons of the different available methods for purchasing vehicle fuel in detail. It’s a complex decision for any business but hopefully these pointers will help you decide which is the best method for your vehicle fleet.

Bulk buying

Pros

You’ll have your own on-site fuel supply and will be able to buy at discounted rates.

Cons

You need a fuel tank, which will only be at one base, and it generally only applies to diesel. Your petrol vehicles will still need fuelling. Owning, managing and accounting for your fuel becomes a serious financial, health and safety, accounting and security issue.

Bunkering

Pros

You can buy fuel for your company at a wholesale price using the market’s ‘bunkering’ system, which can be accessed via special fuel cards or your own storage tank. If prices rise after you’ve bought the fuel, you’ve made a saving.

Cons

You need a hefty cash surplus to invest - then you can lose out if the world price suddenly falls. It generally only involves one type of fuel. Do you need diesel AND petrol? The bunker fuel cards have a vastly restricted network.

Staff pay for fuel at any filling station using cash/card

Pros

Buy whenever and wherever you need it. What could be simpler or more convenient?

Cons

You have to arrange your own system for staff to reclaim fuel expenses and carefully monitor the costs and potential for fraud.

Use credit cards

Pros

They’re convenient and you can use them anywhere to pay the pump price. They often include reward schemes too.

Cons

They are open to the same abuse and fraud problems as cash payments. Miss a repayment and you’ll find the APR rates are crippling. It’s not easy to control their use and the record keeping isn’t easy. VAT invoicing is not often available.

Allstar fuel card

Pros

Britain’s widest network of filling stations, clear itemised VAT invoicing and control over costs, fraud and abuse. Allstar customers can take advantage of our special partnerships to save extra on motoring costs like tyres, breakdown insurance and servicing.

Cons

There is a small fee for the use of the card in order for us to keep providing you with an ever-expanding network and a range of additional services.

For some handy tips about cutting your fuel bills click here.

For more information about the benefits of our fuel cards visit here.