Fuel Cards: Assessing UK fuel card providers
You have plenty of options when it comes to choosing your fuel card provider. You can go with well-known brands such as Shell, Texaco or Esso. They will either offer you access to pay at their own sites (a branded network) or across a number of different sites (multi-branded networks) which might also include certain supermarket petrol stations.
Once you have chosen your fuel card supplier, you need to fill in a short application and wait for account activation. This is a very quick and easy process.
Each of the main fuel card providers has slightly different contracts, offers, terms and price structures. This quick guide to the UK’s most popular providers should help you make the right choice.
- Allstar: one of the largest UK fuel card providers, with 8,000 participating filling stations. They find the best price no matter what your fleet size, and work in partnership with vehicle service providers such as Kwikfit and ATS.
- BP: With the largest nationwide network of service stations, BP offer excellent customer service and online account management as well as great coverage, especially on motorways. They offer a PIN-enabled bunker fuel card with fixed diesel prices at most sites and the BP Plus card, one of the UK’s (and Europe’s) most widely accepted cards.
- Bunkercard: cater for larger HGV businesses and hauliers, focusing on motorway sites and low-priced diesel. They offer a dedicated account manager with every contract and payment for motorway tolls can also be made.
- Esso: offer single-and multi-network pump price cards for car and van fleets as well as fixed-weekly diesel commercial card with a network that includes 240 HGV-friendly sites.
- Forecourt: an independent fuel card provider that offers a particularly large range of service stations in its network, including Shell, Texaco, BP, Total and Esso stations. They don’t charge fees and you can monitor your usage online.
- Fuelcard People: an independent fuel card company offering real variety for all kinds of businesses, from taxi services to large-scale HGV delivery fleets and additions such as parking and truck washing.
- Fuel Genie: offer the only business fuel card accepted exclusively at supermarket filling stations, such as Tesco and Morrisons, allowing you to take advantage of lower supermarket prices and loyalty points schemes.
- Shell: offer an excellent choice of business fuel cards and are one of the country’s most widely used fuel card providers, with particularly good coverage across Europe. They offer fixed diesel prices across the continent and their multi-network card can also be used at all Texaco, Total and Esso service stations.
- Texaco: their fuel cardsreally expand your available network of service stations, as they can be used at selected Tesco, Morrisons and Co-Operative forecourts as well as Moto motorway services.
Shopping around for the best deal
Given the large number of fuel card companies on the market, you are sure to find a deal that matches your needs and offers competitive prices. Don’t just take the first deal you find; good research will always pay off. So seek out quotes, references, and recommendations from trusted sources before choosing your fuel card.
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) offers a dedicated card scheme for small businesses, in association with The Fuelcard Company, which is also worth investigating.