Getting a small business up and running sometimes feels like one long, expensive admin task – so we’re always on the lookout for helpful tools to save small business owners and sole traders time or money (preferably both!).
One important tool if you want to be seen as one of the best businesses for attracting and keeping employees, and you have a team on the road, is the fuel card – a simple and useful financial product that lets you take control of your vehicle costs.
How does it work?
If you’ve not come across fuel cards before, then think of them as credit cards specifically for fuel payments. You can issue them to all of your employees, who will then be able to use them for business related fuel expenses. Depending on the card that you choose, they may also be able to use them for tolls and for purchasing certain vehicle maintenance products or services such as carwashes. As a small business owner, this could benefit you in a number of ways:
- Cash flow. Payments are not always predictable, especially in the early days of a business, and that can leave you out of pocket at certain times in the month. A credit agreement will help you to manage your cash flow.
- Manage your team’s fuel spending. If you have a team working for you then you need to be keeping track of their transactions and using a fuel card is an easy way to record and report on this. Going through the reports can give you some interesting insights, too – for instance, fuel efficiency, are you using more fuel than you need? You may also notice that there’s an issue with one of your vehicles due to fuel spending that’s inconsistent with the rest of the fleet. Having accurate reporting all in one place will also save on admin, as you don’t need to collect receipts from your drivers.
- Reclaim VAT. The invoices that you receive will ensure that it’s easy to get the VAT back from your fuel expenses.
These cards usually do involve paying a small monthly fee, so make sure the benefits that you receive are worth the minor expense. For the vast majority of teams, the time and money saved will more than make up for the fee.
How do I get one?
There are several different fuel cards to choose from, and they all offer slightly different things. To make sure that you’re getting the best deal for your needs, you might want to consider heading to www.icompario.com/en-gb/, where you can use their tool to compare different fuel cards. Some of the key points of difference to consider are the fees, the number of petrol stations that they cover nationwide and the fuel types on offer.
Aside from letting you filter the different fuel cards based on your business needs, iCompario have also given each card a small write-up indicating who it would be most useful for. We would suggest spending some time reading about the different options before making your decision, since the card that you choose is likely to get a lot of use – not just from you, but from your team as well.