With numerous fuel card options to choose from, finding the best one for your trucking company can be a challenge.
Before committing to a fuel card program, make sure you’re avoiding these six mistakes that many carriers often make:
Going with a Card Program That Costs Too Much
The largest fuel card providers offer some advantages in terms of partnerships and fuel networks. They can also be more expensive. Some fuel cards often charge hefty transaction and membership fees, and pass along other costs of doing business to their customers. Before selecting any fuel card, be sure the expenses fit within your fleet’s budget.
Making a Snap Decision When Selecting a Fuel Card
Some trucking companies choose the first fuel card program that pops up on Google, and they soon come to regret it. As with any business decision, you need to be a smart consumer and do some homework. Take time to research several fuel cards. Compare pricing, terms, discount programs and other benefits, and select the best fit for your fleet and where your trucks run.
Getting Stuck with a Limited Fuel Network
You want a fuel card that provides maximum flexibility on where your trucks can fuel up. Choosing a fuel card that has a regional network or that partners with only one fuel retailer could severely limit how much your company can save on diesel.
Overlooking Fees, Terms and Other Commitments
Before entering an agreement, make sure you fully understand everything about the fuel card program. What are the fees? How long is the term of the contract? How do you receive your discount? What other benefits does the program offer? Who do you call when you run into a problem? Knowing all this up front will make for a better relationship with your fuel card provider.
Choosing a Card That Doesn’t Include a Line of Credit
Having a fuel card with a weekly line of credit helps keep your trucks running, addressing any unforeseen expenses on the road. A fuel card credit line can also generate cash flow during times when shipper demand is low.
Ignoring Other Benefits Beyond Fuel Savings
A fuel card may offer good diesel discounts, but what else can it do for you? When researching fuel card programs, look for ones than can help your company save on other expenses like maintenance, tires, document scanning and tax reporting. A fuel card that offers many ways to save is usually a better long-term resource.