With fuel costs typically accounting for 40% of fleet expenses, finding new ways to optimize and control these expenses is essential. Fortunately, fleet cards can help.
What is a Voyager fleet card? These cards provide better data to help drivers and fleet owners save. They provide more robust data and offer spending controls like daily, weekly, or monthly limits.
Fuel and maintenance costs are a big concern for fleet owners, so saving where you can is important. Many fleet fuel cards offer significant savings, enabling you to set spending limits and monitor usage. Some even provide discounts on other purchases like tires, lubricants, and accessories.
Before choosing a card, it’s essential to consider the specific needs of your business. For example, an integrated GPS system card can be beneficial if you want to track vehicle mileage and fuel efficiency. If you have a large fleet, you’ll want to choose a card with extensive network coverage so drivers can use it at various stations. Other considerations include the types of fuel you use and how much you spend per day.
Fuel cards can save businesses time and money by automating accounting and providing streamlined reporting. Customizable reporting options enable you to view transaction data by driver, card, vehicle, route, or site and compile financial summaries, odometer reports, purchase controls, and tax exemption reports. Exception reports also alert you to any unusual activity, such as multiple transactions in a short period or high purchase amounts. In addition, many fleet fuel cards offer security features like personal identification numbers (PINs) and odometer validation. This prevents unauthorized usage, which is common in traditional cash purchases and credit cards.
Exception reporting is an incredibly useful tool to prevent unintentional and intentional misuse of your fleet’s cards. It sets a standard for what constitutes normal purchases and runs incoming data against it to highlight discrepancies in real-time. Fleet managers can set up alerts that notify them of individual transactions that fall outside the defined parameters and find out-of-control purchasing patterns at a larger scale in management reports.
Whether you’re looking to improve how your construction fleet tracks and utilizes its vehicles or mitigate internal theft and other issues, exception reporting can help identify problems and implement targeted solutions. Some fuel cards will even directly integrate with telematics to confirm driver identity and engine control unit (ECU) location before allowing a purchase, thus reducing the likelihood of fraud.
You may miss out on significant savings if you’re not already using this specialized feature. For example, if your drivers use their company cards to buy fuel for personal vehicles on the weekends, an exception report can reveal this trend and prevent it by cutting off weekend purchases. As a result, eliminating this behavior can save you thousands of dollars each year. In addition, you can reduce your fuel costs by encouraging your fleet drivers to be mindful of how they drive—for example, by promoting smooth acceleration and deceleration, reducing idling times, and selecting appropriate gears.
The best fleet fuel cards offer a range of online tools to streamline operations, boost efficiency, and cut costs. Online platforms provide detailed purchase information, including vehicle-level details, driver IDs, and purchase controls. You can also set limits on spending by day or amount and get reports to identify which drivers are hitting or exceeding those thresholds. Some cards allow exception reporting, too, which lets you track purchasing behavior that you deem unusual.
Another key feature of some fleet fuel cards is that they automatically record and store data points in a dashboard, eliminating the need to collect receipts or submit expense reports. This saves both drivers and managers time and helps prevent fraud. You can access these dashboards from any internet-enabled device, and they typically come with a wide variety of standard and customizable reporting options, including data analytics and fuel transaction reports. The most efficient card programs also integrate into telematics solutions to simplify operations and help fleets achieve cost savings.
Fleet fuel cards are an easy and effective way to track mileage, get significant fuel discounts, set up spending controls, and streamline IFTA reporting. Shop around to find a card that suits your needs, but don’t forget to weigh the benefits of card acceptance and coverage before deciding. Some cards may charge extra fees for out-of-network use or per-gallon purchases, negating the savings you’re looking to realize with a new card program.
When selecting a fleet fuel card, look for an online platform that displays detailed purchasing data. This cuts time spent on accounting administration by reducing or eliminating the need for receipts, and it also improves security by limiting access to transaction data. The right card will also let you set exception reporting, which allows you to define and track unusual buying behaviors. Lastly, look for controls that align with your operations and specific needs. For example, you might want a card that permits in-store or at-pump refueling only or lets you override spending limits in real time for emergency purchases.
Ultimately, automated expense tracking with fuel cards eliminates the need for drivers to collect receipts or complete expense reports and frees up time for staff to focus on other tasks. Having all your vehicle, driver, and fuel information in one place allows you to identify trends and take action.
In addition to the standard site and fleet-wide spending reports, many fuel card providers offer customizable reports that allow you to view data by individual drivers, vehicles, routes, odometer readings, and more. This allows you to analyze your information and uncover new ways to save through improved business efficiency. Look for fuel cards that integrate with GPS systems, as well, to bring together a more comprehensive picture of your fleet’s operation.