The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Fleet Fuel Cards: AF's Comprehensive Card Comparison

May 2005

Effectively managing fleet fuel costs in times of supply and price fluctuations can be a frustrating task. Events and developments across the globe can impact the price of fuel at local stations all across this country. The volatility and uncertainty in fuel prices this year has prompted many fleet managers to turn to fuel management programs and fuel cards to control costs. These programs offer a variety of advantages, including timely and comprehensive reporting, security, extensive networks of fuel stations, and expense monitoring. Of particular importance for public sector fleets, some programs offer exemption processing of federal excise taxes on unleaded and/or diesel fuel. Fleet managers can track purchase amounts, types, and times with one consolidated report. Monitoring fuel costs and purchases often leads to improving a fleet’s fuel economy. Online exception reporting spotlights irregularities for immediate investigation. Mileage and fuel economy can be monitored in the same monthly cycle. Lost or stolen cards can be cancelled in real-time modes, avoiding loss liabilities. Many fleets can save significant administrative costs and boost productivity simply from the reduced paperwork and data-entry time achieved with a comprehensive fuel management program. Most providers now incorporate Internet communications and Web site technology in fuel management programs for convenient access to data and records that can be downloaded easily to the fleet’s own database or computer system. The growth of these services and fuel management programs presents a daunting challenge, however, in choosing a provider. A wide range of options are available for fleets of all sizes and compositions, including various exception reporting and security features, pricing and fee structures, and account management capabilities. Finding the “right” fuel card requires careful analysis of an individual fleet’s fueling needs. The following chart offers a detailed overview of some of the most popular fuel card options available today. Included are contact names, phone numbers, and Web sites for additional information. >
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