What is more economical for your fleet, a purchasing card (P-card) or a fuel card? It depends on the situation and the makeup of your fleet. Are you purchasing gas or diesel, or perhaps both? Are you a local fleet or traveling over-the-road? Class 8 tractors or pickup trucks? Do you need to report information to IFTA or track transactions for other reasons?
For a sizeable fleet of tractors or straight trucks, it’s an easy answer: fuel card. It gives you the ability to look at detailed transactions within seconds after your driver makes a purchase. There is potential to negotiate deals and you have much more control of what your drivers are buying. The fuel card will be the best all-around solution offering savings along with all the data you’ll need to keep tabs on your fuel program.
The question becomes more difficult when you have a smaller fleet of trucks or cars (let’s use 20 or less diesel trucks/50 or less gas units). In this instance, you want to consider what is most important to your company. If your fleet’s main concern is saving the most amount of money on fuel, then the P-card is the better choice in most cases. You most likely have a business relationship with a bank and you are using them in a couple different facets. Therefore, they will be willing to offer a P-card with a bigger rebate then you can typically get through a fuel card company. However, this does open the door for potential theft. How do you track purchases when you don’t have all the essential information such as odometer, gallons, and PPG?
Of course, there is more to consider. Accessibility, transaction fees, rebate vs. point of sale discounts, and even customer service. There just isn’t enough time or space to fit it in this blog! Reach out to me if you find yourself in this position. We have the tools and knowledge to analyze the best option for your fleet.