Fleet News

New pre-pay initiative aims to help fleets denied access to fuelcards

The Fuelcard Company is launching a pre-pay fuelcard called Diesel Advance to help fleets that want to provide their drivers with a fuelcard, but have been “locked out” in the past.

The initiative aims to help businesses with a low credit rating, as well as an influx of new transport business start-ups that have entered the market.

The fuelcard reseller told Fleet News that a large number of these new businesses are still unable to pass credit checks to obtain a fuelcard with an appropriate limit, often due to lack of trading history despite an exemplar credit history.

As well as prohibiting access to savings at the pump, The Fuelcard Company says this also leaves companies without valuable monitoring and reporting tools.

Diesel Advance is the company’s response to what it sees as a gap in the market, allowing users to ‘pay-as-you-go’ which negates the need for pre-qualification credit checks.

Colin Peters, head of marketing at The Fuelcard Company, is expecting significant interest in the new product.

He said: “For many years businesses have been locked out of the fuelcard market because of low credit ratings and short trading history. With slow economic recovery and ever-increasing fuel prices, we wanted to help businesses by providing a way to access the benefits of a fuelcard while allowing greater spending control.”

He added: “We’re anticipating a substantial uptake and working with a new customer base, from the sole trader to multi-national haulage operators. The card is available to anyone with the £50 minimum top-up amount.”

Other fuelcard providers have launched pre-pay cards, but The Fuelcard Company claims that these are not as flexible as its offering and are still subject to credit checks, while Diesel Advance customers can top up online when they want and as much as they want via a credit or debit card.

As with ‘traditional’ fuelcards, Diesel Advance’s pricing is based on the bulk fuel market and offers a fixed weekly price, which The Fuelcard Company says will be lower than the national pump price m“nine times out of 10”.

Operating on the Keyfuels network, the card is available to use at 1,700 sites nationwide including Tesco and Morrisons. The only fee involved is the annual card charge of £12 – there are no additional drawing or usage fees.

Online reporting and account management aims to help fleet managers keep track of their fuel spend, allowing for increased control over fuel usage which can lead to substantial long-term savings, while cards are embossed with the company and driver name and/or vehicle registration.

Businesses are able to monitor the fuel usage of individual drivers as well as the entire fleet, providing managers with a wealth of information which can help to identify areas where savings can be made, such as routing or training drivers to adopt a more fuel efficient driving style.

All fuel drawings are channelled through one system and are listed on a single VAT approved, compliant invoice. Receipts are also HMRC approved.

Customers can access a choice of free tools, including The Fuelcard Company’s online site locator and free iPhone, iPad and Android smartphone app to explore the Diesel Advance network on the move.

Meanwhile, they will be emailed when their balance drops down to 25%, 15% and 0% of their estimated weekly volume to ensure the card never runs dry.

Diesel Advance will be launched next month.

Click here for fuel and fuel cards best practice and procurement insight

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