What are fuel cards and how do they work?

Fuel cards are a great way of making it easier for business car users to pay for – you guessed it – fuel. They’re often safer and more efficient than using credit cards or cash, too, and if you’re starting a new job requiring you to drive, there’s a good chance you could be issued one.

But what are they and how do you use them? We’ve spoken to UK Fuels to find out what a fuel card does and how you can use one.

So just what is a fuel card?

Fuel cards are – as you might expect – cards that allow you to pay for petrol, diesel or other fuels at service stations. They look just like a credit card, but rather than you having to keep receipts and claim payment back, every time you pay with a fuel card the payment goes straight back into one centralised system.

Where do the payments go?

Each time you use a fuel card, those payments will go back and be collected by the service provider. Then, if you’re self-employed, you can get accurate fuel invoices each week which can then be used for self-assessment. This is great for making accurate VAT claims.

If you work for a larger company, then the business might choose the best card for them. You’ll then be issued a card to pay for fuel.

Can I check what I’ve spent online?

Fuel pump
(RHA)


If you’re a sole trader then a fuel card will allow you to check online to see your overall fuel spend and even forecast costs for the future. Particularly in the current climate, this can really help to plan out future spending.

Do lots of fuel suppliers accept these cards?

Yes. You’ll need to double-check beforehand that the fuel station you’re planning to use accepts your specific card, but thousands of stations up and down the country will accept them. UK Fuel has access to over 6,500 sites in the UK, in fact.

I need to drive outside of the UK for work, can fuel cards still work here too?

Yes. Primarily for use by HGV fleets, international fuel cards allow drivers to fill up abroad and still use their fuel cards. UK Fuels says that its cards can give drivers access to over 9,000 filling stations across 21 countries.

Plus, these cards can also be used to allow HGV drivers to pay for toll roads in the EU as well.