Fleet cards have been on the market for quite some time and continue to provide value to both consumers and businesses. They bring considerable benefits to the business, and employees can benefit from use too. In this age, with its need for continual diversification, initiative and innovation, fleet cards are becoming a very popular payment option across other operations too, most particularly in the field of car wash operators.
So, let’s take a look at fleet cards in a bit more detail: What are they? What are the benefits? And how can they be used effectively?
Fleet Cards for Car Washes
Fleet cards are effectively a simple answer to funding company oil and vehicle washes without the need to carry cash, company credit cards, collect receipts or expect your employees to stump up the initial outlay and submit expenses’ claims after. They work in much the same way as any normal payment card i.e. the employee presents the card to the cashier or machine, enters a PIN and payment ensues.
The company is then billed directly, and the employee can pick up a receipt as proof of purchase. The transaction will be logged directly on the company account and it will be easily identifiable as to who used the card, when, what for and how much. Unlike credit cards, fleet cards can only be used for specific transactions: most notably car wash/valeting expenses. They can be assigned to an employee or vehicle depending on how you operate your fleet cards and are a great way to take control of business expenditure.
Benefits of Fleet Cards
First and foremost, fleet cards dramatically reduce the laborious and time-consuming process of gathering and checking off receipts against expense claims at the end of each calendar month before then reimbursing your workforce. Fleet cards mean there is no expectation on employees to fork out upfront for car washes and other ongoing company car costs, which can be a huge incentive in terms of recruiting and retaining staff. Whatever format they take, fleet cards enable you to consolidate all ongoing vehicle expenses into one account, making outgoings easier to manage and saving considerable amounts of time on tax returns and VAT recovery. And with fleet card purchases being paid off at a regular time each month, it becomes far easier for a business to keep an overview of spending and to better manage cash flow for valeting and other vehicle related expenses.
Fleet cards make it simple to monitor an individual employee’s spending on vehicle related expenses. This can help enable driver performance comparisons to take place across the organisation. By providing feedback to employees and offering eco-driving training if necessary, you can improve driver performance. Fleet cards also make it effortless to separate the costs of business versus private mileage: monthly mileage figures and costs are easily identifiable via the fleet card usage and monthly private mileage costs can be deducted far more precisely and fairly than through other outmoded policies and practices.
With fleet cards linked specifically to individual drivers or vehicles, security risks are significantly reduced. Cards can be embossed either with the driver name or vehicle registration number preventing fraudulent use if the card gets into the wrong hands. The detailed information provided by use of the fleet card also negates any potential for employee misuse and provides the company with far greater control over the use of their company vehicle.
Tips for Car Wash Businesses
Effective use of fleet cards necessitates careful consideration from the outset as to which card is the right card for your business. There is a huge choice out there and the challenge will be to find the one that delivers on your specific needs.
The first thing to think about is the coverage of your fleet card: local, regional or national? Some fleet cards have restricted coverage, not just in terms of branded or non-branded, but also as regards locality. If your business covers the length and breadth of the country, be sure to opt for one that has access to a wide network. In doing so, you ensure reduced fuel costs and enhanced employee performance as drivers are not having to map lengthy diversions into their route to access an approved station.
Consider, also, opting for a card that allows employees to purchase other items such as food and drink. This will ensure drivers take a break, set off refreshed, keep tabs on employee business expenses and cut the cost of other more expensive meal options a company might offer. Some cards will also offer points benefits to the user which is a popular perk for many employees at little or no additional cost to your business.
When opting for your fleet card, do exercise caution and be sure to read the fine print. Some cards map in excessive failed payment fees or make additional charges for paper invoices or for card protection. Check too as to whether the card supplier charges an annual fee for their fleet card. It may only be a minimal amount, but it is always important to factor in all costs when weighing up the benefits to be accrued from the fleet card against the costs to be incurred.
Get Started with PSD Codax
Fleet cards undoubtedly bring many benefits to a business but be sure to review use on a regular basis: what worked for you at the outset may no longer be the best option.
Whether you are in the car wash industry or looking for a fleet card for your business use, we at PSD Codax are market leaders in fleet card technology. Our Codax card is one of the most flexible cards on the market, offering attractive top-up prices on pre-paid wash cards, promotions, offers and numerous bundles of services as an additional attraction.
Whether you are a pre-pay or account customer, we believe our fleet card is the card for you.
To discuss your requirements, contact us today.