There are many factors to consider when choosing your fuel card. You should carefully consider pricing, available locations, acceptance and controls, and other factors. But something that is often overlooked during implementation is how best to assign your cards. The system you choose – driver cards or vehicle cards – will make a difference in your day-to-day operations, so be sure to consider both scenarios.
How driver cards work.
Driver cards, as you’ve probably guessed, are assigned to your drivers. Normally, the driver’s name is embossed on the card along with the company name. Each card is assigned a unique PIN which must be entered after the card is swiped at the pump. Having your cards assigned by driver easily confirms who is making the purchase, and any fuel purchases made with that driver's card is displayed on invoices and reports along with the driver’s name.
Who should use driver cards.
A driver card system is best suited for companies with drivers that stay with the same vehicle throughout their work schedule. It’s easy to manage since fleet managers already know which vehicle vehicle was fueled whenever transaction reports are reviewed. Purchase controls can be set up to manage purchases, and you can prompt drivers to enter the vehicle odometer so that miles per gallon (MPG) and cost per mile (CPM) are calculated automatically. For cards like the CFN card, an additional prompt is available for the driver to input the vehicle number in addition to the odometer. For other cards, you can choose to capture the vehicle number within the odometer prompt.
How vehicle cards work.
Instead of being assigned to drivers, vehicle cards are assigned to the vehicles in your fleet. They are normally embossed with the vehicle number and/or a description so that it’s obvious which vehicle should be fueled with that card. Unlike driver cards, vehicle fuel cards use a “floating PIN” system. Instead of using a single card with a single pin, a vehicle card system uses unique PIN numbers assigned to each driver. In order to make a purchase, the driver must both swipe a valid vehicle card and enter a valid driver ID (PIN). This allows your drivers rotate vehicles (and use different cards), though they enter their own unique PIN each time regardless of the card being used.
Who should use vehicle cards.
A vehicle card system is best suited for companies with drivers that rotate vehicles. The system is designed to make it easy for drivers to remember a single PIN even as they rotate to a different vehicle with a different vehicle card. The PIN identifies the driver making the purchase while the vehicle card identifies the vehicle being fueled. With cards assigned by vehicle, fleet managers can easily add or cancel driver PINs as needed without having to issue new fuel cards. Like driver cards, vehicle cards can be set up with controls to manage purchases, and you can set up a prompt to enter the odometer number and track MPG and CPM.
Regardless of which option you choose, make use of all the security features available to your fuel card program.