There are many factors to consider when choosing your fuel card program. You should carefully consider pricing, acceptance and controls, among other factors. But something that is often overlooked during implementation is how best to assign your fuel cards. It’s not just how you label your cards but what system you choose – driver fuel cards or vehicle fuel cards – that makes a difference.
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 fuel card along with the company name to indicate which person is the cardholder. Each fuel card is assigned a PIN which must be entered after the card is swiped at the pump and before fuel is dispensed. Having fuel cards assigned by driver easily confirms who is making the fuel purchase. Any fuel purchases made with that driver's card is displayed on invoices and reports with the driver’s name.
Who Should Use Driver Cards
A driver fuel card system is best suited for companies with drivers that stay with the same vehicle. It’s easy to manage since fleet managers already know which vehicle was driven and therefore which vehicle was fueled. Fuel card 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. For fuel cards like the CFN fuel card, an additional prompt is available for the driver to input the vehicle number in addition to the odometer. For other fuel 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 description so that it’s obvious which vehicle should be fueled with that card. Unlike driver fuel cards, vehicle fuel cards use a “floating PIN” system. With a driver fuel card system, the PIN is assigned to the fuel card; with a vehicle fuel card system, the PIN is assigned to the driver. (Many companies base the PIN on information specific to the driver like last 4 digits of the SSN, phone number, birth date, etc.) In order to make a purchase, the driver must both swipe a valid vehicle fuel card and enter a valid driver ID (PIN). That’s similar to the fueling process with a driver fuel card system. However, the difference with a vehicle fuel card system is that as drivers rotate vehicles (and use different cards), they can enter their own PIN each time regardless of the fuel card being used.
Who Should Use Vehicle Cards
A vehicle fuel 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 fuel 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 fuel card controls to manage purchases, and you can prompt the driver to enter the vehicle odometer to track MPG and CPM. Regardless of the fuel card system you choose, make use of additional layers of security to control fleet fueling.
Topic: Fleet Fuel Cards