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Driver vs. Vehicle: Selecting the Best Fleet Card

Posted September 3, 2015


Many fleet managers think fleet cards are just like mid-sized sedans. Pick a brand you like with a good reputation and great service record, and determine which dealer will give you a good discount.

However, the truth is, today's cards offer fleet managers more than just a convenient way to purchase fuel. They also provide new options to leverage technologies that were not possible just a few short years ago.

Want more information? Please visit our "Whitepapers" section and download the free whitepaper, Flexible Card Types: A New Way to Manage Vehicles, Drivers or Both.

For fleets with many vehicles, or complex operations, a good fleet card can make reporting intuitive - even in tricky situations, when multiple drivers use one vehicle, or vehicles are shared across divisions. Fleet cards can streamline accounting and help tighten purchasing controls, ensuring greater financial security. With more versatility and control at your fingertips, you will quickly realize that not all fleet cards are created alike.

But, finding the right program for your fleet doesn't have to require excessive time and research. It just takes a little introspection. Fleets with less complex operations may find that traditional vehicle and driver cards suit up their needs well.

No matter what the bells and whistles, fleet cards generally adhere to one of two characteristic profiles: vehicle cards and driver cards.

Vehicle cards
Vehicle cards are assigned to and remain with a vehicle. They allow you to track its individual expenses, such as fuel, wiper blades, or windshield washer fluid. You can also track vehicle behavior, such as miles driven, miles per gallon, or cost per mile. Vehicle cards enable the fleet to track vehicle utilization, set maintenance schedules, and predict vehicle replacement.

Driver cards
Driver cards on the other hand remain in the driver's possession. They track driver-related purchases and expenses - e.g., how much fuel a driver buys, and when or where. Thus, the fleet manager can monitor individual driver behaviors: whether a specific employee is allocating company funds efficiently and appropriately, or whether inappropriate or fraudulent spending has occurred. You can dig into a specific driver's use of company assets, such as dump trucks, equipment, trucks, and sedans. This becomes useful when vehicles or equipment are shared among drivers or regions.

Both types of cards require the user to input a unique authorization ID number before a purchase can be approved. This forced input acts like a security checkpoint, one that ensures company cards are being used by the right people in the right circumstances.

Further security measures can be established through the use of authorization controls that restrict the card to certain purchase types. A card can be set to allow fuel-only purchases, such as only for fuel and fluids, and so on. These controls reduce the possibility of inappropriate purchases, and return ultimate power over spend back to the fleet manager, with whom it belongs.

Ultimately, flexibility is the major benefit offered by all the aforementioned card models. Today's fleet cards adapt themselves to the needs of your fleet rather than the other way around.

For more information please visit our "Whitepapers" section and download the free whitepaper, Flexible Card Types: A New Way to Manage Vehicles, Drivers or Both.


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