Want to cut out unnecessary admin and fuel spend? Get familiar with the fuel card suppliers that are going the distance
You’ve arrived on this page because you need a fuel card supplier, and you want to make the best choice for your small business. But with 48 key fuel card suppliers on the UK market – between them forming a £86.6 million industry – how do you find the right one, especially as a first-time buyer?
With the help of our 15 years' experience in the industry and our extensive research, that's how! We’ve delved into the range of fuel card suppliers on the market in 2021, doing the hard work for you by comparing them on price, coverage, benefits, and more. Read on to find out which suppliers have come out on top.
Or, you can skip straight to receiving personalised prices with our free quote-finding service. We'll match you up with fuel card suppliers that can cater to your specific needs, and they'll be in touch directly with tailored, no-obligation quotes and answers to your questions.
The 9 best fuel card providers in 2021
We researched the range of fuel card suppliers on the UK market to help you find the fuel card company that’s best for your business.
Our top fuel card providers are UK Fuels, Esso, BP, Shell, Allstar Business Solutions, Texaco, EDC, The Fuel Store, and Keyfuels.
|Fuel card provider||Recommended as||Star rating|
|UK Fuels||Best all-round provider|
|Esso||Best for regional fuel prices|
|BP||Best for fleet management|
|Shell||Best for range of services|
|Allstar||Best for small businesses|
|Texaco||Best for rural areas|
|EDC||Best for international businesses|
|The Fuel Store||Best for the basics|
|Keyfuels||Best for heavy goods vehicles|
Best all-round provider
UK Fuels is one of the largest suppliers in the industry. As well as its own branded cards (which we've listed below), it supplies cards from major players such as BP, Shell, and Esso, acting as a middleman between your business and those major oil brands. Among the fuel cards on offer through UK Fuels, you'll find tailored programs for HGVs, small businesses, the public sector, and fleets that travel through Europe.
UK Fuels' app, Velocity, is an excellent portal using which you can view all of your team's fuel purchases. You'll also be able to use UK Fuels' free route-planning app, and have the option of signing up to Kinesis Telematics, the company's award-winning fleet management tool.
UK Fuels' fuel cards
UK Fuels offers four branded fuel card programs for use with different vehicle types:
- For cars and vans: the Fleetone and Fuelplus cards
- For HGVs and coaches: the Truckone and Bunkerplus cards
All these cards can be used at 3,356 petrol stations across the UK, except the Fleetone card, which can be used at a few more: 3,381.
UK Fuels' pricing
No signup fees. Annual price depends on the fuel card you select.
- Over 25 years of expertise
- Excellent reputation for customer service
- Site coverage not as large as some bigger providers
Best for regional fuel prices
With fuel stations all over the world, Esso is undeniably a goliath of the fuel industry. Its fuel card program, Esso Card (distributed by WEX), offers benefits including discounts on Esso Synergy fuel, and Tesco Clubcard and Nectar points for your drivers when they fill up at participating stations. You can also rest assured that you won't be paying over the odds for your team's fuel: Esso fuel is priced locally, so it’s usually very competitive – especially outside of major cities.
Esso Card transactions are listed on invoices that are easy to digest and HMRC VAT-approved. As with UK Fuels, Esso Card gives you access to the Velocity app, using which you can view transactions, block cards, and cap spending from the palm of your hand. Helpfully, Esso also provides around the clock support if you get stuck.
Esso's fuel cards
The Esso Card comes in two varieties: Esso Card National, which can be used at 3,532 Esso, Shell, and BP fuel sites across the UK, and Esso Card International, which can be used at 11,813 sites across Europe.
Through UK Fuels, Esso also offers the Esso Truck card, which can be used by HGVs and the like at 1,209 Esso stations.
There’s no charge to get set up, but a nominal annual fee applies.
- Plenty of stations on motorways for convenience
- 24-hour support line
- Not the best for online features
Best for range of services
Shell fuel cards have been around for over 50 years. They give you access to one of the largest fuel station networks in the world, offering reduced prices at over 40,000 Shell forecourts and 10,000 partner stations. Shell offers several tailored plans for different levels of spend. And its range of services goes beyond the expectations of a fuel card.
Shell’s impressive online portal lets you manage the security, costs and transactions of your fleet remotely, 24/7. And its clever route planner makes it easy to plan your next pit stop.
What’s more, Shell’s fuel cards let you pay for more than just fuel. You can use them for tunnel and bridge tolls in all major European countries, and for ferry crossings too. Your team can use them for ‘truck on train’ services, so your drivers don’t need to worry about carrying cash everywhere. A Shell fuel card also gives you access to reliable breakdown assistance if you get stuck out on the road.
Shell's fuel cards
Shell offers a choice of single-network cards, which can be used at Shell's 1,100 UK stations, and multi-network cards, which can be used at 3,800 stations across the UK – including Shell, Esso, Texaco, Gulf, Gleaners, Circle K, and Morrisons.
When applying for your Shell Fuel Cards, you can plump for international cards, which can be used at Shell and partner network stations around the world.
Prices start at £18/year, with a minimum spend of £300/month.
- Breakdown assistance in almost 40 countries
- Huge network of stations
- One of the more expensive options
Allstar Business Solutions
Best for small businesses
Allstar may not be as much of a household name as BP, Shell, or Texaco, but it’s still a big player in the fuel card world.
Allstar offers a choice of four cards that can be used at up to 7,700 stations in the UK – that’s a staggering 90% of all UK fuel stations. Partner brands include BP, Shell and Esso, as well as supermarket chains such as Morrisons and Tesco.
Allstar boasts the largest network of fuel sites in the country, and a fuel card used by over 1.1 million drivers. Its concise online reporting streamlines your invoicing process, meaning you can cut down on the tedious admin stuff and get back to growing your business. Plus, your drivers can claim up to 30% off on servicing and repairs at over 9,000 UK garages.
Allstar’s prices are available on request. Click here to get quotes and explore top Expert Market approved suppliers.
- 24/7 support service
- One of the most secure networks on the market
- Transaction fees apply
Best for rural areas
With a household name and thousands of UK sites, Texaco is an established and reliable fuel card provider. It’s especially great if you operate in rural areas outside of major cities. As a major global brand, Texaco can offer some of the most competitive prices on fuel of any fuel card supplier.
Texaco is one of the four major oil brands in the world, distributing 270,000 barrels throughout Europe every day. That’s nearly a billion barrels a year. You would expect Texaco to offer extensive coverage, and it does, with over 2,300 stations in the UK alone. These sites include Morrisons, Murco and Jet service stations, as well as Texaco own brand sites.
No setup or joining fees. A small fee for topping up at BP stations applies. Texaco is the only UK fuel card supplier to offer competitive fixed weekly wholesale prices for all fuels.
- Card can also be used at 1,200 BP stations
- Trusted, internationally recognised brand
- Surcharge to top up at some non-Texaco stations
The Fuel Store
Best for personal use
Up-and-coming fuel card provider The Fuel Store was only started a couple of years ago. But it already claims to offer the largest multi-branded site network in the country.
And with approved HMRC invoicing, 24/7 payment management and competitive pricing, it’s already showing its ambitions to take on the industry big guns.
The Fuel Store’s fuel card, like its rivals, lets you monitor your fuel consumption and total spend. It gives you more control over your company and lets your drivers go cashless. You’ll get fuel reports and transaction information at your fingertips, and have access to a friendly team of account managers if you get stuck.
The Fuel Store’s weekly fixed pricing means you won’t be at the mercy of the tectonic week-to-week shifts in fuel prices, so you can save more in the long run.
As its other services show, the Fuel Store does the basics well. It offers weekly fixed pricing with no hidden fees and a small annual card fee. A minimum usage fee applies if you end up drawing less than 300 litres of fuel per month.
- Simple account setup
- Annual fee a third cheaper than many big suppliers
- Limited range of features compared to other suppliers
Best for heavy goods vehicles
Keyfuels gives you access to a network of over 2,750 multi-branded sites, including Tesco and Morrisons supermarkets. Keyfuels started out in the haulage industry, so its fuel card is great for catering to the bigger vehicles on the road.
Over 540 of its forecourts are tailor-made for heavy goods vehicles, with high canopies and faster pumps. These forecourts are also strategically placed, meaning you won’t lose time taking detours to fill up.
Keyfuels also offers ‘ControlMax’, an intelligent online system exclusive to its brand. It gives you more control over your fuel security by letting you monitor fuel card velocity controls. You can enforce these in real time to make sure you stay on top of your drivers.
Keyfuels’ standard pay-as-you-go plan offers a fixed weekly rate. However, it also offers a card that lets you negotiate directly with fuel suppliers.
- 35 years of experience in fuel management
- Strategic fuel site selection
- Less effective option for fleets with smaller vehicles
Best for international businesses
With more than 6,500 European refuelling locations, the European Diesel Card (EDC) is perfect if your business spans the continent. EDC lets you wrangle reduced prices of up to 50% on road and tunnel tolls across Europe.
EDC cards offer no minimum spend and don’t rope you into a contract. So how much you spend is solely up to you and the demands of your business.
Weekly fixed rates for diesel. You’ll need to enquire for further pricing details.
- Intelligent e-route online map tool helps you plan journeys
- Less effective for businesses operating in the UK only
Best for fleet management
BP boasts a card you can use to top up at over 8,000 sites in the country. That includes a third of all motorway service stations, and equates to nine out of 10 forecourts. And BP’s branded site coverage is so extensive that an estimated 90% of Britain’s population lives within 5 miles of a BP forecourt. Now that’s convenience!
BP’s intuitive app allows you to quickly find your closest refuelling station. And you can quickly and easily log your vehicles’ miles using its automated mileage capture tool. And when you factor in BP’s strong brand power and solid customer support? It’s not hard to see why over 40,000 UK businesses use its fuel cards.
No signup fees. Annual fees depend on the size of your fleet and the card selected. Minimum spend applies.
- Extensive network coverage
- More than 100 years of experience
- Higher card fees for businesses with smaller fleets
The fuel card you choose has to reflect your unique needs. If you’re starting out and need a card to do the basics, you should go with one from UK Fuels or Allstar. Heavy-hitters like BP, Esso, and Shell still offer the weight of big names and even bigger network coverage. But lesser-known fuel card providers like The Fuel Store are bringing great value and simpler solutions for small business owners.
As you know, though, different suppliers offer a range of different fuel cards – so next up, why not take a look at our favourite fuel cards? Or, if traditional, credit card-style fuel cards aren't right for you, it could be that you'll find prepaid fuel cards easier to manage.
Have you found the answer to your company’s fuel card question? If not, don’t stress – we're here to help you get free, tailored quotes from top suppliers. Simply answer our quick questionnaire, and we'll match you up with the fuel card suppliers that best suit your needs. They'll then be in touch to provide no-obligation quotes, and answers to your questions. All you have to do is sit back, relax, and get stuck in to the personalised options you're given.
How do I choose the best fuel card supplier?
Three questions to consider:
The fuel card supplier best suited to your small business isn’t always the one offering the biggest savings on fuel. There are several other factors to weigh up before choosing your provider. Before you dive in, ask yourself these three questions:
What type of vehicles make up my fleet?
Is your fleet mostly made up of HGVs? You’ll want to go with a fuel card supplier with access to as many HGV-friendly sites as possible, such as Keyfuels. Some companies offer extra savings on the price of all types of fuels. So it’s essential to match your fuel card supplier with the needs of your business – and your engines.
Where do my vehicles operate?
If your vehicles operate nationally, then it pays to choose a supplier with a large network of motorway refuelling stations, like BP. If your company is a regional operation, you’ll find that Esso offers great savings. And if you operate mostly in continental Europe, then the EDC should be your first point of call.
What’s my average monthly spend on fuel?
Some fuel card suppliers slap you with a minimum monthly spend. While this isn’t really a factor for larger businesses, it’s something you should consider if your fleet is still small.