With fuel prices rising, how can businesses reduce the cost of running a fleet? 

Fuel prices have hit the news again this week, with both The AA and RAC Fuelwatch reporting that forecourt prices have risen sharply. We explore the reasons behind the hike, the impact on business fleets that rely on fuel to operate, and our tips for reducing overall fuel spend. 


Why have fuel prices risen? 

The answer is not a simple one. And we should stress that we are not market analysts. However, there are lots of factors at play here – most of which are down to geopolitical uncertainty around the world. Here’s our top-level insight into what’s going on: 

At the crux of the recent price rise lies the high cost of brent crude oil, which has a direct impact on pump prices. The Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022 sent commodity markets soaring, pushing up the wholesale prices of oil and gas. The ongoing conflict has resulted in sanctions and damage to Russia’s oil infrastructure, temporarily reducing Russia’s ability to produce (and export) products like diesel and gasoline. Analysts are also keeping an eye on the impact of conflicts in the Middle East. 

In March, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which includes the world’s biggest oil-producing countries, announced that cuts in the production of oil would continue into Q2 of 2024. Since 2022, OPEC has made cuts in the production of crude oil of 5.86 million barrels a day. This volatility and uncertainty of supply has impacted crude oil markets and continues to push prices higher.

As we head towards the summer season, trends show an annual increase in demand as people travel more. That, combined with the weakening of the pound versus the US dollar has contributed to rising fuel prices in recent weeks.


Rising fuel costs and the effect on small businesses  

Business vehicles, and the cost of fuel, are already a major expense for many UK businesses. Against a backdrop of tight economic conditions, businesses face additional pressure due to the rising price of fuel.  

  • As fuel prices go up, the cost of doing business also increases. For businesses that heavily rely on transportation, such as delivery companies, manufacturers, and those who import and export goods, there’s a tough decision about whether to either absorb the cost or pass it on to customers. 
  • The cost of fuel also impacts consumer purchasing power. This can lead to a decrease in consumer demand, which can negatively impact the economy as a whole.
  • As well as the direct impact of rising transportation and lower consumer spending, rising fuel costs can impact the supply chain, with costs passed on to small businesses. 
  • Fuel costs can fluctuate daily, making it tough to forecast costs and manage cash flow. For small businesses, the ability to accurately forecast costs can make a huge difference when it comes to profitability in the longer term. 


How can businesses reduce the impact of rising fuel costs? 


Consider switching to a fuel card. 

One of the best ways to save money off forecourt fuel prices is to sign up for a company fuel card. The process is simple. Find the right provider. Sign up. Pay for fuel using your shiny new card, and reap the benefits of lower fuel costs and HMRC/VAT-compliant monthly invoicing.

Fuel savings

Most fuel cards will offer you savings vs forecourt prices. In 2023, customers of The Fuel Store saved an average of 12.5 pence per litre off the pump price – which can add up to a substantial saving for a small business or a large fleet. 

Improved cash flow

Perhaps not a direct reduction in the cost of fuel, but fuel cards can help improve your business cash flow. Monthly invoicing for fuel allows fleet managers to keep tabs on fuel spending, and budget for fuel costs, helping to manage cash flow more effectively.

Improved productivity

Again, a softer benefit, but they say time is money! Using a fuel card means less employee time is spent on processing expenses or recording fuel spend. With less time needed for admin, employees can spend their time on activities that add to the bottom line! 


Use telematics to reduce fuel costs 

When it comes to return on investment, the cost of implementing a telematics system covers itself quickly. 

Telematics systems can be used to gather and analyse data about driver locations, fuel consumption, RPM and braking habits. By understanding the data, fleet managers can build a picture of driver behaviours, identify areas for improvement, and significantly reduce fuel costs. 

By combining GPS tracking with live traffic data, drivers and fleet managers can optimise route planning. Accessing this data allows companies to schedule and reroute drivers more effectively, reducing idle time and fuel consumption. 


Switch your fleet to Electric Vehicles 

Ok, this isn’t a quick win like the other two, but it still deserves a mention. Making the switch to an all-electric (or mixed) fleet is a surefire way to avoid rising fuel costs. The initial outlay to switch to an electric fleet is undoubtedly a big one, but there are plenty of grants available which can reduce the costs significantly. The cost of powering the vehicles, as well as ongoing maintenance charges, is lower than your average diesel or petrol vehicle, too. 


Ready to save on fuel, and increase driver productivity? Speak to our team for help finding the right fleet management tools for your business. 

Reducing carbon emissions in small businesses 

If you’re a business owner looking to become more environmentally responsible in your practices, April is the perfect time to bite the bullet. #EarthDay was first started in 1970 after a huge oil spill caused environmental havoc in California. It has grown to become a global movement that spans the whole month of April (#EarthMonth). It’s a chance to raise awareness of our impact on the planet and is a good opportunity for businesses to review and reduce their carbon footprints. 


Carbon Emissions Reporting for UK Businesses 

As well as being the environmentally responsible thing to do, becoming more sustainable can save businesses money and attract new customers. Research shows that 73% of businesses that employ sustainable practices  experience sales and marketing benefits, while 43% see growth in production, sales or revenue.  With the Government focused on Net Zero, it looks likely that more and more businesses will become subject to legislative pressure to reduce emissions. 

In April 2022, the Companies Act 2006 was amended to make it a legal requirement for large companies to report on energy usage and carbon emissions. To ensure accountability and compliance, companies that cannot provide the required information must explicitly state the reasons for not doing so. The rules apply to companies with 500 or more employees and £500m in turnover – equating to around 1300 companies across the UK. 

While SMEs make up more than 99% of the UK economy (and generate 44% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions), they are not legally required to report their carbon emissions. However, rumour has it that the government plans to extend mandatory emissions reporting to the wider UK economy, by 2025. 

With that in mind, how can UK SMEs reduce their carbon footprint? 


Simple ways to reduce carbon emissions


Calculate your environmental impact 

Changes to any business process should always start with data. After all, you can’t manage what you can’t measure! 

The Carbon Trust has a carbon calculator specifically for SMEs, which can help companies understand their emissions in line with GHG Protocol Guidance – a comprehensive global framework for measuring and managing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from private and public sector operations and value chains. The calculator covers direct emissions from fuel and production processes, and emissions from purchased electricity for the assets they operate. Having a good understanding of your current position is a great way to identify incremental changes. 

When calculating the environmental impact of your business, it helps to understand the difference between different types of emissions. The National Grid website provides a simple explanation, based on the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. 

  • Scope 1 covers emissions from sources owned or controlled by the business – for example from fuel in a fleet of vehicles.
  • Scope 2 covers emissions that a company causes indirectly. For example, the emissions caused by generating the electricity that is used in buildings.
  • Scope 3 covers emissions that are produced by activities up and down its value chain (i.e. not directly owned or controlled by them). Scope 3 emissions include all sources not within the scope 1 and 2.


Reduce emissions from company vehicles 

Reducing Scope 1 impacts requires businesses to change internal processes away from polluting activities, or to reduce the emissions associated with these activities. One of the most obvious ways to do this is to look at company-owned vehicles. 

Wherever possible, opt for company vehicles that produce lower emissions – this article from Which is a good guide for companies with car fleets. If changing your vehicles is not an option, use fleet management software or telematics that can track driver behaviours, and use the data provided to educate your fleet drivers on how driving habits can impact fuel consumption. Combine this data with route tracking software, and fuel station finders, to help optimise routes and reduce unnecessary mileage. 


Consider switching to an electric fleet 

One of the primary drivers behind the transition to EVs is the reduction of carbon emissions. Traditional vehicles powered by fossil fuels contribute significantly to air pollution and climate change. By opting for EVs, businesses can significantly lower their carbon footprint and contribute to a cleaner, greener future. 

Read our blog to find out more about transitioning your fleet to electric vehicles. Or, if you already have an EV fleet, consider using our EV charge card, which gives you access to a huge network of EV charge points, using electricity from 100% renewable energy sources.

Review energy usage 

Reducing energy use is one of the most common steps being taken by SMEs to reduce their operational costs, while also becoming more sustainable, according to a report from Sage, Oxford Economics and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). 

There’s lots of advice available for small businesses looking to reduce energy consumption – from buying more energy-efficient machinery and appliances to changing office layouts, using thermostats to manage heating, and opting for more energy-efficient lighting solutions. The SME Guide to Energy Efficiency, published by the governmental Department of Energy and Climate Change, has some useful tips, which are simple to implement and can help to reduce scope 2 emissions. 


Switch to a clean electricity provider 

Consider switching your energy supplier. Using information about your current rates and usage, as well as in-depth knowledge of the latest trends and pricing structures, our energy team can negotiate favourable rates with energy suppliers and guide you towards renewable energy options. As well as helping to reduce your carbon footprint, the team can save a whopping 75% off your current bills. 

Carbon offsetting for businesses

Carbon offsetting allows businesses to purchase emissions credits that are used to fund green projects such as reforestation, renewable energy, and carbon capture. While carbon offsetting does not actively reduce emissions, the idea is that businesses compensate for their emissions by reducing carbon elsewhere. 

Carbon offsetting has come under some criticism when companies simply buy credits and take no further action to employ sustainable practices – so it is important that companies select a reputable and verified partner and are proactive in finding other ways to reduce their impact. At The Fuel Store, we work with Forest Carbon to offset our carbon footprint and have set up a Clean Air Partnership, which helps our customers to offset their emissions in a verified and responsible way.


Review your supply chain 

As well as looking at Scope 1 and 2 emissions, SMEs can influence and reduce Scope 3 impacts by reviewing the emissions generated in their supply chains. This might be reducing procurement of new equipment, conducting preventative maintenance to increase the service life of existing equipment, switching to recycled packaging of goods, or using downstream suppliers that employ sustainable practices. 

The other thing to be aware of is that larger companies will also review their supply chain and Scope 3 emissions. If you supply goods and services to other businesses, there may be pressure on you to reduce your emissions upstream, as well as downstream. 

Want to find out more about how to reduce energy bills via green suppliers, improve fuel efficiency, or offset your carbon? Speak to our team today.

Simplifying DVSA compliance for fleet operators 

In the UK, fleet operators must ensure that their vehicles and drivers adhere to regulations set by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).

Well known for overseeing MOTs and driving tests, the DVSA also enforces vehicle safety standards. Complying with these standards is an ongoing process that requires fleet managers to focus on accident risk and safety management, vehicle maintenance, and driver training and behaviour. Here, we explore some simple tips and tools for achieving DVSA compliance. 

Failure to comply with DVSA regulations

Those who fail to comply with DVSA regulations may face fines, penalties, and reputational damage. According to data published by the DVSA, the agency successfully prosecuted and fined 569 businesses during the financial year 22/23. 

Finances aside, health and safety is a huge incentive to remain compliant. According to data from the Health and Safety Executive, up to a third of UK road accidents involve someone who is driving for work – the equivalent of around 250 serious injuries and 20 fatalities every week. As well as legal compliance and duty of care responsibilities, companies that actively invest in vehicle safety also stand to benefit from a reduction in fuel and maintenance costs, as well as reduced vehicle downtime.


Driver’s safety checklists and defect reporting 

The driver has a personal responsibility to ensure the vehicle is safe before it hits the road. This can be achieved by conducting regular walkaround safety checks. Fleet managers or business operators also have a legal responsibility to make sure their drivers comply. 

Drivers should check the condition of their tyres, brakes, steering, lights, indicators, and hazard warning lights. The checks should cover all areas of the vehicle, including the trailer if the vehicle is towing one. This van safety check from the DVSA shows the extent of the checks that should be carried out. Results of the checks should be recorded, defects or faults must be reported, and any necessary repairs undertaken before the vehicle is driven. 


Vehicle Operator’s Duty

Safety begins before the journey does. As an operator, your responsibilities are crucial to fleet roadworthiness. Whether the vehicles are business-owned fleet vehicles, or the employee’s personal vehicle used for work purposes (known as grey fleet), employers have a duty of care.

This includes ensuring that vehicles are taxed, MOT’d where necessary and serviced according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. This responsibility extends to ensuring that fleet drivers know how to conduct vehicle safety checks, undertake repairs or preventative maintenance, and do so regularly. 


Successful implementation of DVSA checks 

Understanding roles and responsibilities is the first step, but the real challenge is consistent application and vigilance. Despite best efforts, the gap between knowing what to do and successfully implementing these practices can lead to significant repercussions, not just for your fleet and your brand, but for the safety of all road users.

Traditionally, vehicle checks are completed on an occasional basis with the information being recorded on paper forms or in a paper logbook. As well as being a time-consuming process, recording data manually on paper is open to inaccuracies or lost data. Switching to a digital solution can bridge this gap, ensure vehicles are safe to drive and result in timely DVSA compliance by all parties. 


Digital tools for DVSA compliance: The Driver Toolkit 

Tools such as the Driver Toolkit from The Fuel Store provide a digital solution that simplifies DVSA compliance and provides peace of mind. With features designed to automate and digitise your fleet management process, you are not just ensuring compliance; you are setting a new standard for efficiency and making the driver’s job easier.


Digital DVSA-compliant vehicle checks

Conduct thorough and efficient vehicle checks in just a few taps. Record the data from your vehicle walkaround digitally, for quick recall in the event of a roadside check.


Customisable vehicle inspection checklists

Your requirements might be different depending on whether you operate a fleet of cars, commercial vans or heavy goods vehicles. The Driver Toolkit allows you to tailor your inspections to fit the unique needs of your operations and avoid penalties during DVSA spot checks.


Avoid DVSA penalties and prohibitions 

Quickly identify and address issues; manage and record load weights; check roadworthiness; and store occupational driving licence validity in one system. Record and retrieve data to prevent DVLA prohibitions and penalties. 

Real-time fleet management insights

Fleet managers can stay informed with up-to-date information on every vehicle. Digital vehicle checks reduce administration time and provide real-time insights through automated notifications. The data can also be used to implement preventative maintenance, reducing vehicle downtime and saving your business money. 

Driver Toolkit is more than just meeting standards; it’s about improving how your fleet works. Switching to our digital tool makes managing your vehicles simpler and more reliable. 


Transform your fleet operations with Driver Toolkit and join the community that is already benefiting from more efficient fleet management. Speak to our team now. 

What is a fuel card? 

Fuel cards are an alternative to payment cards for business drivers. They offer better rates than forecourt prices, allowing businesses to save money on fuel costs and administration time. They are also used to track fuel spending, manage spending limits, and process expenses faster and more efficiently. 


How does a fuel card work?

Fuel cards usually look a bit like credit or store card. Drivers simply fill up as normal and then present their card when paying for fuel. Many cards will have a chip and pin, but all have a magnetic strip down the back of the card, and they can be branded in all kinds of designs.

Drivers simply fill up, then authorise the payment at the kiosk, just as they would with any other payment method. The key difference is that no money changes hands at this stage. The fuel gets invoiced back to the company at the end of the month. 

Different cards can be used at different petrol stations, so it is important to choose a card that offers the best terms and coverage for your business


Key benefits of using a fuel card

It is possible to improve cash flow, save money, and reduce administration time by using a fuel card.

  • Fuel cards give driversVehicles being tracked using telematics software and businesses access to better rates than standard pump prices. As well as reducing your overall fuel cost, they allow businesses to control spending by ensuring that drivers only use approved providers (and only spend on fuel). Choosing a fuel card with good coverage also helps with route planning – which can reduce fuel spend further. 
  • Some cards come with added fraud protection and fleet management tools too. According to the “Fraud Matters” report from Shell, 65% of fleet managers of company cars view fuel-related theft as a big problem. While using a fuel card can reduce the likelihood of fraudulent activity, accessing and understanding real-time data is also a big step in the fight against fuel fraud.
  • At The Fuel Store, we offer our users access to an intelligent fleet management platform that uses telematics and data validation algorithms to analyse fuel card transaction data to form actionable insights. Used to its full potential, Fuel AI can provide fuel spending savings in the region of 5% to 9% by making simple changes to driver behaviour, reducing fuel card misuse, and creating stronger accountability for fuel spend.


How do fuel cards save money?

They usually offer savings on the cost of fuel. This means you will pay less than the cost of fuel at the pump. In 2023, customers of The Fuel Store saved an average of 12.5 pence per litre off forecourt prices – which can add up to a substantial saving for a small business or a large fleet. 

Fuel cards can also improve business cash flow. Opting to use a card is a relatively cheap way of accessing credit. They allow businesses to purchase fuel without dipping into their cash reserves. Invoices can be settled at the end of the month, reducing the time between paying for the fuel and recouping costs from customer invoices. 


What’s the difference between a fuel card and a credit card?

Some businesses opt to use credit cards to cover fuel costs and other spending. Using a fuel card instead of a credit card offers businesses extra benefits: 


Cheaper fuel costs

Avoid interest charges

No more lost receipts

Fuel cards usually offer users preferential rates vs pump prices. Using a credit card to pay for fuel expenses means that drivers will pay the price displayed on the forecourt. Company credit cards, as the name suggests, allow businesses to tap into credit, and pay bills at the end of the month. However, they often attract hefty interest rates. Fuel cards usually offer a cheaper way of accessing credit. Using a credit card requires drivers to keep a receipt for every single transaction, for submission to HMRC. Using a fuel card means that there is no need for individual receipts. Businesses receive one HMRC-compliant invoice at the end of the month.


Is fuel cheaper with a fuel card?

Yes. Using a fuel card can save your business money.

As well as saving time on admin (we all know time is money!) fuel cards also offer cost savings vs forecourt prices. Fuel card operators have a good knowledge of the market, and great relationships with suppliers, allowing them to negotiate better prices than going direct. Having access to a fixed cost can help with forecasting too! It is important to note that the amount saved will vary depending on the fuel card. 


Who can apply for a fuel card?

Businesses of all sizes can apply for a fuel card – from self-employed business owners or sole traders with one vehicle, SMEs with fleet managers, to large businesses with huge fleets. They can be used for any vehicle that needs fuel or a EV charging (hint, that’s all of them!).

Whether you are a farmer who needs to fuel agricultural vehicles, an HGV operator, a builder or tradesperson, a logistics company, or a company with a large fleet of cars – there is a fuel card for your business type. As well as petrol and diesel cards, there are EV charge cards for electric vehicles too – the only difference is that the card is used to access a network of EV chargers. 


How do I get a Fuel Card?

Once you’re sold on the idea of getting a fuel card, the next step is to find the right one for your business. 

There are plenty of comparison tools online, but the best thing you can do is to speak to an expert. The Fuel Store offers a range of cards. And, armed with some simple information about your business, we can help you to find a fuel card that will give you maximum savings and minimum hassle.

Get in touch now to start saving. 

How fleet telematics systems can optimise fleet performance and improve safety

Very few organisations operate without using the road. With the onus on operators to lower emissions, meet safety targets and ensure vehicle efficiency, many companies are using telematics technology to optimise their fleet management processes. 

What is fleet telematics? 

Fleet telematics is a combination of telecommunications and informatics (using computer systems to collect, store and manage data). It uses a combination of GPS technology and onboard diagnostics to monitor, track, and manage fleets of vehicles. In doing so, fleet managers – and individual drivers – can gather and analyse data on parameters such as vehicle location, speed, fuel consumption, engine health, and driver behaviour.


Fleet of blue lorries lined up in a semicircle



Fleet telematics: seven good reasons to take the plunge 


1. Telematics can improve fleet efficiency:

Using GPS tracking combined with live traffic data, drivers and fleet managers can optimise route planning. As well as the more obvious benefits of reducing idle time and fuel consumption, accessing this data also allows companies to schedule and reroute drivers more effectively. For larger delivery companies or fleets of service technicians, tracking driver locations can also be used to manage customer expectations around arrival times. 


2. Telematics can actively improve safety by monitoring driver behaviour 

driver in high vis sits behind the sterring wheel Driver safety is a huge priority for any fleet manager. Telematics systems can be used to monitor driver behaviour, including speed, harsh braking and other driving habits. By identifying risky practices, fleet managers can implement driver training programmes and improve safety across the fleet. Data can also be used to reduce fuel costs and driver performance (more on that below!).


3. Telematics data can be used to negotiate insurance premiums 

Using stored data and in-built system analysis, The Fuel Store’s telematics system, Fuel Connect, provides each driver with a score based on driver behaviours. Data can be used to establish and maintain consistently high scores across the fleet and then shared with insurance companies to reduce premiums. Some customers have achieved a 70% reduction on their premium! 


4. Telematics can reduce business costs 

When it comes to calculating a return on investment, telematics systems can pay for themselves pretty quickly. Gathering fleet management data and identifying areas for improvement can result in significant cost savings. Scheduling and routing vehicles more efficiently can reduce fuel spend, while improving driving habits can reduce vehicle wear and tear and maintenance costs and reduce the risk of costly accidents. 


5. Telematics can help boost compliance 

Telematics systems can help fleet managers comply with regulations related to driver hours, such as the health and safety at work act, as well as DVSA vehicle inspections. They can also help with supporting and evidencing sustainability commitments by providing actionable insights about fleet emissions. 


6. Telematics can be used to implement preventative maintenance 

Car on ramps in garage, having brakes checked by mechanic Efficient fleet maintenance and an understanding of vehicle health is vital for minimising downtime and reducing repair costs. The Fuel Store’s telematics solution enables you to stay in control of vehicle maintenance by tracking service history and scheduling timely reminders. Real-time fault code detection allows fleet managers to catch vehicle defects early and receive instant alerts, allowing for prompt assessments and repairs which reduce costly vehicle downtime. 


7. Telematics provides actionable business insights 

Fleet telematics systems enable businesses to make data-driven decisions by transforming raw data into actionable insights. Fleet managers can identify trends, evaluate performance metrics, and improve operational efficiency through detailed analytics. As a result, data can be strategically used to enhance efficiency, productivity, and competitiveness.


Choosing the right telematics and fleet management software: 

There are a lot of fleet telematics solutions to choose from. Before making the leap, consider the size and type of your fleet, the tracking metrics you need, and your budget. Solutions can benefit a range of businesses from small one-driver operations to multinationals. 

  • Sole traders may need access to different data sets than large businesses; delivery companies and third-party logistics may need a different data set from a taxi firm; construction companies are likely to need different data yet again: make sure you find a supplier that fits your business.
  • Consider the telematics device itself. How big is it? Is it compatible with your vehicles? Where will it sit within the vehicle? How complex is the installation? How do you access the data? How does it keep its charge?
  • Consider working with providers who offer a single point of contact for a range of solutions that  support good fleet management.

With the right fleet management solution, businesses gain actionable insights, increase safety, reduce fuel consumption, and embrace proactive maintenance. 


computer screen showing data and fingertips on keyboard


Ready to get started with fleet telematics? 

For businesses seeking to enhance efficiency, safety, and cost-effectiveness across their fleet operations, telematics is the answer. By leveraging real-time data and advanced analytics, companies can gain a competitive edge. 


Speak to our team now to unlock the full potential of your fleet management operations. 


Transitioning your business fleet to electric vehicles

The transition to electric vehicles (EVs) has accelerated rapidly. For the 12 months to July 2023, Europe saw a surge of 62% in EV sales, while diesel sales dropped by 9% (European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA). In addition to sustainability gains, the switch to an electric fleet offers numerous benefits to businesses – yet many fleet managers still face barriers to adoption, with the cost of acquisition a major concern.

Here, we explore   

The cost of investing in EV fleets for business 

For many fleet managers, the cost of investing in an all-electric fleet is high on the list of barriers. However, the government’s sustainability plans include a number of financial incentives to encourage businesses to invest in electric fleets. 

Capital allowances on new EVs

The capital cost of a new EV is currently more than a petrol or diesel car. However, new electric cars and zero-emission goods vehicles qualify for 100% of first-year capital allowances. In short, this means that businesses can deduct the total cost of the vehicles from their profits, reducing their overall tax bill. 

Favourable company car tax for EVs

Company car tax is favourable for EVs at only 2%. It is worth noting that this is set to rise 1% each year, to a maximum of 5% in 2028. Meanwhile, however, the most polluting cars will pay 37% company car tax in 2028. This article from Car Wow explains more about how to work out the tax payable on cars with varying emissions. 


red electric car, side-on, being charged
With low emissions, low maintenance costs and a range of grants available, EVs are becoming an increasingly attractive proposition for business owners and fleet managers


Plug-in vehicle grants 

  • Businesses may be able to get a discount on the cost of certain vehicles through various government grants. These include:
    The plug-in vehicle grant, which can reduce the initial outlay significantly. 
  • The Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) covers up to 75% of the total costs of the purchase and installation of EV charge points. 
  • The Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Grant for staff and fleets provides small and medium-sized businesses money off the cost of installing electric vehicle chargepoints and supporting infrastructure for staff and fleet vehicles.
  • Some local councils offer EV grants in addition to national funding. 


VED and Congestion Charge exemption for EVs

EVs are also exempt from vehicle excise duty (VED), vs the current annual flat rate of road tax of £180 for the 2023/2024 tax year. Low and no-emission vehicles are also exempt from congestion charges offering another saving for businesses that operate in cities with low-emission zones, such as Bath. Birmingham. Bradford, Bristol, Portsmouth, Sheffield, Tyneside (Newcastle and Gateshead) and of course the London Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ). 


The switch to electric fleets – revolution or evolution?

There is a lot of talk about the EV revolution, suggesting that the switch to EV fleets is an all-or-nothing strategy. The reality is, for most businesses, that the changeover will be more of an evolution than a revolution – a slow and steady replacement of vehicles as they reach the end of their service life or contract. 

This transition means that many businesses will have mixed fleets – some electric vehicles, and some traditional petrol or diesel. The key to a successful transition is to undertake a cost-benefit analysis and assess your business needs – tools like this cost calculator from ZapMap can help. It can also help to work with a fuel card provider like The Fuel Store, which covers both traditional fuel cards and EV charge cards, ensuring continuity of process for all drivers, regardless of their vehicle type. 


EV fleets offer lower maintenance costs

Electric vehicles typically have far lower maintenance costs. Data from the comparison site Book My Garage shows that maintenance bills for EVs are up to 43% lower than those for alternatively fuelled vehicles.  When compared to an internal combustion engine found in a diesel or petrol vehicle, an electric vehicle has far fewer components. Diagnostic computer reports replace manual checks, and oil filters aren’t required – reducing the overall servicing time and cost.


EV purchase costs are reducing 

Some external forecasts predict that EVs could be around the same price to purchase as a petrol or diesel car by 2035. The sale of new pure-diesel cars and vans will be banned in the same year, with diesel lorries being phased out – making EVs an increasingly attractive proposition for savvy fleet managers. 


EV fleet charging infrastructure 

Infrastructure for EV charging is expanding rapidly. With the government focused on the transition to zero emissions, the Plan For Drivers (published Oct 2023) has been designed to support the transition to EVs. This includes: 

  • Accelerating the grid connections and approvals process for EV chargepoints.
  • Widening eligibility of EV ChargePoint grants.
  • Making private chargepoint installation cheaper and easier.
  • Working with industry to myth-bust concerns about EVs.

This commitment to further improving EV charging infrastructure should help to allay any concerns about EV battery range that some may think will impact fleet management. It is also crucial that fleet managers provide users with an easy way to access an expansive charging network to pay for charging costs. An EV charge card like Paua offers extensive coverage, providing a simple way for businesses to ensure that charging is simpler for drivers. 


EV chargepoint coverage map showing full UK coverage
EV chargepoint map shows extensive coverage with The Fuel Store’s Paua EV Chargecard



EV fleets and ESG

One of the primary drivers behind the transition to EVs is the reduction of carbon emissions. Traditional vehicles powered by fossil fuels contribute significantly to air pollution and climate change. By opting for EVs, businesses can significantly lower their carbon footprint and contribute to a cleaner, greener future. Consumers are increasingly favouring businesses that adopt sustainability goals, with research showing that 73%  experience sales and marketing benefits, while 43% see growth in production, sales or revenue.  


Get in touch to find out how ourrange of Fuel Cards and fleet management solutions, including the Paua EV Charge card, can help support efficient fleet management during the transition to EV.


The Energy Bills Discount Scheme (EBDS) is ending. How can businesses reduce their energy bills? 

The cost of utilities continues to be the most commonly cited cause of rising cost pressures, according to the Federation of Small Businesses. With the Energy Bill Discount Scheme (EBDS) ending in March 2024, how can businesses keep control of their energy costs? 


What is the EBDS? 

The EBDS is a business energy support scheme provided by the government. The scheme, which replaced the Energy Bill Relief Scheme in 2023, was designed to help those struggling with rising energy prices. Energy suppliers automatically applied reductions to the bills of all eligible non-domestic customers, offering businesses welcome relief on their energy bills. The scheme is due to end in March 2024. It is not currently unknown whether there will be further support or relief for businesses, making it important that business owners review their current contracts and practices ASAP – before the scheme ends.   


Could the end of the EBDS impact my business?

We firmly recommend that businesses review their tariffs and energy use as the EBDS ends. 

The impact of the end of the EBDS will vary depending on several factors, including the business’s size and type, its industry sector, and its energy consumption habits. However, many businesses are likely to see their energy bills increase significantly after the scheme ends. Impacts could include: 

  • Increased energy costs could reduce profit margins and impact cash flow.
  • Businesses may need to increase the costs of goods and services to cover price increases. 
  • Providers may continue to collect monthly tariffs at current rates, potentially resulting in underpayments when the discount is no longer in play. 
  • The Federation of Small Businesses has raised concerns about the impact of rising standing charges (a fixed daily fee you have to pay for energy, no matter how much you use). Reducing overall energy costs and reviewing tariffs is a good way to minimise the impact of these costs. 


Aren’t energy prices set to fall in 2024? 

Escalating wholesale market volatility, triggered by geopolitical factors, combined to drive up energy unit prices in January 2024. Despite a negative impact on consumer prices, research suggests that business costs have reduced and stabilised since last year. However, as the last few years have taught us, the market is volatile, making it hard to predict what will happen next. It is unlikely that prices will fall below the pre-”fuel crisis” levels. Whatever happens next with energy prices, the end of the EBDS will result in many businesses seeing a rise in their energy bills. 


How can I prepare for the end of the EBDS? 

Businesses can lessen the impact of the end of the EBDS, by taking some simple steps:

Ditch and switch (shop around!)

As consumers, we’ve all got used to shopping around, but do business owners apply the same bargain-hunting approach to business costs? Businesses should compare energy prices from a range of different suppliers. If your rate isn’t the best available, then make sure you ditch and switch. If you haven’t got the time, then speak to the experts, who can review your usage and find the best deal. 

Consider fixing energy prices

Fixing your energy prices can give you a sense of financial security, help you with forecasting and cash flow, and remove the impact of unexpected price spikes.  Nevertheless, before making a decision, it’s important to weigh up the pros and cons.

Review energy consumption

Businesses must review their energy consumption patterns. This will help to identify where savings could be made by implementing energy efficiency measures. 


My fixed energy tariff is ending, is now a good time to switch? 

Since Autumn 2022, business energy rates have dropped by significantly. If you opted to fix your rate when costs were higher, you may benefit from switching to a new contract when your fixed rate ends.  Start by assessing your current and future energy needs, check your contract terms, and compare both fixed and flexible rates from a range of providers. Better still, get our energy team to do the legwork for you, enabling you to benefit from lower costs without it costing you any time or money. 


Why should I outsource energy procurement? 

Business owners can avoid the headache of finding an affordable rate, managing the process and sorting the admin by handing the process to a reliable third party. 

Save money

Armed with information about your current rates and usage, the energy team can negotiate favourable rates with energy suppliers and reduce your energy bills by up to 75%. 

Save time 

Managing energy contracts and staying on top of market fluctuations can be time-consuming. Our process is simple. Simply let us know basic tariff and usage information (a bill and/or contract will do!) and we handle the entire process, making sure you have a hassle-free experience.

Get expert input

Our Energy Specialists are highly trained professionals with in-depth knowledge of the latest trends, regulations, and pricing structures. We regularly come across clients who thought they had a good deal, only to find that they could save more with the right guidance. 

Improve your ESG

Our Energy Specialists can guide you towards renewable energy options, helping you reduce your carbon footprint and contribute to a cleaner, greener future.


Ready to save on your energy bills? Speak to our team of Energy Specialists. Our service is free of charge and we are confident we can help your business to save money. 


New EV Charge Card from The Fuel Store

The Fuel Store has added an electric vehicle (EV) Charge Card to its range of fuel cards. The Paua card is compatible with more than 43,000 EV charge point connectors and offers users access to 73% of the UK’s rapid charging network. 

The Fuel Store offers a comprehensive range of fuel cards and solutions designed to simplify fleet management. The addition of the Paua card is a significant step towards promoting sustainable transportation and expanding accessibility to electric vehicle charging options

EV charge card to support transition to electric fleets

Jamie Bridgen, CEO at The Fuel Store commented “We are thrilled to have teamed up with Paua to offer an EV charge card to our customers. According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders in November last year 77.4 per cent of the new BEVs (battery electric vehicles) on the road were fleet or business-owned, so the market is undoubtedly growing. By adding Paua to our range of options, we are now able to assist businesses in seamlessly transitioning their fleets to electric vehicles, while still having access to the customer support and fleet management tools that we have become known for.”

Fuel Cards and Fleet Management tools

The Fuel Store also offers a range of diesel fuel cards, with options covering supermarkets and major fuel suppliers. As well as helping to reduce fuel spend, customers benefit from access to an intelligent platform for in-depth fuel spend insight, HMRC-approved VAT invoices, as well as a suite of fleet management and optimisation tools, such as telematics, Fraud Guard and CO2 emissions data. With petrol and diesel fuel cards also available, the new EV card completes a product range that services multi-fuel fleets. 

As well as an easy one-tap charging process, users of the Paua card can access an interactive charge point locator and map, allowing them to easily find the nearest EV charging stations for efficient recharging. With a network of 43,000 charger point connectors at more than 13,000 locations, charging is simple, fast and convenient. 

Servicing multi-fuel fleets

Niall Riddell, CEO at Paua commented “Collaborating with The Fuel Store is a significant milestone in enabling multi-fuel fleets to access the UK’s largest EV charge card whilst continuing to fuel their diesel vehicles. This partnership aligns with our mission to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles and empower businesses with sustainable, cost-effective fleet management solutions.”

Learn more about how your business can reduce fuel spend and optimise fleet management by speaking to our team. 



DriverToolkit – Our NEW Web App To Help Fleet Drivers Manage Their Vehicles More Effectively


Commercial vehicles are essential parts of our economy and transport infrastructure. It is vital to ensure that all commercial vehicles are operating safely and regularly checked for any issues that may affect their performance.  


The Fuel Store’s main focus is to deliver the best possible fleet management solutions – one of which is our new web application, DriverToolkit. Our DriverToolkit is designed with fleet drivers in mind, allowing their various vehicle responsibilities to be conducted more efficiently.


Within the application, varying features will be made available for use – each being designed for a more specific purpose regarding the vehicle and driver. 


What Are My Responsibilities As A Fleet Vehicle Driver?

GOV.UK states that it is mandatory for drivers to complete visual, walk round checks of their vehicle and confirm the following are compliant with standards:


  • Lights
  • Tyres
  • Wheel Fixings
  • Bodywork
  • Trailer Coupling
  • Load and Other Equipment


In addition to the mandatory visual inspection, common vehicle safety checks that need to be performed are:


Brake Inspection

Ensuring the vehicle stops safely. Brake Pads, drums and rotors should be inspected for wear and tear with brake fluid levels being checked regularly.


Tyre Inspection

Tyres should be inspected regularly for any signs of damage, wear or underinflation. Proper tyre maintenance can improve fuel efficiency, increase lifespan, and improve safety.


Fluid Levels

All fluid levels including oil, coolant, power steering and transmission fluid, should be checked regularly to ensure the correct levels are maintained.



All lights including headlights, taillights, brake lights and indicators need to be checked to ensure bulbs are working and there are no defects.



The steering system should be inspected for any looseness or play that can affect the driver’s ability to control the vehicle.


Electrical System

The electrical system and specifically the wiring should be inspected regularly to ensure no corrosion is present.


Why Are Vehicle Checks Important?

Commercial vehicle safety checks are crucial because they help to prevent accidents and ensure that the vehicle is in good condition and all components are working correctly. Regular safety checks can detect issues early, preventing the problem from becoming more severe and potentially causing an accident. 


It is a Statutory Compliant Requirement that commercial vehicles complete and pass a DVSA Inspection as failing to perform regular checks can result in fines and other penalties, so it is integral for drivers to ensure their vehicles are safe before beginning a journey.


Vehicles that weigh more than 3.5 tonnes will need to ensure DVSA inspections are completed daily, and it is crucial to remember drivers are responsible for confirming their vehicles are road worthy.


How Can The Fuel Store Help?

Inside our DriverToolkit, a feature called VehicleCheck allows efficient documentation of the condition of commercial vehicles ensuring they remain compliant with the latest inspection requirements.




What Should I Do If I Find Defects With My Vehicle?

As drivers are responsible for ensuring their vehicles are road worthy, they are additionally responsible for reporting defects within their vehicle.


According to GOV.UK, if a defect/s is discovered, drivers must report this to the individual in charge of monitoring vehicle defects within their organisation and include the following in their report:


  • Vehicle Registration/Identification Mark
  • Date of Inspection
  • Details of the defects
  • Name of individual reporting defects


In addition to our DriverToolkit, we also offer a vehicle tracking solution, providing you real-time insights into vehicle usage, vehicle journey history and much more! Learn more about FuelConnect here


If you’re looking for a compliance solution that will help streamline your operations, improve safety, and stay on top of legal requirements, then look no further than our NEW DriverToolkit.


Visit GOV.UK for additional information regarding the legal requirements of commercial vehicles and how to properly perform vehicle checks.


For questions about our DriverToolkit, contact our team of experts for support or alternatively, you can call them on 0121 272 7780. They are always happy to help!

What Are The Perks and Benefits of Purchasing AdBlue and Diesel in Bulk With The Fuel Store?


In the modern world, businesses and industries heavily rely on diesel engines for their operations. As environmental consciousness grows, so does the need for more sustainable solutions. One such solution is AdBlue, a high-quality diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) that helps reduce harmful emissions.


To optimize efficiency and cost-effectiveness, many businesses are turning to bulk purchases of AdBlue and diesel. In this blog post, we will explore the perks and benefits of purchasing AdBlue and diesel in bulk.


1. Cost Savings

One of the most significant advantages of buying AdBlue and diesel in bulk is cost savings. Bulk purchases often come with substantial discounts compared to buying individual units. By purchasing in larger quantities, businesses can negotiate better prices and reduce the overall expenditure on fuel and AdBlue, leading to significant savings over time.


2. Convenience and Reduced Downtime

Bulk purchases offer convenience and eliminate the need for frequent reordering. With a steady supply of AdBlue and diesel, businesses can streamline their operations, reduce downtime, and maintain a seamless workflow. This saves valuable time spent on managing inventory and placing repeated orders, allowing companies to focus more on their core activities.


3. Enhanced Sustainability

AdBlue plays a vital role in reducing harmful nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions produced by diesel engines. By purchasing AdBlue in bulk, businesses can contribute towards a cleaner environment by actively participating in emissions reduction efforts. Bulk purchases demonstrate a commitment to sustainable practices and help organizations meet environmental regulations more efficiently.


4. Improved Fuel Management

Bulk purchases of diesel fuel allow businesses to establish better fuel management systems. With large quantities of diesel readily available, companies can monitor fuel consumption patterns more effectively and identify areas where improvements can be made. This knowledge can lead to enhanced fuel efficiency, reduced waste, and ultimately, increased cost savings.


5. Reliability and Continuous Supply

Bulk purchases of AdBlue and diesel provide a reliable and continuous supply of essential fluids. Businesses that rely heavily on diesel engines can ensure uninterrupted operations by maintaining a sufficient stock of AdBlue and diesel. This is particularly beneficial for industries such as transportation, agriculture, construction, and logistics, where disruptions can be costly and result in significant delays.


6. Simplified Logistics

By purchasing AdBlue and diesel in bulk, businesses can simplify their logistics and supply chain processes. Coordinating fewer orders and deliveries reduces administrative burdens, transportation costs, and the overall complexity of managing fuel and fluid supplies. Streamlining these processes can lead to increased efficiency and improved overall operational performance.


7. Bulk Customisation and Flexibility 

Bulk purchasing often offers customisation options to meet specific business needs. Suppliers may offer flexible packaging solutions, including various container sizes or the ability to request customised packaging to fit unique storage requirements. This flexibility ensures that businesses can optimise their storage space and easily integrate bulk purchases into their existing infrastructure.



Bulk purchasing of AdBlue and diesel offers numerous perks and benefits for businesses that heavily rely on diesel engines. From cost savings and convenience to enhanced sustainability and simplified logistics, the advantages of purchasing in bulk are substantial. By embracing this approach, businesses can optimise their operations, reduce costs, and actively contribute to a cleaner and more sustainable future. So, consider the perks and benefits mentioned above and make a smart choice by opting for bulk purchases of AdBlue and diesel.


Should you need additional information, you can contact our team of fleet management experts via email or alternatively call them on 0121 272 7780. Our team are always happy to help!


Click here to read more about what you can do to further support the environment.