According to data recorded by Automotive Fleet, unauthorized purchasing is the third most challenging issue faced within the fleet industry, after maintenance and raw fuel costs.
In strong efforts to minimize unauthorized personal and fuel spend, many fleet card companies offer purchase controls, or limits, that allow fleet managers to restrict location, time of day and other specifications for card use.
Some cards can restrict the fuel or product type that cards can purchase. Product type limits have the ability to prevent unauthorized behavior, as well as to prevent drivers from inadvertently filling the tank with the wrong type of fuel–reducing the risk of maintenance issues down the road.
Consequently, 71 percent of fleets allow personal use of both vehicles and fuel cards at all times.
Although limits are optional features on fuel cards, fleet managers are advised to implement them. Limits become necessary tools to run a successful fleet business, as unauthorized spend is a recurring issue throughout the industry.
95 percent of fleet managers believe their drivers are involved in suspicious activity, while only 18 percent are reported or caught. Therefore, unauthorized personal and fuel spending are underreported in the industry but persist to continue, causing an average loss of $130 a month per company.
However, fleet managers who have set limits on their fuel cards claim it has helped reduce overall fuel spend by as low as 5 percent, providing significant end-of-year savings.
It is important to keep in mind that setting the strictest limits can have an adverse effect on reducing company fuel card abuse. While they might be helpful in stopping personal spending, overly strict limits can deter drivers and slow business production down.
In these cases, relaxed limits are still acceptable, as email alerts can be set to help alert and detect suspicious behavior.
When it comes to setting limits on fuel cards and the benefits they may coherently present, Impac offers a customer service experience that is aimed to educate and inform.
At Impac, our fleet card program offers the most comprehensive tracking and reporting system in the industry today. Our flexible point of sale prompting, card level exception reporting and purchase control parameters allow fleet managers to manage their fuel programs with ease, within an industry that silently demands enhanced security.
As fleets in the industry require varying demands, based on sector, size and other factors, managers must recognize which limits are right for their business. In the next article of our series, “What Fuel Card Limits Are Available?”, you can learn what fuel cards limits and controls are available for implementation to help mitigate fleet risk.