Private Mileage on Company Fuel Cards
03/09/2013

Management of private and business mileage payments. Allstar technical delays highlight requirement for independent mileage management, mileage capture, fuel management systems.

Online PR News – 09-March-2013 – London/UK – Recent press in the fleet industry has reported extensive problems resulting from the transition of systems and services of one of the largest fuel card providers in the UK to Allstar a company owned by American FleetCor Technologies. The difficulties lie with Allstar’s provision of fuel data and mileage reporting for fuel card users. This has focussed attention on the importance of drivers being able to keep proper logs of their business and private mileage through a robust and independent mileage management system.

The ability to determine the cost of private mileage is an essential factor in the cost efficient use of fuel cards for company cars. Companies must be able to provide an auditable trail of what fuel has been used for business and private mileage and how the driver has made good for the private element.

When accurate records are not kept the driver and/or the company will be responsible for the tax on all fuel provided by the company.

With the breakdown of data provision from Allstar, companies are concerned about ensuring that drivers continue to make good the cost of their private mileage. By using an independent mileage management system such as Midas (www.midas-fms.com) the issue is managed consistently without dependence on the card provider. Systems like the one provided by Meriden based Midas FMS Ltd can process mileage data using fixed mileage rates including AFR, or using actual pence per mile as determined by the actual fuel purchases made by the driver. When fuel data is delayed as in recent circumstances, the company can decide to delay processing until fuel data eventually arrives. This approach has worked with a number of Midas FMS clients. If the problem is more persistent, the company could switch to AFR rates until issues from the card provider are resolved.

Continuity of service in all aspects of the provision of fuel cards is essential at all levels. From the driver’s ability to pay for fuel at the filling station, through the facility to order new and replacement fuel cards, to the recording and reporting of fuel use; all these aspects must be in place. Midas allows drivers to make use of multiple fuel cards, so if the relationship with a fuel card provider breaks down completely, the transition from one card provider to another can be handled smoothly with minimal disruption to drivers who depend on fuel cards to keep mobile.

Adam Rollins from Midas FMS says “In recent times we have seen a lot of people becoming unsettled with their fuel card arrangements. Midas FMS provides the continuity that companies need to make changes when circumstances dictate.”

If companies decide that a fuel card solution is no longer viable, they will still need a system to record business and private fuel use so that drivers can be reimbursed on a pay and reclaim basis. The same auditable trail is still required for tax purposes, whether the company provides fuel via a fuel card or provides fuel by reimbursing the driver’s own outlay.

A management system independent of the fuel card provider is the best solution in all cases. It is essential to ensure long term flexibility. This is required to avoid issues when relationships break down or simply when a better deal or procurement method can be found elsewhere.