UK Fuels to bundle fuel card with telematics

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Fuel cards have been around for years as a way of keeping track of the amount of fuel each employee uses, but they are far from perfect, as even though they track fuel, they don’t actually track whether that fuel was needed or not. That’s where telematics come in and UK Fuels, Britain’s largest supplier of fuel cards, is now bundling its latest system with telematics data to make it more accurate than ever.

So with its new system, UK Fuels is offering its customers the ability to keep track of their drivers – along with all the other benefits of telematics – as well as an integrated fuel card solution, so drivers can pay for fuel with company money, but won’t be able to use it for reasons other than work. Also if they take less than efficient routes, or waste fuel that’s not their own by idling too long or speeding, the fleet managers will know about it.

Part of this move by UK Fuels is also designed to push telematics to smaller firms, many of whom don’t believe it’s affordable or even applicable to their operation. Ironically, while the largest fleets stand to save the most money, the impact of savings can be much bigger for smaller firms.

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“Although use of telematics is more widespread, there still sees to be a misconception that it’s only affordable for large fleets and businesses,” said UK Fuels’ founder and chief executive, Bill Holmes to FleetNews.

“We want to have tens of thousands of telematics units in vehicles within the next two-to-three years.”

While UK Fuels developed the back end software for the new telematics package itself, it outsources the hardware to industry veteran, Matrix Telematics. It tracks all of the usual telematics information about the driver, but pays particular attention to miles per gallon and compares that with the amount of fuel being purchased by the driver to make sure everythign is above board. Since it plugs directly into the vehicle’s diagnostics port, it should offer more information than your average smartphone application, but it easy to install and should be doable for most fleet operators.

However UK Fuels will also offer to have an engineer fit the device, but that will come with a £50 charge.

Other pricing for the system starts at £3 per month rental fee for the hardware, or a £50 up-front charge. Connection to the UK Fuels’ back end system is priced at £12.50 per month, with no disconnection fee or contract period.

Image source: FrankieLeon

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Jon Martindale is an English author and journalist, who's written for a number of high-profile technology news outlets, covering everything from the latest hardware and software releases, to hacking scandals and online activism.