Thompson Commercials Saves With Discount Fuel Cards

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Thompson Commercials switched fuel card suppliers and are now using The Fuelcard People's Diesel Direct.

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The only thing worse than not having fuel cards is to have the wrong ones.

When James Swaby became Head of Procurement at Thompson Commercials, one of his first acts was to look at its refuelling. Diesel represents a major cost item for the Hull-based company, which also has six further branches throughout the North-East. As the UK’s largest privately owned Renault Trucks dealer group, it has around 200 HGVs, 40 vans and 18 cars on the road at any time. James was surprised by his findings.

“For a serious commercial road user,” he said, “the only thing worse than not having fuel cards is to have the wrong ones. I was horrified to find that we were buying thousands of litres of diesel every week at the full retail price. The fuel card supplier was not going to change its ways, so there had to be a better deal.”

After a careful check of the fuel card market, Thompson Commercials switched suppliers and now uses Diesel Direct fuel cards, supplied by The Fuelcard People. Its drivers now have hassle-free access to a national network of more than 1,900 sites, which includes Moto service stations and supermarkets including Morrisons and The Co-operative. Their Diesel Direct cards can even be used to pay M6 tolls.

“The key benefit is the cost savings,” said James Swaby. “With weekly fixed pricing, we now pay around 4p per litre below the national average pump price. Compared with our old ‘no discounts’ fuel card, the annual savings are significant and the network size means that refuelling is always easy, without a need for detours. We have a dedicated account manager, so I just pick up the phone and call Susan if I ever have a query. Again, that is a marked contrast with the previous supplier, which wanted me to sit in a call centre queue for a random stranger.”

James Swaby still keeps an eye on the fuel card market, but remains very satisfied with the decision to switch suppliers. He said, “We moved to The Fuelcard People and Diesel Direct a couple of years ago, and would never move back. The whole point of fuel cards is to save money, so a ‘no discounts’ fuel card just does not make sense.”

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Steve Clarke
since: 01/2009
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