Applegreen stakes claim on fuel card arena with no-fee solution
UK and Ireland forecourt retailer Applegreen has expanded into the fuel card sector with two new solutions founded on a combination of low fuel pricing and the promise of no fees.
Marking the first time that Applegreen has run fuel cards, the move enables fleets to sign up to either its Applegreen Fuelcard, which covers the UK and Ireland (northern and southern) via its own network of more than 280 forecourts, or the Applegreen Fuelcard PLUS, which is accepted in the UK and Northern Ireland and also ties up with Tesco and Morrisons to give access to more than 1,100 forecourts.
The new solutions are targeted at van fleets, with the dual-card approach enabling use by both SME businesses local to Applegreen sites as well as national businesses thanks to the partnerships with Tesco and Morrisons. The Applegreen network is also growing fast as it pursues expansion plans. The group – which also runs 26 forecourts in the US – says it’s typically adding around 50 sites a year to its network and will be looking to add a significant number of sites every year going forward.
Vitally for fleets, both fuel cards are founded on the principles of no card, admin or transaction fees. According to Paul Davies, who heads up the newly established fuel card division as fuel card sales manager, Applegreen’s position as a forecourt owner and not a fuel card reseller means it has no middle men to pay.
And as with its forecourts – which are centred on the tagline of ‘low fuel prices, always’ – Applegreen’s fuel cards bring the benefit of competitive pricing, with up to a 5p saving using its own forecourts compared to national average prices. Davies explained: “We’re in control of our service and pricing a lot more than the resellers are. We’re finding that’s a key consideration for fleets at a time when there’s concerns over escalating pricing from resellers.”
Applegreen also says service is a key differentiator, with Davies commenting: “We offer a dedicated account manager with no call centres involved so it’s a lot more of a personal service – the level of service from both our fuel card team and at a site level is something we stand by.”
Other benefits include full VAT-approved invoicing with no need to reconcile accounts, online management, pin security on Applegreen’s own fuel cards and a 48-hour turnaround time for replacement cards.For more of the latest industry news, click here.