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Best trucking fuel cards for small business startups

As a small business startup in the transportation industry, choosing the right diesel fuel card in 2024 is key to managing your expenses. Whether you’re an independent owner-operator or a small fleet, the fuel costs can seriously impact your company’s bottom line.

Choosing the best diesel fuel card is vital for small transportation startups to control costs. This guide outlines top options for business owners to pick a plan fitting their startup’s needs and future growth.

Quicklook: 6 top fuel cards for small business startups

Best fuel cards for small business startups

If you’re looking for the best fuel card for small businesses just starting out, you can’t go wrong with any of the options on this list.

Fuelman Fleet Card


The Fuelman Fleet Card offers competitive nationwide diesel discounts of 15 cents per gallon or more, helping a startup keep fuel costs low as it scales. It’s widely accepted at more than 50,000 gas stations all throughout the nation. Plus, you’ll benefit from certain discounts if you use Fuelman’s fleet fuel cards at convenience stores.

Fuelman simplifies the overall expense tracking process by consolidating detailed fuel data analysis into one easy-to-use interface. With customizable fuel controls and approval workflows, an owner can set automated policies that grow along with the fleet to prevent misuse while still enabling drivers.

Best for: Cost control


  • Package flexibility
  • Deepest rebates in the industry
  • Credit option available


  • Rebates of up to 10 cents per gallon
  • Carbon-neutral, environmentally friendly options
  • Available to use at any gas station

Disadvantages: Coverage gaps in some states outside of the Midwest

Pricing: $39-$99 a month for all the fuel cards in your business

AtoB Small Business Fuel Card


Tailored for startups, the AtoB Small Business Fuel Card stands out with its customizable limits, allowing businesses to manage and control fuel expenses effectively. Real-time tracking ensures that startups can monitor their fuel usage promptly, helping them stay within budget and make informed decisions. Additionally, the AtoB fuel card includes comprehensive reporting features that provide detailed insights into spending patterns. This enhances financial transparency and enables startups to optimize their operational efficiency for sustained growth.

Best for: Comprehensive reporting


  • No out-of-network stations 
  • Get discounts on repairs at Pep Boys, tires at Discount Tire and more through AtoB Perk
  • Spend on more than just fuel — oil changes, tolls, lodging and more
  • Net seven-day payment terms


  • Telematics integration to validate every purchase in real time
  • Secure Card Unlock through the AtoB Driver App to ensure cards are only used by authorized drivers
  • Optimal Station Selection to enforce drivers to fuel at the most affordable stations
  • Allows small businesses to build credit

Disadvantages: Must pay balance within seven days

Pricing: $3/month per active card

Motive Fuel Card


Motive’s business fuel cards offer reasonable rates for startups, with volume discounts on diesel when you buy in bulk. It also offers real-time fuel purchase alerts and interactive reports to help small fleets monitor spending across their cards.

With no annual fee and flexible payment options, Motive makes it easy for start up companies to control their fuel costs as they establish their business.

Best for: Payment flexibility


  • IFTA reports
  • Spend reports
  • Maintenance discounts


  • Spend controls
  • Detailed reports
  • Streamlined IFTA reporting
  • Integrated platform
  • No annual fee


  • No set discount rate
  • Smaller network compared to competitors

Pricing: One-time activation fee of $25 per card

Coast Fuel Card


Coast is a viable option as one of the best fuel cards for small trucking companies with its focus on customer service and streamlined account management for smaller fleets. The mobile app and driver cards can aid newer companies trying to save time while controlling expenses. 


  • Discounts at select businesses
  • Rewards on non-fuel purchases
  • Easy controls and security settings for all fleet cards and users
  • Spending reports


  • Centralized fleet spending on one account
  • No personal guarantee
  • Efficient customer service
  • Purchase and expense tracking

Disadvantages: Lack of spending visibility 

Pricing: $4 per active card, per month

Fleet One Fuel Card

Fleet One fuel card

Fleet One is one of the best fuel cards for owner operators. It empowers drivers to refuel reliably while navigating expansive routes for small operators. The card enables electronic ID verification for streamlining internal expense processes.

With roadside assistance plans guarding against breakdowns, Fleet One also provides essential protections for stranded drivers and owner-operators. Its easy-to-use mobile interfaces bring small-sized trucking companies the automation of bigger competitors when monitoring field costs and mileage reimbursements.

Best for: Owner operators


  • Save thousands per year on fuel discounts alone
  • Savings on repair and maintenance services at TA Truck Service locations
  • Part of the WEX edge savings network


  • Discounts on major tire brands
  • Savings on mobile phone plans, maintenance, hotels and more
  • Acceptance at 90% of US fueling stations


  • Each card has a unique fee structure, with individual monthly fees and charges 
  • Can be costly if you have a large fleet of drivers

Pricing: No setup fees, no fuel transaction fees at participating EDGE network locations

WEX Fuel Card


With verified acceptance at over 90% of gas stations nationwide, the WEX Fleet Card offers drivers unparalleled fueling access from coast to coast. This universal coverage enables drivers to fill up no matter the route, critical for far-reaching small carriers still establishing operations.

Such widespread usability also allows fleet managers to rapidly onboard new affiliate drivers without worrying about network restrictions hampering their expansion. This fuel card also offers more consolidated and simplified billing and processing.

Best for: Universal use and acceptance


  • Mobile payments through DriverDash
  • Fuel spending reports generated by ClearView
  • Employee spending controls
  • Automatic fuel expense tracking


  • Helpful fleet tracker app
  • Specialized cards for various fleet sizes
  • Ease of payment


  • Unlisted fees for some services
  • Low rebates 
  • Some WEX cards that allow you to carry a balance have high interest rates

Pricing: No setup or annual fees

What to look for when selecting the best fuel card for your small business

Fuel isn’t cheap. Finding the best fuel card for small businesses requires an understanding of the unique pain points of beginner fleets.

To maximize fuel savings without upfront investments, transportation entrepreneurs should evaluate features like flexible billing, mobile control, targeted support, and custom analytics alongside universal acceptance and competitive retail diesel discounts for every gallon pumped.

  • Discounted fuel pricing: Cards that leverage bulk purchase discounts can save startups up to $0.15 per gallon or more at the pump.
  • Flexible billing cycles: Options like pay-as-you-go, weekly, or monthly billing align costs to cash flow.
  • Mobile account management: Look for apps that enable real-time oversight of transactions by drivers and vehicles.
  • Custom analytics: Robust reporting provides spending visibility and helps create budgets.
  • Annual/card fees: Avoid any additional and unnecessary fees that eat into tight margins.
  • Nationwide acceptance: Wide merchant coverage prevents limited access as you expand territory.
  • Dedicated service: Prioritized phone and online support caters to smaller fleet needs.

Optimizing these operational areas provides startups fuel cost control and oversight without breaking the bank on premium features meant for huge fleets. The key is matching needs to scale so fuel savings scale too.

Find the right small business fuel card for your startup

Ultimately, the ideal fuel card depends on aligning specific features to your business size and financial priorities. Early stage companies may benefit from the flexibility of pay-as-you-go cards with standard retail discounts where more established companies require deeper analytics and volume rebates to optimize spends at scale.

Whether you’re seeking to beat retail prices or gain oversight of internal spending, maximizing the best diesel fuel cards suitable for your business reduces risks.

Choosing the partner that can tailor terms, controls, and transparency to your situation allows startups to lay the foundations for fuel efficiency as the essential base of the business.


Are fuel cards worth it?

Fuel cards provide substantial savings on diesel through discounted rates within large fueling networks, often ranging from 10-35 cents per gallon below retail fuel prices. Additionally, fuel card usage and spending can be closely monitored and controlled, providing companies improved oversight and truckers the convenience of easier access to diesel pumps and payments.

How do fuel cards work?

Fuel cards work by allowing businesses to pay for fuel and maintenance services at gas stations directly with a company-issued card, rather than using cash or personal credit cards. The business is then billed later for all charges made to the fuel card.

What is the best fuel card for truckers?

The best fuel cards for trucking companies vary based on factors like their locations, number of drivers, which extra features they need, etc. Popular options include Coast, Fuelman, and Motive.

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AtoB helps businesses take control of their biggest expenses – people, fuel and vehicles.