Fuel cards (tankkaarten) for freelancers and independent professionals in Belgium

Save on fuel and simplify your freelance business finances with a fuel card
Fuel costs are one of the expenses you can sign off as a business expense in Belgium (80% of the fuel costs will be deducted as your business expenses). Using a fuel card (tankkaarts in Dutch) brings many benefits, and we will look over them in our article.
What is a fuel card?
A fuel card is a payment card that can be used to pay for gasoline, diesel, gas or electricity for your car. In comparison to cash or a credit card, it is a more secure and more convenient way to pay for the fuel. With it, you also have more control over your business expenses and fuel usage, and you can also save on payments for fuel. Such cards can be used in Belgium or in Europe in general.

Why would you choose a fuel card as a freelancer?

More control over your business expenses

The fuel card functions similar to your credit card. You can top up your car as many times as you want (unless you set a limit) and you will receive an invoice once or twice a month depending on the provider.

Less administration

Dealing with one invoice per month instead of many smaller bills is much more convenient and efficient for your freelance business. Your accountant will be happy too. Plus, you will be able to recuperate the VAT from the invoices that the card provider will send to you. In some cases you may also have access to a mobile app with all the details at your fingertips.

Good for your cash-flow

Not an obvious benefit, but receiving a product or service and paying for it later is always better for any business cash-flow.

Possibility for lower rates

Fuel card providers often offer a better fuel rate (5-8 cent per litre less) than if you would buy it independently. Consider also the time-savings for an easier administration as time costs money also.

Overview of your kilometres

If it is important for your client work, you will be able to see how many kilometres you have made either via the report that you will receive from the card provider electronically or via a mobile app (if the provider has one).

How much does it cost?

The price of the card depends on which provider you are going to choose. But typically you will be charged for the card itself (2-25 EUR) and possibly a monthly administration fee.

Where can you use it?

The trick with fuel cards in Belgium that you need to be aware of is that depending on which provider you choose, you may be forced to use only some specific fuel stations. Some cards support multi-brand service, where you can pop up your car at a station of your choice and some card providers will limit you to only a few. Choose carefully and know in advance where you are potentially planning to tank (typically close to home or your office).

You can use the card in a fuel station next to your home or in any international fuel station across Europe. When you select a provider, check which options are available. Do you plan to travel outside of Belgium for your freelance business projects often? Then choose a card that will cover you across Europe.

How and where to request a fuel card?

Note you can only request a card if you have a valid VAT number and count about a month to get the card physically.

Below is the list of the most prominent fuel card providers.
Fleetpass:
Access to the biggest Belgian network with more than 90% of fuel stations. Including extension to the Netherlands and Luxembourg.Accepted by more than half of the fuel stations in Belgium (Q8, Texaco, Octa+, Avia, Power en DCB)

Network Fleet Card:
Tank by more than 1500 stations in Belgium (Shell, Esso and Q8). You can also choose for an international card with extension to the low-cost network of fuel stations in Europe.

Shell:
Access to the strategic network of premium fuel stations in Europe. Ideal solution for commercial and transport companies.

EDC card:
Servicing more than 8500 fuel stations in 21 countries, an easy way to buy fuel in entire Europe.

MAES:
Servicing 1700 fuel stations.

Travelcard:
2000 fuel stations in Belgium and 55 000 in Europe + direct access to 200 000 charging stations in Europe, including all public charging stations in Belgium.

Q8:
Q8 includes the network of 365 fuel stations in Belgium. (!) You can get a rebate of 0,1573€/litre on fuel in Belgium and The Netherlands as a Linkus member.

DKV:
Access to 67 000 fuel stations in Europe.

OCTA+:
You can charge your car at 1850 stations of OCTA+, Esso, Lukoil, Q8, Texaco, Avia, Gabriëls, G&V, Maes, Power and entire DCB-network. Je kan dus goedkoop tanken in een zeer ruim netwerk aan tankstations.
What about electric cars?
It is possible to choose and order a card (HybridCard) that would allow you to charge your electric car in Belgium and Europe. All of the hybrid cards allow you to pop up your tank with gasoline or diesel if you are driving a hybrid car.

In addition to ordering a card you can also install the charging station at your own home. It is not a cheap project of course (1 000 - 5 000 EUR), but it is deductible as your freelance business expense.

Some of the cards for electric or hybrid cars in Belgium:
Hybridcard by Modalizy:
You can charge your car at more than 10 000 charging stations in Benelux. More than 150 000 charging stations in Europe. 7 500 charging stations in Belgium alone

VAB-Hybrid Card:
Accepted at 10 000 charging station in Belgium and 200 000 in Europe.

Travelcard:
Charge your car everywhere in 250 000 locations in Europe and in Belgium

OCTA+:
With HybridCard Benelux you can charge your car at 1.700 stations in Nederland or Luxemburg.

MAES:
With this handy card you can use a charging network spread all over Europe, temporarily at only 1 euro per month (not including charging). This way you can charge with your electric or hybrid car at points in Belgium and beyond! Over 200,000 charging points in Europe.

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To get a quote or to compare different fuels cards, you can always use this great service.

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