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Fuel Discounts

How Much Can I Save?

In 2015, fuel accounted for 25% of the total operating cost for the average carrier. Based on 2015 statistics, the average over-the-road truck will drive 130,000 miles and consume 20,500 gallons of diesel fuel each year. This amounts to an annual cost ranging from $50,000 to $90,000 per truck. The wide range in cost is due to the fluctuating cost of fuel over the last nine years. With fuel prices ranging from $4.50 to $2.47 per gallon over the past few years, it is important to have a fuel plan.

Many fuel programs promise fuel savings by offering “cash pricing” and “no swipe” fees. But what does that really save you? Almost every fuel card will provide cash prices, so that is no benefit. While a “no fee” card might save you $1.50 per fill-up, it only translates to a penny per gallon savings.

What is required is a fuel discount program which saves real dollars every time you fuel. It is important to focus on the total net cost per gallon you are spending to purchase fuel, not just one aspect of fuel pricing.

Even if you were to fuel solely at Pilot every time, the Sunbelt Fuel Program will save you $2,050 per truck per year (20,500 gallons X 10¢ per gallon discount).

If you leverage the program by using the cost-plus option, you could save $3,895 per truck per year. (20,500 gallons X 19¢ per gallon). Potentially you could save even more since 19¢ is the average savings per gallon.

Why does Sunbelt’s Fuel Program Work?

Most fuel programs offer only retail minus or a cost-plus option. Sunbelt’s fuel program offers both retail minus and cost plus in the same program. This allows clients the flexibility to select the best pricing method regardless of geography, season or the vacillations of the fuel market.

Where Is Sunbelt’s fuel card accepted?

Sunbelt has partnered with WEX/EFS for it card processing. Sunbelt’s universal card is accepted at over 6,400 truck stops nationwide.

How many of these stops offer discounts?

Discounts are available at over 2,500 locations nationwide.

Why all the different fuel prices?

Generally, there are five different prices for diesel fuel used in the trucking industry:

Credit Price

This is the most expensive. When you use a credit card to purchase fuel, the truck stop incurs a fee charged by the credit card company. The fee can range from 1-3.5%. For example, if fuel is $2.40 per gallon, the surcharge may range from 2.4 to 8.4 cents per gallon. Truck stops pass this additional cost along in the form of a higher price per gallon.

Retail Price (Cash Price)

This is the price determined by the market place. This involves the cost of fuel and the pressures of competitors. This is normally the posted price on signage.

Retail Minus

This is one in which the carrier pays the Retail Price less a fixed amount per gallon. If the retail/cash price of fuel is $2.20, with a retail minus 10¢ pricing, the net cost is $2.10 at the pump.

Cost Plus

Cost Plus pricing is one in which the carrier pays for the cost of fuel plus a fixed amount per gallon. For example, if fuel cost 2.00 per gallon, and you have a cost plus 6¢ pricing, the price is $2.06 per gallon.


Otherwise known “rack” price, is the price truck stops pay for fuel. The price includes the cost of the fuel and transportation cost. Some branded fuels can have a higher cost due to additives and marketing cost. Fuel companies also refer to this as the “OPIS” price. OPIS (Oil Price Information Service) is a company which tracks fuel cost used in many cost-plus contracts.

In order to maximize fuel savings, every stop on every day should be analyzed. One day, a retail minus option may provide a better price and the next day, it might be a cost-plus location. The secret is to never assume and have options for retail minus and cost plus.