BP and Total have joined forces to create one of Britain’s most extensive fuel card networks in a bid to drive volume.

From September 1, 2004, the BP Plus UK Card and Total Card will be accepted at both company’s UK forecourts – a combined network of more than 2,100 sites.

Douglas Paton, card services manager for Total, said: “Overall the market is fairly flat but the fuel card sector is growing, which shows how important it is. We’re offering customers more choice and will bring more customers on board for both businesses. Dealers should gain in the long term from this association.”

Gordon Balmer, UK country manager at BP European Fleet Services, added that the partnership was right because of their “complementary networks”.

“We’re not on the same side of the street in every street and Total is not in Scotland,” he said. “There was a mutual understanding of the long-term needs of customers – we needed to offer a better, wider acceptance to fill the gaps in our networks. It is a partnership that both parties are comfortable with.”

Total and BP will be communicating the move through internal correspondence and their cards acceptance manual is being updated to include advice on accepting both fuel cards.

The deal excludes all Total and BP sites on the Channel Islands, and there are a small number of sites on mainland UK that won’t be included until some technical issues have been resolved later this year.