High fuel prices are driving an increasing number of businesses to use fuel cards as a means of payment at the pump, according to new research by market analyst Datamonitor.

In 2009 the European fuel cards market was valued at €72bn (£60.8bn), and 987 million more litres of fuel is set to be purchased using fuel cards in the next three years alone.

The research revealed that more businesses are using fuel cards particularly in countries like the UK and Sweden where the fuel card market is mature and pump prices are inflated by high tax.

Alex Jeater, analyst at Datamonitor said: “Although businesses in Germany currently spend the most on fuel cards, growth is currently being driven in countries with high pump prices, such as the UK. Consequently, the amount spent on commercial fuel cards in the UK will increase by 8.4% between 2009 and 2012.”