The government’s offer on the bike to work scheme or “Cycle Scheme” has brought new energy to the idea of using a bike as a primary mode of transportation.
The mental and physical health as well as environmental benefits of cycling are fantastic. Using the cycle to work plan gives you the opportunity to reap all of the benefits whilst saving up to 42% on the price of a bike and the accessories you need.
Hundreds of thousands of people have used the programme to get their new bikes and bike gear since the cycle scheme was introduced as a tax exemption in 1999 by the government to ‘promote healthier journeys to work and reduce environmental pollution’.
There are many cycle to work scheme providers that will make arrangements with your employer to manage the financial arrangements.
Even Halfords runs their own scheme. However, many independent bike shops will not accept the Halfords vouchers.
Some of these ride to work plans work in essence by your employer buying a bike for you to ride and you hire the bike from them through a payment from your salary. Since the payment is taken before your tax is calculated, you do not pay tax on the amount of the payment. You are your employer agree to the process that will be followed once the payment schedule is complete.
Some plans have a limit of £1000.00 in total for the price of the bike and the bicycle gear that is allowable under the bike to work schemes. These plans also typically require that you pay your employer a final payment once the hire payments are complete. Because these cycle to work plans are set up to promote work journeys rather than cycling in general, your employer is technically the owner of the bike once you finish the hire period.
Other plans are much easier and more beneficial. The Green Commute Initiative for instance does not have any limit on the value of the bike and cycling gear that you get on the cycle to work scheme. They also have a process wherein there is no final 7% payment for you to own the bike. The Green Commute Initiative is a new and more comprehensive plan that is growing fast. If your employer is not using this plan you may want to consider suggesting it to them. Your employer also benefits when using this scheme as they will save 13% on their National Insurance contribution. This plan also takes over the management of the employer’s ownership issues resulting in less administrative effort.
Click on the plan your employer uses to get started!