" The Bike People "

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Cyclescheme with Swindon Cycles Superstore

Cyclescheme with Mitchell Cycles

Petrol prices are rising again, the cost of living is spiralling upwards and we're all tightening our belts in a contracting economy. But if you live in the UK, there's one tax break that's still worth pursuing: the Cycle to Work scheme, which can save you between 16% - 40% off the cost of a bike.

In essence, your employer buys a bike for you to ride to work, you 'hire' it through salary sacrifice (which is where you save, by not paying tax and National Insurance on the monthly fees) and at the end of the 'hire' period you buy the bike from your employer.

Over 400,000 people have already bought a bike on the scheme, which was introduced as a tax exemption in 1999 by the government to 'promote healthier journeys to work and reduce environmental pollution'. The scheme has achieved that in spades, with a recent report claiming it saves the entire CO2 output of a city the size of Hereford each year.

Because it was set up to promote work journeys rather than cycling in general, your employer technically remains the owner of the bike. Everyone knows that in practice the employee is 'buying' the bike, but that isn't legally the case until the salary sacrifice ends and the employer 'sells' the now heavily depreciated equipment to the employee.

How do I get a bike?
Your easy steps to getting a bike through a cycle to work scheme
  • Is your employer signed up? To get a bike through a cycle to work scheme your employer needs to be signed up to a scheme. If your employer is not signed up, or you are not sure, speak to your manager or HR department.
  • Choose a bike shop and drop in. Choose which bike shop you would like to get your bike from, and pay them a visit. They will take the time to talk about what sort of bike and equipment are best for you, and provide you with a written quote for these.

  • The cycle to work scheme operator will ask your employer to confirm your eligibility and approve your request, and then send them an invoice for the bike package. A hire agreement will also be sent to you to sign. As soon as the bike is paid for, you will receive authorisation either a code or a certificate which you can then take to a bike shop to exchange for a bike and equipment.

  • Take your certificate to your bike shop. There you can exchange it for your chosen bike and equipment. You might want to call them first to check these are currently in stock. You will also need to take photographic ID with you, such as your passport or driving license. This helps to ensure the equipment reaches you safely.
  • How does payment work? Your hire payments are deducted from your gross monthly salary. At the end of the hire period employees may be given the opportunity to buy the bike for the market value, however this cannot be an automatic entitlement.