Cycle to work scheme

Many employers offer schemes that allow employees to get a bike tax free, which they can use to cycle to work. Check with your employer if they operate a scheme.

If you enrol in a scheme, you are hiring the cycle and any safety equipment (appropriate clothing, helmet, lock) from your employer. Payment is made through deductions in your gross pay. You don’t pay income tax or national insurance on the normal shop price and the scheme is permitted by HM Revenue and Customs under salary sacrifice rules. The overall savings will vary but you’ll typically save 20-40% compared to buying the bike directly.

Normally you hire the bike and equipment for a year, and the maximum you can spend is £1,000. Arrangements can vary at the end of the contract depending on your employer, but usually include the opportunity to extend the hire period for a small amount, receive the bike as a taxable benefit in kind, or buy it. This is not a hire purchase agreement so you do not automatically own the bike at the end of the contract.

You do not have to cycle to work every day and there are no checks, although the main use of the cycle should be for this purpose.

Benefits for employers

Not only does the employee make tax savings, the employer also saves on national insurance payments that would have been payable on the sacrificed salary. This should cover the administration costs or could be invested in improved cycle parking.

There are a number of scheme providers available, but before choosing a provider it’s worth speaking to employees to make sure the provider you choose will meet their needs.