The Cycle to Work scheme is an initiative by the Government to encourage people to leave the car at home and cycle to work. But are there any benefits for you?
With environmental issues gaining prominence and initiatives to reduce UK carbon emissions, the Government has introduced a scheme that seems to be a win win solution for everybody.
That includes you, the environment, your employer and even the Government. This is one of those rare initiatives that benefits everybody concerned.
What is the Cycle to Work Scheme?
The Cycle to Work Scheme is simple. Instead of driving to work, or to the station, your employer can buy a bike for you and then deduct an agreed amount from your salary over 12 to 18 months to pay for it.
After the agreed salary sacrifice period, the employer retains ownership of the bike and any safety equipment, however the employee can then buy the bike at a fair market value (around 5% of the purchase price) to avoid any tax liabilities.
There is a major tax benefit, however, as the employer deducts your monthly payment before tax and National Insurance.
So if you are a higher rate tax payer, your are in effect saving around 50% of the cost of your bike through tax savings.
The same applies to any safety clothing that you may require for your cycle to work such as high visibility protective clothing.
So in a nutshell, you can buy any bike that you want tax free and then pay for it little by little over one to two years.
Train commuters can actually buy a bike for both ends of the train journey, if they want.
This means that someone can ride from home to the station, leave their bike and then hop on the train. They can pick up their other bike from the work end station and use it to cycle the last leg of their journey.
Why join – get fitter and healthier and save money
Instead of driving 10 miles to work and back every day, you could be cycling instead.
Although it might be a struggle to begin with, you will soon find that your fitness is increasing and you will feel healthier and more energetic. You may also not need that expensive gym membership any more!
Modern bikes are light, strong and fast with excellent gears so riding them is easy, even uphill.
If the weather is bad, then drive to work that day rather than cycle, however if you cycle most days, then you will soon be feeling the benefits – both to your wallet and to your health.
We will discuss how to join the Cycle to Work scheme in our next article, however we hope you realise that this really is a win win situation and those don’t happen very often!
Bike shops with great deals
Here are a few resources to help you choose a great bike. These bike retailers have some excellent deals available with free delivery if you buy online:
Evans Cycles – currently have a 50% sale online and in their shops
Wiggle Online – currently running a 10th Anniversary sale with 50% bargains