Tax-free bikes for work can save between 25% – 39% on cycles and equipment. The Government’s Green Transport Plan provides a tax exemption that allows employers to provide cycles to employees as a tax-free benefit. Cycle to Work schemes have been set up that carry out the administration on behalf of participating employers. Importantly – the bike does NOT have to be just for work.
The savings come from the employer reclaiming the VAT and then leasing the bike to the employee for a fixed term, normally 12 months. The monthly lease amount is taken from the employee’s pre tax pay resulting in a tax saving in the employee’s take home pay packet. The employee must have a permanent position, pay tax under PAYE, be aged 18 or over, and earn more than the national minimum wage once the bike payments have been deducted from the gross salary.
The most widely used scheme is Cyclescheme, which operates through independent cycle retailers. We can now accept these vouchers online. Click the link to see how to redeem a Cyclescheme voucher and any restrictions that may apply. https://www.stows.co.uk/pages/cyclescheme-info/
Other schemes in which we participate are Green Commute Initiative, CyclePlus, Bike2Work Scheme, Halfords cycle2work, SalaryExchange and some other smaller schemes. These vouchers can only be redeemed in store.
How much can I spend on the cycle to work scheme?
The cycle to work scheme does not necessarily have a limit. This is to ensure riders can get the exact bike they need to improve their commute or needs. Employers have increasingly offered schemes without limits but it’s not universal. Employers have to consider their cash flow and their employees’ eligibility to join the scheme. It’s important that we note that employers are under no obligation to offer schemes with a limit in excess of £1,000. It’s very rare for employers to have a minimum spend, but this can occasionally be the case (at the employer’s discretion). Unless you’ve been told otherwise, it’s fairly safe to assume this will not apply to you.
All schemes charge the retailer an admin commission fee. That is how they make their money, so it will not be possible to offer schemes on clearance / sale items or run schemes in conjunction with loyalty cards or promotions. However, it may make sense for you to pay the commission cost if you wish to buy a sale or clearance item, as you will be more than compensated for that in your overall tax saving and benefit from the spread of payments over 12 months. Cycle to work schemes charge the retailer an admin fee between 7.5% and 15% of the voucher value. With this in mind there are a small number of brands or types of bike with low margin that do not easily allow the retailers to take a voucher but this can be discussed.
If you have any questions at all please contact us for more information. We are also more than happy to come to the workplace and demonstrate bikes and talk to your HR department about the benefits of joining one of the schemes.