If you’re looking to save money on your journey to work, or simply want to commute in a way that’s healthier for you and the environment, the ‘Cycle to Work’ scheme is a huge incentive to do so.
Read on to find out what the scheme actually is, in addition to how you can go about getting a brand-new bike so that you can travel to work in style.
What is the Cycle to Work Scheme?
This scheme is a government incentive for workers to start cycling to work. The scheme offers great savings for those looking to purchase ladies’ bikes or men’s bikes to commute on, from anywhere between 25% – 48%.
Actually, getting your bike is a rather simple process and can be easily negotiated with your employer:
- First, inform your company that you’re interested in the scheme…of course they’ll need to be providers of the scheme for you to get the benefit (but more on this later on)
- Next, you’ll need to pick out the bike you want and any accessories you need (like a helmet, lights, his-vis clothing, etc.) and work out the total using a Cycle to Work Scheme
- This will then be taken into account with your employer, which will lead to an agreement on how much the company will effectively loan you and the repayments that will be taken directly from your salary
- At the end of your term, you can either pay a small sum to own everything outright, or give your bike back to the company
‘Where does this discount come from?’ you’re probably asking. Well, this is because the company is buying the bike as a tax-free benefit. This makes the scheme a win-win for everyone involved.
It’s a win for you as you’ve got a shiny new bike to use both for getting into work and in your personal time.
It’s great for the government, as this deduction in the bike’s cost means that you’ll be more inclined to use a cleaner method of transport, cutting Co2 emissions.
And lastly, it’s a win for your company as they can provide you with this extra benefit which will help improve your motivation at work (and maybe even save on some car parking space).
What are the benefits of cycling to work?
If you can easily travel in to work on a bike, then it is definitely an opportunity you should grab by the handlebars.
Among the plethora of benefits, we’ve boiled it down to 5 great reasons you should consider the scheme.
Improves your fitness
Getting on two wheels is a fantastic way of keeping up your fitness levels (even if you opt for a power assisted E-bike).
If your commute is 10 miles each way, for example, then you’d actually be burning around 4672 calories a week (that’s equivalent to 9 burgers!). Daily exercise can make a huge difference to your overall health.
Good for the environment
Cycling to work is not only good for you, but the planet.
You might be surprised to know that from a year’s worth of commuting 10 miles each way, you could save as much as 365kg of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere by car (that’s as much as 17 trees can absorb in one year).
It’s great for your mental health
Unlike a car, bus, or train journey, cycling to your work gives you some much needed ‘me time’.
Instead of having to focus on the road, or be distracted by your phone inside squashed public transport, biking into work gives you an opportunity to absorb your surroundings.
A survey by We Are Cycling UK found that 91% of participants deemed off-road cycling to be very important to their mental health. Even if your ride into work doesn’t go into the dirt tracks, you can still appreciate the little things on your way to work and detox your mind for better mental health.
A bike can actually save you time
If you’re frequently stuck in rush hour traffic jams, or even long train delays, you’ll find that these issues will melt away when you commute by bike.
Being more agile (and having the option to skip traffic by walking on the pavement with your bike) makes waiting around a thing of the past, meaning you can crack on with your day.
Improve your sleep quality
All that extra exercise is bound to tire you out during the day, making it a bit easier for you to fall asleep when your bed is calling.
Not only will you feel more refreshed in the morning, but commuting into work by bike is likely to help make your sleeping pattern far more regular.
What Cycle to work schemes are available?
There are a few schemes in which you can go with to get the bike of your dreams, but this is mostly dependant on your employer.
It’s a very simple process for both employer and employee to get cycling. All it takes is for the employer to register, and for both parties to sign the hire agreement in order to get the bike and accessories you need.
Available to any employer, and all it takes is a simple form to give everyone in the office or site a choice to cycle into work.
NHS’ Cycle to work scheme
This is specific to NHS staff; in that you’d need to contact your NHS Employers HR department to get the ball rolling here.
Am I eligible for the Cycle to work scheme?
There aren’t any specific requirements for employees to be eligible for any of the schemes we’ve mentioned. However, what makes you eligible is whether your employer is open to becoming a part of the schemes.
A lot of companies do, however, and it’s as simple as asking if this is something they carry out for their employees. For the employer looking to get more people on bikes, it’s a good starting point to ask employees if they would be interested, making everyone’s commute greener and a bit more enjoyable.
- It often depends on your employer, you’ll have to get talking to them to see if this is something they do
- Unfortunately, some will not have this as an option but hopefully where you work can help you get the ball rolling with getting a brand-new bike
We hope that after reading this blog, you’re now inspired to get involved with the scheme and make a difference to both the environment and your own health. It is probably a lot simpler than you thought, so there’s no excuse for you to not get cycling!
What if your employer isn’t in a scheme?
Even if your employer isn’t apart of any schemes, it doesn’t mean that you can’t get a new bike.
Buy on Finance
You also have the option to split payments over a time period, just without the taxable benefit.
We offer Klarna finance which is a very affordable way to pay for a brand-new bike and accessories in 3 payments over 3 months.
As a partnered brand with the schemes we’ve mentioned, you can easily browse our hybrid bike range or visit one of our stores today to see which bikes and accessories would suit you best.
For the best commuter experience, we recommend our range of folding electric bikes – compact enough to go under your desk yet powerful enough to get you to work and back. Simply view our mens’ and womens’ bike range and see for yourself how a bike could really change your working life.