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Cycle to work day: Why you should be hopping on the cycle to work scheme

Wednesday 14 September 2016 is the day to follow Norman Tebbit’s (misquoted) advice and “get on your bike”. One of the most cost effective ways to join the 741,000 people who regularly cycle to work is to take advantage of the cycle to work scheme which several organisations, including, offer to their employees.

What is the cycle to work scheme?

Cycle to work is a tax saving scheme first introduced by the government in 1999 to ‘promote healthier journeys to work and reduce environmental pollution’.

How does it work?

To be eligible you must be a UK taxpayer over the age of 16 and earn above the minimum wage. Your employer purchases the bike of your choice (with a value of up to £1,000) and then hires it out to you for a period of 12-18 months. Although you are responsible for maintenance and servicing, the bike and equipment remains the property of your employer. Interest-free monthly repayments are taken directly from your gross salary before PAYE and NI is applied meaning that you will save a minimum of 25% on the cost of the bike. Through salary-sacrifice employers will benefit from paying a lower NIC, saving up to 14% on what they would normally pay while you are paying off the bike. Depending on the terms of the agreement at the end of the period you may buy the bike at market value or continue to hire it for a token refundable deposit.

How much can you save?

Check using this calculator from  

Why take part?

Cycling to work means you’ll live a longer life. As a low impact form of exercise cycling will help you to build cardiovascular fitness and lose weight whilst decreasing damage to your joints. It’s also more environmentally friendly. Bikes use no fuel, they take a lot less energy to produce than motor vehicles and don’t require batteries. With a Zone 1-6 annual London travelcard costing over £2,300 you’ll not only save in tax but also travel costs. Will from Pearson Cycles told us; “Cycle commuting is by far one of the most efficient and rewarding methods of getting to and from work in the world. Near guaranteed consistent journey times all year round, little odds of being delayed by congestion, unaffected by train or bus cancellations, the bike rules”. Whilst Brompton Bikes state that cycling will lead to increased alertness and performance: A view shared by Bobbin Bikes: Isambard's Cycles make a good point about avoiding choosing the lesser of two sweaty commutes: The team at Soho Bikes say its also a great way to enjoy the sunshine!

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