The Cycle 2 Work is a scheme set up by the Government to encourage commuters to cycle to and from work. In return for tax breaks and salary-sacrifice schemes to make it affordable, the party in power gets to put some glowing statistics on how they’ve “revolutionized greener transport” in their next election propaganda.
Great – How Does It Work?
The employer registers with a cycle 2 work organizer
The employees select a bike they would like to hire
The employees apply for a certificate from their employer
The employer approves the purchase and issues a certificate
The certificate is traded for the bike and the hire as well as the salary-sacrifice starts.
There’s a few drawbacks to the master plan overall. Yes, cycling may be much cheaper, better for your health and makes the Government look good – but is it attractive to commuters? If cycling is so good, why aren’t we doing it already?
There are aspects of bicycle safety which many consumers are worried about, comfort compared to your own car, both of which can be solved relatively easily – but the biggest reason is simply people can’t be bothered! Cycling first thing in the morning is too much for most Brits. As James May puts it, “This is not part of a health and vitality plan. This is transport.”
So here’s a smart solution. The Chinese were early adopters of fitting an electric motor to a bike; now almost 200 million of them populate the streets each day. An electric bike means you don’t have to sweat your way to work, you can cruise along at speeds of 15 mph (faster than cars and buses in a city) and save surprising amounts of cash.
The only thing holding you back from skidding across to buy an electric bike right now is perhaps the price – but then the beauty of tax breaks from the Cycle 2 Work scheme really come into their own.
The MORE expensive the bike, the MORE you save
To be totally upfront, a very good electric bike will set you back about £1,000 with no discounts. Still, that’s not bad considering you’ll be saving thousands of pounds a year commuting by electric bike, don’t you think?
(And you’ll be cheating yourself into getting healthier!)
So when you apply the tax savings – VAT, Income Tax and National Insurance, depending on your earnings you can cut that almost in half!
Sure, so having your £1,000 bike for five-hundred quid is will make you pretty chuffed right? But the system isn’t done yet…
Instead of a big upfront payment, a lump sum – which you’ll probably have to talk over with your partner, set money aside and perhaps think about changing your holiday plans or something…
…your employer pays over 12 months. That means, for a £1,000 bike a tiny fraction of your salary – only £41.66 each month – gets taken from your pay. That kind of figure you’ll barely notice.
£41.66 each month is...
Filling up your car with petrol once every two month or…Topping up your Oyster Card once every two month or…Ordering a small coffee once a day or…
And remember those monthly savings on fuel, or taking the train or bus.