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cycleplus
 
What is a tax free bike scheme?
These are government approved schemes that allow you to hire a bike and safety equipment from your employer for the purpose of commuting to and from work and for your own use at weekends and evenings. You can order your bike from any participating retailer. The bike you hire will be provided at up to 32% less than the usual cost you would pay which can result in savings of up to £320*.

How does it work?
You can choose a bike up to the value of £1000 from a list of local bike retailers provided to you. The value is spread across a period of 12 or 18 months depending on how your company's scheme has been set up. This is commonly known as a salary sacrifice or salary exchange scheme. You agree with your employer that each month the payment will be deducted from your gross salary in return for the use of the bike and safety equipment you use for commuting. This element of salary will not have Tax or National Insurance applied to it, making this a Tax free benefit.

Can I choose any bike?
As long as the store you choose to visit either stocks or can order the bike you want then you are not limited to any particular make or model, therefore you can choose the best bike that suits your needs and budget.

How many times a week do I have to use my bike for work?
The bike hired through the scheme is provided on the basis that you intend to make at least 50% of your trips or part trips to work using the bike. However, there is no requirement for you to specify what days/months of the year you will do this or record trips. N.B. you may also use your bike for leisure and weekends and whilst you are on holiday. 

Will my pension & other State Benefits be affected?
Most pension schemes will continue to calculate your pension contributions on your original gross salary. If you are unsure please check with your employer. Effects on the S2P (formerly SERPS) are likely to be negligible (please refer to your company policy if you require further advice). Other benefits such as statutory sick pay and job seekers allowance are again unlikely to be affected.

I'd like to join what do I have to do?
Visit the shop and choose your ideal package. We'll talk you through the rest of the process - it's really easy!

What happens if the bike gets stolen before the end of the agreement?
It is important that you make suitable provision to safeguard the bike. You may take a specialist policy but it is often easier to add the bike to your usual household policy. If the bike is stolen your employer will continue to deduct the monthly value from your salary until the end of the agreement.

Do I need to maintain the bike myself?
You are responsible for maintaining the bike for your own use. We will be able to advise you about the necessary servicing depending on how you use your bike. 

What happens if I go on unpaid leave?
During approved unpaid leave such as extended Maternity leave or a career break the hire agreement is likely to be suspended by your employer until you return to work and full pay resumes.

What happens if I do not want to keep the bike at the end of the agreement?
If you are offered the opportunity to buy the bike and you do not wish to do so, you may be charged a one off disposal fee. If you choose to become the owner of the goods, you may be offered the opportunity to do this at fair market value. This amount is not Tax and National Insurance free.

What happens if I leave my job before I've finished paying for my bike?
Under the terms of the hire agreement you will agree to settle all outstanding monies before you leave. The outstanding balance will be deducted from your final net salary payment.

Will cycleplus affect my Tax credits?
Most staff will benefit from joining the scheme. Current advice suggests that bike schemes are unlikely to affect Child Tax Credits. If you are in receipt of Working Tax Credits due to a lower household income then this may cancel out any benefit you gain from the scheme. As everybody's circumstances are different we recommend you contact the Inland Revenue on 0845 300 3900 if you are unsure.

What are the benefits of participating in the scheme?

Who is eligible?
Both schemes are governed by the Department for Transport. In order to receive the Tax benefits resulting from a salary sacrifice arrangement you will need to be a UK taxpayer, who can benefit from the Tax efficiencies of the scheme.

What value of bike can I choose?
You can choose to take between £100 and £1000. When deciding on a bike value it's important to consider carefully the amount you can afford and the type of bike that best suits your needs. 

Can I use the scheme to get a bike for a family member, partner or friend?
No - the bike must be used by you and mainly for the purpose of commuting to work. However the bike can be used in leisure time so you may use the bike in your free time to cycle with friends and family.

Is the bike mine straight away?
The bike and goods remain the property of your employer for the duration of the agreement. At the end of the hire period you may be given the opportunity to take ownership of the bike at a fair market value (plus VAT).

What happens if I do not want to keep the bike at the end of the agreement?
If you are offered the opportunity to buy the bike and you do not wish to do so, you may be charged a one off disposal fee. If you choose to become the owner of the goods, you may be offered the opportunity to do this at fair market value. This amount is not Tax and National Insurance free. 

What is a salary sacrifice arrangement and how are the savings made?
Salary Sacrifice or Salary Exchange basically means you have agreed with your employer to exchange a proportion of your salary in return for some form of non cash benefit, in this case the hire of a bike.

Are safety accessories included under the scheme?
You can include most safety accessories under the scheme, for example:
(This list is not exhaustive and any cycle accessories that assist with commuting safely may be included)

*Savings based on an average rate tax paying employee. Savings refer to the tax and National Insurance saved from the salary amount sacrificed and do not refer to discounted cycles or cycle products.