cycle to work scheme closed!

visual-hybrid Posts: 68
edited December 2008 in Commuting chat

I was hoping to buy a commuting bike on cycle to work for new 26 mile round trip. Only problem is that my employer has closed the scheme till April next year. (gasp)

Really don't want to 'destroy' my (nice) hard tail mountain bike with 100+ miles per week and the setup would slow me down on flat commute cycle route.

Any sugegstions on how to benefit from discounts without needing to use cycle to work scheme through my works HR/ payroll? I do also work freelance as well so am I able to buy it myself as my own 'employer'?

Failing this.. After a fast light hybrid for 13 mile route of mainly flat cycle path, with couple of big hills either end. Budget prob £400 if paying full price..



  • rhext
    rhext Posts: 1,639
    Buy a pair of slicks for your MTB and you'd be surprised how fast it will go. Then just keep it clean and well-lubed. OK, road salt is a bit of a pain, but I reckon my MTB gets more wear and tear on a single muddy ride than the commuter bike gets in a month.
  • DonDaddyD
    DonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
    Why not just buy a £400 - £500 road bike or fixed gear?

    It should do the job and if maintained well (service every 6months, repairs when needed, keep well lubed etc) should eat those miles....
    Food Chain number = 4

    A true scalp is not only overtaking someone but leaving them stopped at a set of lights. As you, who have clearly beaten the lights, pummels nothing but the open air ahead. ~ 'DondaddyD'. Player of the Unspoken Game
  • gtvlusso
    gtvlusso Posts: 5,112
    My employer only does the scheme 3 times a year, but I work for an employer with 20,000 staff - would be impossible to administrate all year around.

    I would buy a secondhand one - Boardman off Ebay.
  • gtvlusso wrote:
    I would buy a secondhand one - Boardman off Ebay.

    Yes, go secondhand.

    As long as you don't buy an absolute clunker that needs work doing, you could benefit from economic patterns, too. Buy now (in the fairweather cyclists' close season) and sell when it is no longer scrotum-tighteningly cold. The demand from the fresh wave of fairweather cyclists will push eBay prices higher in the spring.

    In other words, it is the ideal solution: it might not cost you a penny. 8)
  • thanks for all the suggestions
  • If you can feasibly claim to use the bike for your freelance work, you could put it down as an expense on your tax return, thereby making it income tax and NI free. More to the point, HMRC are never going to nail you to the wall for the price of a bike.

    Best part is you can combine this with the cheapness of buying second hand and save yourself a small fortune - or get a really nice bike for the same money.
    Trek XO1
  • RufusA
    RufusA Posts: 500
    If you have a company for your freelance work then it's easy!

    Buy any bike (and equipment), from anywhere (taking full advantage of any special offers) using the company. Reclaim the VAT (assuming you are VAT registered).

    The company holds ownership of the bike, and can loan it to any employee (i.e. you) without a taxable charge. The company will need to record it in the accounts as an asset that gets depreciated like any other fixed asset (i.e. company computers). Being a company asset, IMHO the company can also pay for servicing / repair of the bike as necessary.

    You don't need to worry about salary sacrifice, etc.

    Then after a suitably decent length of time, say 2 years, the company sells the bike to the employee for "Fair Market Value" which most people seem to say is 5% or less.

    You in affect save tax, NI and VAT on the bike as it's paid for out of gross freelance income, but without any of the nasty HR / form filling stuff.

    This requires you to have a company rather than being self employed, and you obviously can't reclaim the VAT if you are either not VAT registered, or are on a Flat Rate VAT scheme!

    HTH - Rufus.