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More on bike to work - over £1000 do bike shops do 'deals'?

crakercraker Posts: 2,060
edited February 2009 in Commuting chat
For my next commuting bike I'm after a XC / All mountain full up suspended mountain bike (Specialized Pitch Pro or similar) in the £1500 mark.

Now the cycle to work scheme does bikes up to a £1000, what's the best way of getting round that? Our finance department don't seem to know what to do.

Has anyone struck a deal with the bike shop to sell them the bike at £1000 + £500 on the side as a gratuity?

Posts

  • Slow DowncpSlow Downcp Posts: 3,041
    If the company you work for has a consumer credit licence, there is no limit in theory.
    Carlsberg don't make cycle clothing, but if they did it would probably still not be as good as Assos
  • biondinobiondino Posts: 5,990
    Mr Si, I bought a £1500 bike, my office processed the £1000, I paid the bike shop the extra £500, but it was all above board, everyone know about what was going on, and it was legal and easy.

    edit - and my company has no consumer credit licence.
  • Some bike shops are wary of letting you up it from £1,000 as there are potential ownership isses - strictly, I understand, when you buy a bike through one of these schemes you don't actually own it, your company does. Think of it as a company bike.

    Other bike shops don't seem too bothered by it. Two anecdotes from me based on experience of colleagues at the LBS near my office:
    1. Got a voucher for £600 (plus an extra 15% "free" for accessories - this is my employer passing on the VAT saving). Spent £300 on a basic commuter bike and the extra £390 on accessories (he was new to cycling - racks, panniers, lights, clothing, computer, etc soon added up).
    2. Got a voucher for £1,000 but had his eye on a Wilier costing £1,300. LBS charged him £1,150 for the bike (i.e. including the 15% uplift) and a further £150 for some basic pedals which allowed him to ride away from the shop.

    Both strictly against the letter of the regs (I suspect) but I can't see the authorities being bothered about it if they did find out. It still fulfilled the point of the tax break - to allow employees to buy a bike on which to commute.
    Never be tempted to race against a Barclays Cycle Hire bike. If you do, there are only two outcomes. Of these, by far the better is that you now have the scalp of a Boris Bike.
  • biondino wrote:
    Mr Si, I bought a £1500 bike, my office processed the £1000, I paid the bike shop the extra £500, but it was all above board, everyone know about what was going on, and it was legal and easy.

    edit - and my company has no consumer credit licence.

    Exactly: the standard scheme works without a CCL up to £1,000 and most employers aren't interested in running above that amount. Talk to the bike shop, they're unlikley to create any problems. You just pay them the difference.
  • Some bike shops are wary of letting you up it from £1,000 as there are potential ownership isses - strictly, I understand, when you buy a bike through one of these schemes you don't actually own it, your company does. Think of it as a company bike.

    Other bike shops don't seem too bothered by it. Two anecdotes from me based on experience of colleagues at the LBS near my office:
    1. Got a voucher for £600 (plus an extra 15% "free" for accessories - this is my employer passing on the VAT saving). Spent £300 on a basic commuter bike and the extra £390 on accessories (he was new to cycling - racks, panniers, lights, clothing, computer, etc soon added up).
    2. Got a voucher for £1,000 but had his eye on a Wilier costing £1,300. LBS charged him £1,150 for the bike (i.e. including the 15% uplift) and a further £150 for some basic pedals which allowed him to ride away from the shop.

    Both strictly against the letter of the regs (I suspect) but I can't see the authorities being bothered about it if they did find out. It still fulfilled the point of the tax break - to allow employees to buy a bike on which to commute.

    The employer does indeed own the bike and leases it to the employee, but undertakes to offer it for sale for a nominal amount at the end of the hire period (usually 12 months). Therefore (providing you have confirmation of the option to buy the bike) there is no problem with putting in your own money as long as the LBS agrees. If it doesn't I would find another LBS.
  • alfabluealfablue Posts: 8,497
    There is no reason to stop you adding your own cash to the £1000, except that some employers are wary of the potential difficulties of you having part ownership of the bike. Although they will invariably offer the bike to you for the fair market value at the end of the hire period, there is no obligation to do so. If they do not, you might seek to claim your portion from them. Also, is fair market value based on the £1000 portion, or the total cost of the bike. Some bike to work scheme providers are advising employers to stick to £1000, or stipulate this in their terms.

    In practice, if you find an LBS willing to do this I would go for it, there is no real reason for your employer to know - as far as they will be aware the named bike will cost £1000. A keen cyclist in HR may be astounded by the apparent bargain you secured but it is unlikely any problem would ensue.
  • passoutpassout Posts: 4,609
    Some bike shops will do this - ask around.
    'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.
  • Therefore (providing you have confirmation of the option to buy the bike) there is no problem with putting in your own money as long as the LBS agrees.

    Unfortunately you are not permitted, under the scheme, to have that confirmation (in any written, legally binding form). However, I can't imagine an employer not permitting you to buy the bike.

    The only time where you may have an issue is if your employer went bust, in which case the bike is a company asset and the receiver may try to get the maximum value for that asset...

    _
  • My employer arranged it so that I was paying 1000 for the frame on bike-to-work and 500 on the rest, for which they will invoice me direct and disregard it when it come to the repayments.

    Although, we run our own 'cyclescheme'; which you can. This does not have to be actioned through a third party as long as the company is a Ltd company- a bit more complicated though.
    Where\'s me jumper?
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