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Ride To Work Schemes *reposted from Road*

TwistedSpiritTwistedSpirit Posts: 79
edited July 2009 in Commuting chat
Hey guys!

I've just found this website and have had an interesting time reading everything. Now it's time for me to ask a question.

I presume most of you have heard of these ride to work schemes to save money on the purchase of a new bike.

Has anyone had any experience with any of these schemes? Any pros and cons of using the different ones?

I have just been offered a new job and as part of my negotiations i asked my new employer to sign up to cyclescheme but have now seen evans cycles offer their own and i believe halfords do too!

Any feedback will be most appreciated!

Posts

  • BikequinBikequin Posts: 402
    Where I work uses the Evans scheme - I found i quick and easy to use and ended up with my new bike within a month of starting the whole process. Also evans allows you to use the voucher on the sale price of any bike you wish to buy. I have heard stories of other bike stores not allowing you to purchase bikes at sale prices using the Ride to work scheme.

    There is £1000 limit on the voucher but you can choose to pay any difference - i believe this £1000 can be extended if your company is a registered creditor but I imagine that applies to very few companies.
    You'll not see nothing like the mighty Quin.
  • alfabluealfablue Posts: 8,497
    There is the government's ride to work tax break which is available to all employers and employees. This has been wrapped up in some ready-made schemes such as Cyclescheme, and Evans, Halfords, Wiggle etc "branded" schemes. Under the bonnet they are just an off the shelf implementation of the government tax break. Your employer doesn't need to use any of these branded schemes, and can run it themselves for very little extra hassle. This is the best scenario, as employees can buy any bike from any shop (up to the limit permitted by the company's credit licence - £1000 in all cases, but some companies have a licence for more).

    To run the scheme in-house the company can "borrow" the freely downloadable paperwork available on Evans or Wiggle, and customise it.

    Of the branded schemes, Cyclescheme uses local bike shops. This gives a lot of choice of bikes and shops, supports local businesses and means you might get more personal service from the shops. The downside is that Cyclescheme charge the shop a commission on every sale, so the shops are less likely to offer discounts or sale prices, often sticking to RRP (though they don't have to). Other shops add a premium to their prices to cover the commission (for example Spa Cycles add 12.5%), though as their normal prices are very low, the price you pay may still be much lower than RRP.

    Wiggle and Evans run their own scheme so there is no commission, you pay the price you see. Evans have a growing rep for poor service. Wiggle have a rep for excellent service but they are a web only shop, which means buying before you try (though I understand they do a 7 day "test ride" period).

    Halfords scheme means you get the bike through Halfords. They can, in theory, get most brands of bikes that they don't supply themselves, though an increasing number of brands are seeming to become unavailable. Bikes that are not usual Halfords stock may be charged at RRP. Many people are unhappy with Halfords service and the preparation of the bikes they sell. Some Halfords branches seem a lot better than others.

    Best option - company does it in house. Very little extra admin, get any bike you want at the best price and wherever you want.
  • R_T_AR_T_A Posts: 488
    Hi - my company signed up to this: http://www.cyclescheme.co.uk/

    It's got all the information you and the company will need.
    Giant Escape R1
    FCN 8
    "Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life."
    - Terry Pratchett.
  • +1 To Alphablue. Cut out the middle men where you can, you all get a much better deal. The Cyclecheme et al. all take a percentage out of your potential savings. It's money that would be better in your pocket.
  • alfabluealfablue Posts: 8,497
    When I said "open to all employees" I believe those on the minimum wage can't use the scheme as the salary sacrifice puts them below the legal minimum.

    My own company went for Cyclescheme as we urged them not to use Halfords. Cyclescheme provided a pretty good service, however after I got my voucher for Planet-X they said my voucher was cancelled as they stopped dealing with Planet-X as they don't have a proper shop. I kicked up a stink and they relented, but I think I am the last person to get a P-X on Cyclescheme.
  • BrixtonbikerBrixtonbiker Posts: 100
    Planet X are now using cyclesheme again...They charge £100 though.

    http://www.planet-x-warehouse.co.uk/?page_id=4961
  • alfabluealfablue Posts: 8,497
    Planet X are now using cyclesheme again...They charge £100 though.

    http://www.planet-x-warehouse.co.uk/?page_id=4961
    Ah! good!
  • The firm I work for run their own in house scheme, when you buy, (from anywhere) you don't need to mention C2W scheme which gives more flexibility to negociate. Well worth pushing for this method if you can. A lot of HR departments tend to be lazy and go for the "package schemes" such as those run by Evans, C2W etc.
    I ache, therefore I am.
  • UKScoobyUKScooby Posts: 41
    I full advocate doing it yourself - the paperwork is easy - it just needs a flexible employer willing to take it on - its not much more work.

    In my case I pushed for the scheme, so I did the admin. The retailers will incur a 10% penalty to cash in the vouchers with CycleScheme, which is why Evans, Halfords etc all do their own scheme as they make lots of extra profit.

    Small retailers will happily give you that 10% or more as a discount.

    We (via my credit card) have just bought 14 cycles with retail value of £9,500. We saved about £1,300 on discounts - then £1,100 on VAT. We will save about £2,100 on PAYE and NIC. The company saves about £1,100 on Ers NIC and the final buyback fee, which paid my wages and the financing at 0.000% that our investments are earning (well actually about 3.5% on £0.5M over 12 months).

    We have one guy who is unable to benefit on the PAYE/NIC savings due to minimum wage, but he is still in there as he gets 52 weeks credit on a £600 bike.

    If you can influence policy - by volunteering to run the scheme yourself perhaps - please try and go self administered. Its easier in a smaller family business like ours I guess - if you can get agreement to any sort of scheme its going to be easier to improve that scheme to being fully in house, supported perhaps by a couple of local 'approved' retailers (if you have any independents left).
  • Thank you for your help.

    We still have two independents in my town.
    One who specialises in Trek the other in Scott
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