Any Bike. Any brand. Any Price.
with 'Freedom to Ride' employees can save money and spread the cost on any bike
- What's changed
- Why the new guidance is great news
- Who the new scheme will benefit
- Increased savings
- Employers with their own FCA Authorisation
Cyclescheme is no longer capped at £1,000. Colleagues can now save on the exact bike, components and accessories they need to cycle to work. So, your Cycle to work benefit is more relevant than ever!
The Department for Transport (DfT) has updated their cycle to work guidance, making it acceptable for employees to request a Certificate of any value via the cycle to work scheme. This means that riders can now save money and spread the cost on the total value of any Cyclescheme package.
Why has it changed?
Cyclescheme is a founding member of the Cycle to Work Alliance (CTWA). The alliance campaign for cycling inclusivity and their work has contributed to getting the guidance updated. The update ensures all riders can now get everything they need to cycle commute, on the scheme - including products like e-bikes which had been previously precluded due to their price tags.
Give me the specifics.
Previously, your workforce hired their cycling gear from you, their employer. You could do this because of the Financial Conduct Authority's (FCA) exemption that allows employers to loan their staff cycling gear worth up to £1,000. Now, colleagues will hire their bike directly from Cyclescheme. And because we have our own FCA Authorisation, we can hire them bikes, components and accessories up to any value.
Does that mean all Cyclescheme accounts are now £1,000+?
No, employers can set their limit at any value they see fit. This means that all schemes are not necessarily £1,000+. However, since offering the new solution as many as 75% of employers are deciding to offer the new 'no limit' scheme.
A number of employers already had limits of £1,000+ because they have their own FCA Authorisation (you can read more about this here), there are no changes to these schemes.
|Register as an employer||Apply as an employee|
What is the timeline for implementing the new 'Freedom to ride' scheme?
- Cyclescheme is now able to switch employers ‘on’ to the £1,000+ schemes, simply give us a call and we'll get you sorted. Alternatively, there is an automatic migration to the new scheme happening for most employers; this starts on the 2 Oct and concludes on the 9 Oct. Scheme administrators have been emailed with details of this.
What do I do next?
- Decide whether you want to activate ‘Freedom to ride’ straight away or whether you’re happy to do so via the automatic enrolment. Once your new scheme is confirmed, we’ll email you a new marketing suite. Then you just need to promote your scheme and get those colleagues cycling.
- No, you can pick whatever limit you think it most appropriate for your workforce. You can change your limit at any time by contacting us.
- You must only use Cyclescheme approved promotional resources to promote the scheme, you can find these in the 'Marketing' tab with MySchemes. In addition, employers should not offer employees advice on the scheme - any queries employees may have can be answered by Cyclescheme directly.
We run Cyclescheme via a Benefit Provider – what do we do next?
- Cyclescheme can offer all clients £1,000+ cycle to work schemes. If your scheme is run via a Benefit Provider platform, we recommend speaking to your provider about how and when they are able to accommodate your limit change.
Should I hold off requesting my bike?
- We recommend considering the following factors; how much is the cycle to work package you want to get, what is your employer’s current limit and what will you do if your employer does not choose to update their limit. If you want to get a package that is within your employer’s limit - there's no reason to delay making your request. If, however, your desired package is more than your scheme limit, you will need to decide how urgently you would like to get it. If you are not willing to wait, you may wish to get a package within your employer’s present limit instead. If you are willing to wait, please be assured that Cyclescheme will be ready to offer your employer the new scheme shortly. It is worth noting - your employer is under no obligation to offer schemes over £1,000.
- You can find out your employer's limit by logging onto the website with either your employer’s name or their Cyclescheme employer code. Use the 'Ready to begin' button ↓below↓ to start the login process. A welcome message will display saying either “You can request a package of any price” or “You can request a package of up to £XXXX amount”.
Can I still add funds (or 'top up')?
- No. To improve clarity on this topic and ensure there is no shared ownership, the DfT confirmed in the guidance update that adding funds is no longer allowable. If you wish to get a bike that is more expensive than your employers present limit, Cyclescheme will be able to facilitate this for your employer shortly via the new 'Freedom to ride' scheme.
Has the new guidance changed what accessories are allowable?
- The new guidance broadened allowable accessories. You can now get parts as well as clothing and accessories. The only cycle to work scheme exceptions are GPS ride trackers and navigation devices, bike racks for cars, cameras, turbo trainers or rollers, gift cards, nutritional products and foodstuffs
Why the new guidance is great news!
Riders will be able to get the kit they need inclusive of their preferences or circumstances.
|A cyclist that rides every day come rain or shine can get 1 or more great bike(s) and all the high-quality gear they need.||E-bikes are changing the way we travel but they are expensive, now obtain them at a fraction of their RRP.|
|Adapted and specialist cycles are often unique and created in low numbers meaning they were expensive.||Although you can certainly get a bike for less than a grand, basic Bromptons were at the limit.|
The new scheme limit will benefit all manner of riders.
From the returning cyclist getting an e-bike to help them re-engage with cycling (and re-energise their commute) to the everyday rider that needs a great bike and all manner of high-quality dependable kit... everyone can benefit!
The opening up of the limit is also fantastic for cyclists with different needs, be it handcycles, adapted bikes or tricycles - every strain and variety of bike under the sun now has the added benefit of becoming cheaper and more accessible.
A case in point...
Since the scheme launched twenty years ago we've seen the price of the trusty Brompton folder increase dramatically - this iconic and perfectly formed machine is at the heart of every cycle to work scheme or green commute.
'Freedom to ride' means that commuters can get the Brompton (or a Brompton Electric) that suits their needs and all the kit they need to go with it at once (and save money on the lot). This was almost impossible using the original scheme.
Is the cycle to work scheme worth it?
Yes! 'Freedom to ride' means employees can save on the total cost of the package, not just the first £1,000.
This means that although the savings haven't increased or changed employees will now be able to save more on bikes or cycle to work packages with a value over £1,000.
Employers with their own FCA Authorisation
Some employers who offer a higher limit for their cycle to work scheme (above £1,000 per employee) have obtained what's termed 'Authorisation' from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). You can find out more about Authorisation on the FCA website by clicking here.
Under the new guidance, FCA Authorised employers can choose to continue as they are or move over to Cyclescheme's Authorisation. Migrating to Cyclescheme's Authorisation may offer a cost-saving as there would be no need to sustain your own Authorisation (if this is used solely for the purpose of offering a £1,000+ cycle to work scheme).
If your organisation is already Authorised for the ‘Consumer Hire Business’ permission (the relevant permission for entering into a hire agreement for Cycle to Work) or your organisation is a council or local authority (where you may not need authorisation) and you wish to offer a higher limit on this basis, please contact Cyclescheme and we will help you get set up.