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. Budding commuters 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 and accessible than ever!
In June 2019 the Department for Transport (DfT) 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, cargo bikes and adapted cycles - all of which had often been previously precluded on the scheme 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 90% 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 generally 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?
- Most employers are on the new scheme if you are not and would like to be, simply give us a call and we'll get you sorted. All new employers registering automatically join the 'Freedom to ride' £1,000+ scheme.
Do I have to offer an unlimited scheme?
- 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 your desire to change your limit.
- You can find out your employer's limit by logging onto the Cyclescheme 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 worth more than £1,000 your employer must agree to increase their limit.
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 can now 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...
The Brompton e-bike (the perfect cycle commuting machine) launched with a price of £2,595. On the legacy scheme, most employees would not be allowed to request a value of £1,000 and could therefore not obtain one.
Using 'Freedom to ride' employees can request the full £2,595 meaning they will save between £648.75 and £908.25 on its price whilst also benefiting from spreading the cost.
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.