Cycle To Works Scheme2023-10-01T12:02:40+00:00


Everyone loves a cheap bike!

At Hargreaves Cycles we are happy to supply any of our bikes on the Bike To Work scheme, a government initiative introduced in the Finance Act 1999 to promote healthier journeys to work and to reduce environmental pollution.

It allows employers to “loan” or lease cycles and safety equipment to employees as a tax-free benefit. The employee then pays for the bike and equipment typically over a 12 month period, after which the the employee is able to take ownership.

The benefits to the employee is that the payments are deducted from your PAYE pay before tax and other contributions, thus effectively reducing the price of the bike by as much as 40%.

There is a lot of confusion about how the scheme is administered and managed by different employers so before proceeding with a Bike To Work purchase from us we strongly suggest you read our FAQ section on the subject.

How is your employer buying your Bike To Work bike?

There are two ways for your employer to purchase your new bike:

  1. Buying direct from the shop
  2. Buying via a third party agent, like

1. If your employer is buying the bike direct, perhaps using a company credit card or by invoicing us you can get whatever our best price is at the time of ordering.

2. If your employer is using one of the many third party agents to administer and manage the scheme on their behalf you can buy any bike at our “Online Price”. Bikes on special offer may also be purchased but sometimes not at the special offer price, the price has to go up by about 10-12% to cover the commission these agents charge us. In these circumstances please contact us before placing an order.

If you are unsure which method your employer uses for the purchase, contact your HR dept.

How do I buy my new bike to work cycle?

To proceed with any Bike To Work order, regardless of what purchase method your employer uses, simply add everything you want to your basket, and then select “Cyclescheme” at the checkout. No funds payment option will be requested when you complete the order and we will get in touch to take the process to the next stage.

Once I’ve ordered the bike will it be allocated to me?

Bikes are not allocated until a holding deposit is paid or payment is received in full, be it by a voucher from a third party agent or direct from your employer. More about this is covered in our FAQ section. All deposits taken are refundable once full payment is received.

When will I get my bike?

As soon as the payment is received and cleared we will send your bike to you, or you can collect it in store. If you chose not to pay a holding deposit and the bike is no longer available once payment is ready we will be happy to supply an alternative or cancel the order.

What is salary sacrifice and how do participants save?

Salary sacrifice occurs when an employee agrees to give up part of their salary for an agreed period (in the case of the Cycle to Work scheme this is usually 12 months) in exchange for a non-cash benefit, such as the loan of a bicycle and safety equipment. As salary sacrifice is taken from the gross salary (before tax) rather than net pay it means the employee pays less income tax and National Insurance. Most employers can pass on a VAT saving to participating employees.

What are the savings for the employee

Typical savings for employees are between 42% and 52%, but the actual amount depends on the employee’s personal tax band and the way the employer runs their scheme. Higher rate taxpayers will save more.

Who actually owns the bike?

The bike and equipment remain the property of the employer throughout the hire period, unless the employer uses a finance company to fund the bikes; in this case the finance company or funding bank will own the bikes.

Cycle to work FAQ

If the price goes down will I get it at the cheaper price?2023-09-27T12:29:10+00:00

If you paid your holding deposit, no. If you didn’t pay a holding deposit and the bike is still in stock but at a lower price, yes. We do realise this sounds daft, but there is a logic to it. The price we charge is all dependent on the price we pay, and this can change daily. When you order your Cycle To work bike and pay your deposit we purchase it for you at the price charged that day. Then we hold it for you until the voucher is available. If the bike subsequently goes down in price with our supplier and so our price goes down too you won’t be able to avail of this as your bike is already bought and paid for. If however you don’t pay the deposit we won’t purchase it on your behalf until we have your voucher, at this point we avail of any supplier price reduction, and so you do too. Obviously though the risk is that the bike goes out of stock or the price goes up (it does happen) so it’s the risk you take.

If the price does go down there is always the option to cancel the voucher and start the process over, but the holding deposit is non-refundable, so that will be lost. We do realise this sounds really draconian but you need to bear in mind we sell hundreds and hundreds of bikes on the Cycle To Work scheme every year, and you’re most likely buying from as we’re the best online price you can find, this is because we work to a fraction of the profit margin of many shops, so can not afford to soak up price reductions in these situations. We’re not unreasonable though, and normally with some freebies here and there we can come to an arrangement where everyone is happy, the important thing is to speak to us before making any rash decisions.

I’m using or other agent, is my bike reserved once the order is placed?2023-09-27T11:13:43+00:00

No. Once you place the order we will send you the details to apply for your Cyclescheme voucher, this can take from a few days to a few months for the voucher to be issued, depending on how your employer administers the scheme in-house. Due to this timescale we can not guarantee your chosen bike will still be in stock at the same price when the voucher is issued. To have your chosen bike allocated to you, and so ensure it will be available when the voucher is issued you will need to pay a ten percent deposit, which we will refund once the voucher is received by us. There are no exceptions to this rule. If you choose not to pay the holding deposit you run the risk of the bike going out of stock, or the price changing.

How do I purchase a bike on the Cycle To Work Scheme online?2023-09-27T11:13:17+00:00

If you’re purchasing using a third party agent like CycleScheme or your employer is buying direct and we need to invoice them, just add the bike to your basket and proceed to checkout, at the payment section select “Cyclescheme” as your payment method, no funds or payment details will be asked for. All we will ask for is your details, address, name, phone number etc. Once we have this order we will get in touch to ascertain how you’re paying (Cyclescheme, other agent or invoice to employer) and we will do the necessary.

If you’re buying the bike using your company credit card to pay just checkout as normal and use the card for payment, then in the comments tell us that you will be needing an invoice and who it needs to be made out to. That’s it!

Can I buy a special offer bike on the Cycle To Work scheme?2023-09-27T11:12:43+00:00

YES! But, there are caveats. If your employer is purchasing the bike direct from us then you can buy any special offer bike at exactly the price seen on the screen. If though they are using a third party agent, like then we may have to increase the price of the bike slightly to cover the commission they charge. If you want to purchase a sale bike via the scheme it’s always best to get in touch first.

Can I use voucher codes to get discounts on Cycle To Work purchases?2023-09-27T11:12:20+00:00

It depends! As explained above the agent charges us a commission on all bike sales they are involved in, so generally speaking we are unable to offer additional discounts by way of voucher codes on these sales as any spare profit we have has to go to CycleScheme in the form of this commission. This would be the same if your employer uses any other third party agent.

If though your employer purchases the bike direct from us then you can use all the voucher codes you want!

Can anyone get a bike on the Cycle To Work scheme?2023-09-27T11:11:46+00:00

Almost anyone in employment, yes. There are some restrictions, and as they’re constantly changing it wouldn’t be right for us to list the exact details here, so best to check the exact requirements here (be warned, it’s a lengthy read!). But in a nutshell, almost anyone who is PAYE and in permanent employment is eligible.

Who are

Many people think are an official body who manage the Cycle To Work scheme on behalf of the government, they’re not. They are a commercial privately owned profit making business (just like us) who act as an agent for employers wishing to provide cycles to their staff on the Cycle To Work scheme. They are a “go-between” between the employer and the bike shop, they make their money by charging the bike shop a commission on every bike sale they are involved in. They are not the only agent who do this, there are many of them, however CycleScheme are by far the largest and most successful.

Employers do not need to use these agents to offer bikes to their staff, many don’t, preferring to purchase the bike themselves direct from the shop and setup the rental agreements with their staff via their own HR departments. However there is a limited about of paperwork involved in doing that, so many opt to use an agent.

What is “Cycle To Work”?2023-09-27T11:10:54+00:00

This is a bit complicated, and often much misunderstood by people. To fully understand why you need to read this section and the section below, “Who Are”

The Cycle To Work scheme is a a salary sacrifice scheme operated by the government to encourage people to buy bikes and cycle to work, although of course you don’t only have to use the bike for commuting! The very simple version of it is that your employer purchases a bike on your behalf and “rents” it to you for a period of 12 months.

You pay a rental fee each month of roughly 1/12th of the cost, so at the end of the 12 month rental period you’ve effectively purchased the bike. The neat bit is this monthly rental feee is deducted from your pay BEFORE tax and NI contribution, so it’s effectively reducing the amount of pay you’re taxed on. The upshot of this is you pay less tax, which when looked at another way reduces the price of the bike. Some employers will also cover the VAT portion of the purchase (20%), so you save that too! Typically a bike purchased on the Bike 2 Work scheme saves you around 20-30% of the overall price.


Go to Top