Fancy a new bike? Your dream bike that awaits might be closer than you think with this new scheme from the Green Commute Initiative. The scheme that could hold the key, is a social enterprise, whose vision is to encourage commuters out of their cars and onto a bicycle which works like a cycle to work scheme but it's one that has no upper £1,000 price limit. Let your imagination go wild!
Without the £1,000 price limit, any bike is available, as long as you are buying from a bike shop or direct buy brand that is registered with the scheme. It works the same as any other cycle to work style scheme; select the bike, enter the information onto the Green Cycle Initiative (GCI
) site to create an invoice, take that to your HR department at work for approval, a voucher is issued to cover the cost and then there's the bit where your Gross pay gets reduced to pay back the cost of the bike.
Your employer reduces your gross (before tax) pay by the value of the voucher. This is called salary sacrifice and it means you don’t pay tax and NI on the amount of salary you sacrifice. Depending on your tax rate, you’ll save either 32%, 42% or 47% on the cost of the package. Due to HMRC rules GCI must hire the bike to you, hire agreements are always for 12 months, at the end of this 12 months GCI make you a free-of-charge loan of everything for five years. This means you continue to benefit from the tax break with no penalties from HMRC. After five years you can buy the bike from GCI for £1, the £1 charge is so that GCI can demonstrate to HMRC when the transaction took place to protect you from any claim from them. In practice, the bike is yours to do as you wish from day one and you can enter into additional or new GCI schemes at any time.
Looking at the online 'shop finder' on the GCI website, there's a fair few to chose from (over 700 are signed up including the likes of Leisure Lakes), so aside from that chat with your HR department - what's stopping you?
Maybe a new e-bike or gravel bike takes your fancy? Tell us about your dream bike below in the comments....
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