The Start Of An e-Bike Revolution?
New guidance on £1,000 ‘cap’ means more expensive ebikes are available as part of scheme. New guidance on the Cycle to Work scheme was announced by the Department for Transport (DfT), making it clear that ebikes are eligible for it. This clarification could encourage a new demographic on to two wheels, and provide huge benefits to disabled and elderly people.
The scheme is a complicated but well-used salary sacrifice scheme in which employees can get bikes, tax-free, via their employers. It starts with a year-long loan, which most people extend until the bike is worth so little they can “buy” it for a nominal sum or extend the hire for a percentage of the bike’s value. (After five or six years, HMRC considers a bike to have a negligible value).
Cycle to Work is great for employees but self-employed people, those who are out of work or retired people will not be able to take advantage of it. As disabled people are more likely to be out of work or self-employed, a government expansion of the scheme to include these groups could be transformative.
But the most important impact this clarification may have is to help more people realise cycling is something they can do too – ebikes open up cycling to everyone, showing it’s not just for the fit and the brave.