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Human Resources

Frequently Asked Questions (cycle+)

Who are Cyclescheme?

Cyclescheme is an independent company created to help employers and employees make the most of the Government's Green Transport Plan Initiative. They use local independent bike shops to help supply the right package of bike, accessories and safety equipment with expert advice.

Who can get a bike?

Employees paying PAYE and NI Contributions, who have a contract that outlasts the duration of the salary sacrifice period are eligible, provided they earn more than the National Minimum Wage after the loan repayment has been deducted.

How much could I save?

Use the calculator on Cyclescheme's website to calculate how much you could save and estimate your monthly salary reductions.

What are salary reductions and how are savings made?

With a salary reduction scheme you pay back the loan on your bike and safety equipment from gross rather than net pay for the hire period (usually 12 months), allowing you to benefit from income tax and NI relief. How much can I save?

Typical savings are between 30% and 50%, but the actual amount you pay depends on your personal tax band. Higher rate taxpayers will save more. Please note, the fair market value payment needs to be taken into account when calculating your total savings.

Can I get any bike?

You can choose any bike, including electric bikes, providing your chosen Cyclescheme partner can supply it. You can select a bike and equipment to a total value of £1000.

What safety equipment can I buy?

      Cyclist's safety equipment including the following:

  • Helmet (must conform to European standard EN1078)
  • Bells and bulb horns
  • Lights
  • Mirrors and mudguards to ensure visibility is not impaired
  • Cycle clips and dress guards
  • Panniers, luggage carriers and straps
  • Locks and chains to safely secure the bike
  • Pumps, puncture repair kits, cycle tool kits and tyre sealant
  • Reflective clothing, white front reflectors and spoke reflectors

Who actually owns the bike? What happens if it is stolen?

The bike and goods remain the property of Durham University until the hire period finishes. At the end of the hire period you may be given the opportunity to buy the bike for a fair market value payment. However, during the hire period, if the bike gets stolen you will be liable for any outstanding monies (without any tax exemptions), so it's very important to make sure the bike is insured. You can obtain safety equipment, including Home Office-approved 'Sold Secure' D-locks and cable locks, as part of the scheme.

What happens at the end of the loan period?

At the end of the hire period, Durham University will transfer the ownership of the bike and safety equipment to Cyclescheme who may offer you the opportunity either to extend the period of hire or to purchase the bike and safety equipment at a fair market value. The extended 'hire period' reduces the value of the bike in line with the 4 year valuations (3% and 7% depending on the initial purchase price of the bike) in the HMRC tables.

What's the process of getting a tax free bike for work through Cyclescheme?

The scheme uses a voucher system. You visit your local bike shop and agree a price for a bike and accessories, which you enter onto You will digitally sign a hire agreement when you apply online. Your voucher application must be approved by the University, and then a secure voucher is sent to your home address. You take the voucher back to the bike shop to collect the bike.

Do I have to use the bike for work?

A bike purchased under Cyclescheme should be used for work journeys at least 50% of the time. You don't have to cycle to work for a specified number of days throughout the year and you don't have to record your trips or mileage. You can also use the bike for travel between one workplace and another. 

Can I apply for more than one bike?

Yes providing you use both for commuting to and from work and both are within the £1,000 limit.

Can I get a bike for my family member/child/partner?

No, the bike must be for your use and must be suitable for commuting purposes.

What happens if the cost of the bike is less than the voucher?

If the bike and equipment is less than the value of the voucher issued, no reimbursement of the difference will be given.  Therefore you should consider your quote carefully to ensure you select the correct value of voucher for your needs.

What's the best way to insure the bike?

Your household insurance policy is usually the cheapest option but you must ensure that the insurer covers the bike when in storage away from your home, and that the bike's value doesn't exceed the upper claim limit. If the bike can't be covered on your home insurance, Cyclescheme recommend Cycleguard (02476 851 000) for insurance. 

Can I get a bike via a mail order specialist?

Cyclescheme's partner shops are capable of supplying bike packages mail order from their shops, but there are distinct advantages when getting a bike from your local bike shop that will be the first port of call for advice, servicing, after sales and warranty. Some mail-order specialists are not part of the Cyclescheme Partner network.

Am I responsible for maintaining the bike?

Yes. Your partner shop will be able to advise you about necessary servicing depending on how you use your bike. Many shops offer a free first service and warranty. 

What happens if I leave my job?

The agreement to pay your loan is non-cancellable, so you will be obliged to pay the remaining amount in full, without any tax exemptions. If you opt to take ownership of the bike you may have to pay an increased fair market value.

Is there a credit check?

There is no credit check.