How does the Cycle to Work Scheme work?

Want to buy a bike through the UK government's How does the Cycle to Work Scheme, and wondering what the maximum amount you can spend on a bike is? Matt Baird explains how it all works

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What is the Cycle to Work Scheme?

The Cycle to Work Scheme is a government-funded initiative introduced in 1999 with the aim of encouraging a healthier and more environmentally-friendly UK population. The scheme allows consumers to purchase bikes and cycling equipment tax-free at participating retailers. Purchasers pay off the value of the bike over a year (extension periods are available) and the claimed savings on a bike are up to 42% of the overall value depending on the tax bracket you sit in.


Your employer will need to be signed-up to the system (from our own past experience, don’t let them drag their feet on this – 40,000 business are signed up in the UK after all) and you’ll need to request a certificate from them (usually the HR or accounts departments) and take it to the relevant bike retailer.

What’s the maximum I can spend on a bike through the Cycle to Work Scheme?

The maximum value of the bike was £1,000 but there’s now no cap and you can now save on the exact bike, components and accessories you need to cycle to work, whatever its cost (but it’s a no to to turbo trainers and GPS systems!), providing your employer has agreed to lift the cap. So far  90% of employers have decided to do this. Find out more at


There are similar initiatives to the Cycle to Work Scheme out there as well and many retailers have their own, including Ride to Work from Evans Cycles  and Wiggle’s Cycle to Work.