Cycle Plus: frequently asked questions

Who is eligible to join?

All employees of the University of Glasgow with fixed hours are eligible for the scheme.

You can participate in this benefit, provided that you do not earn less than the Pay Protection Limit (see FAQs), or if your earnings would fall below the National Minimum Wage.

If you do earn less than the Payment Protection Limit, Halfords have a solution which will enable you to enter into a hire agreement directly with Halfords to obtain a bike at entry level range and make a one-off payment no greater than £20.

If you participate in any other parts of Benefits Plus then these will also be taken into account when deciding if you can participate in Cycle Plus (see FAQs for more details).  

Those who have a standard parking permit through the Car Parking Scheme are not eligible to participate in Cycle Plus.  Occasional use parking permit holders may still be eligible to participate in Cycle Plus should they meet all other eligibility criteria.

Cycle Plus can be selected by any employee who has at least 12 months remaining on their employment contract.

For those under 18 years old, alternative arrangements will apply in order to comply with Consumer Credit Act legislation.


How does Cycle Plus work?

This is a salary sacrifice scheme which provides an Income tax and National Insurance efficient way to pay towards the hire of a bicycle (and associated safety equipment) up to the value of £1,000 for 12 months. 

You sacrifice part of your annual salary to cover the hire of a bicycle (and associated safety equipment) for 12 months.

The bicycle will be hired from Halfords who have worked in partnership with many organisations in the provision of Cycle-to-Work schemes for a number of years.  The monthly payments towards the hire of the bicycle will be taken directly from your monthly salary.

After the 12 month period, you have three options:

  • Return the bicycle to the scheme provider, Halfords who are based in Worcestershire;
  • Continue to use the bicycle and hire from Halfords by signing an “Extended Use Agreement”.  There are no further monthly deductions, or other payments. 
  • Take ownership of the bike paying Halfords either 18% or 25%* of the certificate value.

*The lower figure relates to a certificate value of less than £500 and the higher figure relates to a figure of £500 and above.

A quick and simple guide to the Halfords Cycle-to-Work scheme can be found here and they also have Frequently Asked Questions.


What is the certificate value?

This is the initial value of the bicycle and associated safety equipment. 


How do I apply?

  • Find your local partner shop using our search facility at www.cycle2work.info/bikes/store-locator
  • Visit the shop and choose your bike and safety equipment: you will be given a paper quote
  • Sign up on Halfords’ Cycle2Work website www.cycle2work.info, using the employer code GLASGOWUNIC2W. Based on the quotation, submit your application, review and sign your hire agreement electronically.
  • The University will check your eligibility, ask you to sign a Cycle Plus condition sheet and approve your request
  • After approval by the University, Halfords will send you a ‘Letter of Collection’.
  • You redeem the letter of collection in the bike shop upon production of photographic ID

A quick and simple guide to the Halfords Cycle-to-Work scheme can be found here.


How much can I save?

The amount you can save is based on the certificate value and directly linked to your level of income, your rate of income and rate of National Insurance contributions.

The table below is indicative of typical savings you can make in the initial 12 month hire period subject to your personal circumstances subject to your personal circumstances.

Basic Rate (20%)

Certificate Value

£250

£500

£1,000

 

Monthly salary reduction

 £    20.83

 £    41.67

 £    83.33

 

Tax Savings

 £       4.17

 £       8.33

 £    16.67

 

NI Savings (12%)

 £       2.50

 £       5.00

 £    10.00

 

Net Cost per month

 £    14.17

 £    28.33

 £    56.67

 

Net Annual Cost of Bike

 £  170.00

 £  340.00

 £  680.00

 

Higher Rate (40%)

Certificate Value

£250

£500

£1,000

 

Monthly salary reduction

 £    20.83

 £    41.67

 £    83.33

 

Tax Savings

 £       8.33

 £    16.67

 £    33.33

 

NI Savings (2%)

 £       0.42

 £       0.83

 £       1.67

 

Net Cost per month

 £    12.08

 £    24.17

 £    48.33

 

Net Annual Cost of Bike

 £  145.00

 £  290.00

 £  580.00

 

Additional Rate (45%)

Certificate Value

£250

£500

£1,000

 

Monthly salary reduction

 £    20.83

 £    41.67

 £    83.33

 

Tax Savings

 £       9.38

 £    18.75

 £    37.50

 

NI Savings (2%)

 £       0.42

 £       0.83

 £       1.67

 

Net Cost per month

 £    11.04

 £    22.08

 £    44.17

 

Net Annual Cost of Bike

 £  132.50

 £  265.00

 £  530.00 


Which bicycle shops can I visit under the University’s Cycle Plus scheme with Halfords ?

Halfords offers access to most bicycle brands through their own shops, Cycle Republic and independent bike shop. In the Glasgow area, they work for example with Dales Cycles Glasgow, Trek Store – Alpine Bikes, Gear Bikes and Billy Bilsland Cycles. Find more with Halfords store locator https://www.cycle2work.info/bikes/store-locator.

The nearest Halfords shops are based in Shettleston, Braehead, Clydebank or Bishopbriggs. Online partner shops include Cycle Republic, Tredz and Wheelies. If a bicycle cannot be sourced from any of these shops, Halfords offers a Special Order Desk with free delivery. 


What benefits does Halfords offer ?

  • Wide range of bicycle brands and price, starting as low as £100
  • Procedure in place for employees on the Pay Protection Limit
  • Fully compliable and no-cost ‘End of Hire’ arrangement
  • Free Build and 6 week safety check
  • Free 12 month bike care and service plan
  • 20% of all bike parts and accessories – Halfords loyalty discount card
  • Family discount – 20% off entire Apollo bike range

What is the initial hire period?

This is the 12 month period in which you have sacrificed part of your salary to pay for the hire of the bicycle from the University.  


What happens at the end of the initial 12 month hire period?

After the 12 month period, you have three options:

  • Return the bicycle to the scheme provider, Halfords who are based in Worcestershire;
  • Continue to use the bicycle and hire from Halfords by signing an “Extended Use Agreement”.  There are no further monthly deductions, or other payments.
  • Take ownership of the bike paying Halfords either 18% or 25%* of the certificate value.

*The lower figure relates to a certificate value of less than £500 and the higher figure relates to a figure of £500 and above.


What happens if I leave the University before I have finished paying for the bike?

If you leave employment before the end of the initial 12 month hire agreement, the outstanding balance would be repayable immediately and, if possible, it would be deducted from your last net salary payment, meaning you would not have Tax and National Insurance savings on any outstanding balance. 

After the end of the original hire period, Halfords will contact you to offer their Extended Hire Agreement for no further cost.


What happens if I leave the University during the Extended Agreement period?

If you leave employment during the “Extended Use” period, as your contract is directly with Halfords it will transfer with you.


Ownership: who actually owns the bike?

During the initial 12 month hire period the bike and goods remain the property of the University.

If after the initial 12 month period you take the “Extended Use Agreement” paying a small deposit of either 3% or 7%* of the certificate value the bicycle will be the property of Halfords.

If after the initial 12 month period you opt to pay either 18% or 25%* of the certificate value, you will become the owner of the bicycle.

*The lower figure relates to a certificate value of less than £500 and the higher figure relates to a figure of £500 and above.


What are the percentages/payment values based on?

HMRC has published the following ‘Valuation Table’ to be used to calculate the market value of bicycles and safety equipment at the end of the hire period.

This can be viewed at www.hmrc.gov.uk/manuals/eimanual/EIM21667a.htm.


How often does the bike have to be used for work?

There is no requirement for you to cycle to work for a specified number of days throughout the year and there is no special requirement for you to record your trips. You can also use the bike for leisure at weekends and on holiday, although a bike provided through Cycle Plus should be ridden for at least 50% of your trips to work.


Does there need to be a record kept of work mileage?

HMRC do not expect you to keep a record of mileage.


Can the bike be used for local trips during the day?

Yes, you can use your bike for business purposes during the working day, although you may not claim expenses for business trips made on a bike obtained through this scheme. Employees should ensure they are insured for third party and theft during these trips.


Whose responsibility is it to insure the bike?

You have the responsibility to insure the bike and by signing the hire agreement you are agreeing to do this.

You should advise your insurance company that you are hiring the bicycle as part of an employer scheme.


What’s the best way to insure the bike?

Household policies are usually much cheaper than specialist policies but you must ensure that the insurer covers the bike when in storage away from your home. You also need to check that there’s no upper limit on a claim (if you have a reasonably expensive bike). 


What happens if the bike gets stolen?

If the bike is stolen then you have effectively left the scheme and need to pay all outstanding monies from your net salary. See FAQ: ‘What happens if I leave the University during the initial 12 month hire period?' 

It is very important to insure the bike, and any goods fitted to the bike, to safeguard against the losses following theft. You can obtain safety equipment from Halfords and other partnering shops, where you can ask for locks to conform to insurance companies’ requirements.


Who is responsible for maintaining the bike?

You are responsible for maintaining the bike for your own use. Your local shop will be able to advise you about necessary servicing depending on how you use your bike. 


Can bikes be procured via a mail order specialist?

Yes if it is part of the Halfords partnership network.  Delivery fees for mail order bikes must be paid for outside of the scheme as they do not qualify for tax relief.


Are electric-assist bikes allowed in the scheme?

Yes, you can select electric-assist bikes in the scheme up to the value of £1,000.


Will the partner shop be able to order my bike for me?

Yes.

Any deposits taken on your credit card will be credited back when you redeem your voucher.


Is there a credit check?

There is no credit check.


Is a Consumer Credit Licence required?

The government has issued a blanket consumer credit licence to all participating employers buying bike packages up to £1000 including VAT. When you sign the Hire Agreement, the resulting relationship is defined under the terms and conditions of the Credit Consumer Act.


What happens if I change my mind after joining the scheme?

Under the terms of the scheme it is not possible for you to cancel your hire. You are therefore committed to Cycle Plus for the duration of the hire period. If your employment is terminated during the hire period you will still be liable to complete payments identified in the agreement. This means that you must be sure you are happy entering the scheme and with the selection you have made.

More frequently asked questions outlining how participating in all parts of Benefits Plus may affect you can be found at Benefits Plus: frequently asked questions.

If you have any further questions about Cycle Plus, please phone 0141 330 3106 or email travelplanning@glasgow.ac.uk