Author Topic: CycleScheme remove £1,000 price cap  (Read 2456 times)

thing1

  • aka Joth
    • TandemThings
CycleScheme remove £1,000 price cap
« on: October 25, 2019, 01:55:42 pm »
Just found out cycle scheme have totally removed their limit on bike+accessory purchases
https://www.cyclescheme.co.uk/cycle-to-work-scheme-any-price

As they are now the legal "loan provider" of the bikes, they can do this under their own FCA Authorisation loan authorisation without needing each employer to get their own license.

This is great -- back with cycle scheme was launched the £1,000 limit set a pretty nice prices point, but there's been 100% inflation in the intervening 2 decades so on inflation alone if buys you half as much bike as it would have back then.

This is "opt in" for each employer using the scheme, and they're recommended to set their own loan limits. Mine has just started trialing £5,000.

robgul

  • HoECC & Cycle:End-to-End webmaster, S Warwickshire Bike Shop in Wellesbourne
  • . . cyclist, Cytech accredited, manages an LBS
    • Cycle:End-to-End
Re: CycleScheme remove £1,000 price cap
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2019, 04:43:56 pm »
.... bear in mind when looking at prices the supplying shop has to give 10% on bikes and 15% on parts/accessories to the Cyclescheme plan (and a higher % to the Halfords scheme) - so don't expect stonking discounts on anything.

That said, I do quite a few deals with most customers being higher rate taxpayers so a pretty good saving for them.

Rob

Re: CycleScheme remove £1,000 price cap
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2019, 06:35:06 pm »
.... bear in mind when looking at prices the supplying shop has to give 10% on bikes and 15% on parts/accessories to the Cyclescheme plan (and a higher % to the Halfords scheme) - so don't expect stonking discounts on anything.

That said, I do quite a few deals with most customers being higher rate taxpayers so a pretty good saving for them.

Rob

Good point. But it's very worthwhile for bikes like Bromptons where discounts are not possible.
Quote from: tiermat
that's not science, it's semantics.

Re: CycleScheme remove £1,000 price cap
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2019, 10:41:18 am »
How many of these bikes are actually used for commuting, I wonder?
Never tell me the odds.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: CycleScheme remove £1,000 price cap
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2019, 12:22:53 pm »
How many of these bikes are actually used for commuting, I wonder?

I expect most of the Bromptons are.  Likely a good proportion of the e-bikes that will now be possible.

I reckon subsidising weekend warrior MAMILs is probably still worth it from a public health perspective.  The main problem is people buying bikes, trying the commute a few times, deciding that it's horrible, leavign the bike in the shed and switching back to the car or public transport.  I don't think that's a problem that can be solved by changing the way people buy bikes.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: CycleScheme remove £1,000 price cap
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2019, 12:35:24 pm »
I keep seeing this title and thinking "Even Rapha caps don't cost that much."
A cup of tea is the perfect bridge between real life and cake.

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: CycleScheme remove £1,000 price cap
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2019, 01:10:24 pm »
I'm a higher rate taxpayer and, yes, I cashed in a cheaper Brompton. I didn't really need the saving I would have bought one anyway (my zone 6 travelcard is ~£2.5k). I have mixed feelings about the scheme achieves, but I expect it's relatively cheap and indeed, even if gets a few MAMILs out at the weekend, there might indeed be a net benefit. It's the sort of thing that could be measured with relative ease, but that might imply evidence-based policymaking which simply won't do.

It won't change that fact that most of our roads (or rather the people in vehicles on them) are inimical to cycling. But hey, it's a tiny bit of subsidy that, for once, isn't being handed to drivers.
!nataS pihsroW

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: CycleScheme remove £1,000 price cap
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2019, 01:21:42 pm »
Absolutely.  The whole thing is well worth it for the people who it enables to cycle (even if not on the commute, because - contrary to popular opinion - commutes aren't somehow more worthy than other journeys people make) by overcoming the affordability of bikes problem.  Which is very real for those who require expensive or nonstandard bikes for disability reasons; need a quality folding bike (either because of a multimodal journey, or a lack of secure storage); or who simply wouldn't be able to afford the up-front cost of a half-decent bicycle after paying for the season ticket that cycling will mean they'll no longer need.

The well-off will always game the system.  That's a shitty reason not to have a system.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: CycleScheme remove £1,000 price cap
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2019, 03:30:34 pm »
How many of these bikes are actually used for commuting, I wonder?

I stuck to the rules within the first year of ownership of my Wilier. Back then (2009) it was something along the lines of "the majority of use of the bicycle must be for commuting".

If I used it for n non-commute rides, I made sure I used it for n+1 commutes. If they measured it by distance or total time I would have been in trouble as every single one of the non-commute rides was way longer than my 12km commute, as they included rides like the Snowdon & Coast 400km Audax, and the Kernow & SW 600km Audax.

(We also had a £1500 limit rather than the standard £1000 limit, and I negotiated buying a discounted "last year" bike too [by paying a bit more than the discounted cash price to cover the scheme costs], and paid the extra with a credit card [which was also verboten I believe].)

Regardless of how I (ab)used the scheme, it's great for people that do make the transition from a train/car/whatever commute to a regular bike commute because they now have a sensible commuting bike with the cost spread over the year (the discount is a slight bonus). I know some people who felt trapped by their annual train season ticket and the fact that they could spread the cost of that over the year via a loan from their employer.

As has been said before, the Government should just get rid of VAT on bikes (and bike related accessories) and then they can simplify things by binning the scheme although that does cut off access for people who can't afford the up-front cost (a loan system like the season ticket loan doesn't work so well as the bike can't be sold for a proportional refund like a season ticket can be.)
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: CycleScheme remove £1,000 price cap
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2019, 03:47:37 pm »
I can't say I've ever met anyone who's switched to commuting by bike because of the scheme, it's just a handy way to get a discount. They mostly buy something relatively modest from Evans or the like, or something second-hand/nicked (I'm not sure anyone can distinguish). This being London, there's a fair chance any bike in regular use will get nicked. The main push towards commuting by bike in London is, of course, the cost of the alternative.

I think my main concern isn't the scheme per se, it's that it's a way they can pretend that they're doing something for cycling when the actual impact is probably minimal. Like you say, taking VAT off bikes etc. would make more sense.
!nataS pihsroW

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: CycleScheme remove £1,000 price cap
« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2019, 04:26:07 pm »
Pesky EU regulations prevent them from zero-rating VAT on bicycles.  (Unless they're designed or adapted for use by a disabled person, in which case the dealer can[1] apply an exemption.)


[1] But probably won't, unless they're sufficiently disability-oriented that they're used to the associated paperwork.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: CycleScheme remove £1,000 price cap
« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2019, 06:53:52 pm »
Pesky EU regulations

One way to solve that - the very definition of a Pyrrhic victory.

The other way, of course, is to lobby the EU for removal of VAT on bicycles to encourage uptake and associated health benefits.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

robgul

  • HoECC & Cycle:End-to-End webmaster, S Warwickshire Bike Shop in Wellesbourne
  • . . cyclist, Cytech accredited, manages an LBS
    • Cycle:End-to-End
Re: CycleScheme remove £1,000 price cap
« Reply #12 on: October 28, 2019, 07:19:57 pm »
Recent research by the cycling trade body has suggested that the removal of VAT would have little effect on the number of bikes sold (or usage thereof) - it's the whole attitude to cycling that needs the shift . . . . of people coming into my shop to potentially buy a bike they almost all express concerns about the roads and motorised vehicles.

Rob

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: CycleScheme remove £1,000 price cap
« Reply #13 on: October 28, 2019, 07:51:41 pm »
I'd agree, it's not really a price/cost issue. I'm sure you could give away bikes and see little change in behaviour because the things that stop people from cycling remain.
!nataS pihsroW

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: CycleScheme remove £1,000 price cap
« Reply #14 on: October 28, 2019, 08:33:28 pm »
I'd agree, it's not really a price/cost issue. I'm sure you could give away bikes and see little change in behaviour because the things that stop people from cycling remain.

The Big Birmingham Bikes project actually tested this, giving away about 3500 bikes, with dynamo-powered GPS trackers to monitor usage, by postcode-lottery to people in areas with poor health outcomes.  This was backed up by assorted schemes encouraging non-cyclists to learn to ride.  The presentations I've seen show that some of them are getting proper use, but frustratingly I can't find any of their stats on the interweb.  Riding around Birmigham some 3 years later, I'd say they were approximately as common on the roads as Bromptons.

Pretty much every conversation I've ever had with a BBB rider has brought up the oppresive traffic conditions and lack of infrastructure.

(Here's a PushBikes article summarising the project: https://pushbikes.org.uk/blog/big-birmingham-bikes-update)

Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: CycleScheme remove £1,000 price cap
« Reply #15 on: October 28, 2019, 09:38:21 pm »
I can't say I've ever met anyone who's switched to commuting by bike because of the scheme
There are at least two in my department who have. Though they were both cyclists already. One didn't have a bike since he moved to London, bought a bike on the scheme and cycles every day now. The other lives in Sevenoaks and took his brompton on the train. He started getting off the train at the boundary of zone 1, then zone 2, then bought a road bike on cyclescheme and uses it to cycle all the way a few days a week.

Quote
... it's just a handy way to get a discount.
True, but that (and the spreading of the cost) means people tend to spend more, which means they have a more suitable/reliable bike, so they are more likely to keep using it than if they had a BSO.
Quote from: tiermat
that's not science, it's semantics.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: CycleScheme remove £1,000 price cap
« Reply #16 on: October 29, 2019, 09:17:14 am »
And if people are spending more it acts as an extra source of revenue (should it be considered an indirect subsidy?) to bike shops, which mean they're still alive and that helps cycling in general in various ways.
A cup of tea is the perfect bridge between real life and cake.

Re: CycleScheme remove £1,000 price cap
« Reply #17 on: October 29, 2019, 07:07:47 pm »
GPWM.

My first brompton lasted ten years of daily use before it fell to pieces. Now I'm using cyclescheme, I buy a new Brompton every year, something I would never consider if I were spending "my own" money.
Quote from: tiermat
that's not science, it's semantics.

CAMRAMan

  • Formerly A Warwickshire Lad
Re: CycleScheme remove £1,000 price cap
« Reply #18 on: November 01, 2019, 07:39:37 am »
Good luck with getting a 25-30% discount on a Brompton...
Haggerty F, Haggerty R, Tomkins, Noble, Carrick, Robson, Crapper, Dewhurst, Macintyre, Treadmore, Davitt.

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: CycleScheme remove £1,000 price cap
« Reply #19 on: November 01, 2019, 09:36:53 am »
It's a somewhat bigger 'discount' if you're a higher rate taxpayer.

I'm not sure I'd buy a new one each year though, this one (actually my wife's) is about five years old, but has only been extensively ridden for commuting this year. Needs some new brake blocks (I did buy some, but my attempt to replace them, well, erm, wasn't successful). That said, I do have a back-up more chunky folder.
!nataS pihsroW

C-3PO

  • Human-cyborg relations
Re: CycleScheme remove £1,000 price cap
« Reply #20 on: November 01, 2019, 10:00:21 am »
Masters, we'll have none of that behaviour here, please.

Posts tidied up to a place where they may only be seen by higher beings.

Re: CycleScheme remove £1,000 price cap
« Reply #21 on: November 01, 2019, 10:19:33 am »
It's a somewhat bigger 'discount' if you're a higher rate taxpayer.

I'm not sure I'd buy a new one each year though, this one (actually my wife's) is about five years old, but has only been extensively ridden for commuting this year. Needs some new brake blocks (I did buy some, but my attempt to replace them, well, erm, wasn't successful). That said, I do have a back-up more chunky folder.

Pop round at some point and I'll change your brake blocks for you.

Re: CycleScheme remove £1,000 price cap
« Reply #22 on: November 01, 2019, 11:24:47 am »
My first brompton lasted ten years of daily use before it fell to pieces. Now I'm using cyclescheme, I buy a new Brompton every year, something I would never consider if I were spending "my own" money.

Presumably you sell on the old one? Have you worked out how much this costs you net per year?

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: CycleScheme remove £1,000 price cap
« Reply #23 on: November 01, 2019, 11:38:54 am »
GPWM.

My first brompton lasted ten years of daily use before it fell to pieces. Now I'm using cyclescheme, I buy a new Brompton every year, something I would never consider if I were spending "my own" money.

Goods stuff - empty ashtrays!  ;D
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: CycleScheme remove £1,000 price cap
« Reply #24 on: November 01, 2019, 06:32:01 pm »
It's a somewhat bigger 'discount' if you're a higher rate taxpayer.

I'm not sure I'd buy a new one each year though, this one (actually my wife's) is about five years old, but has only been extensively ridden for commuting this year. Needs some new brake blocks (I did buy some, but my attempt to replace them, well, erm, wasn't successful). That said, I do have a back-up more chunky folder.

Pop round at some point and I'll change your brake blocks for you.

Oh, I sort of know what I'm doing (and I will now disprove this). I change brake blocks all the time because I live in the place with hills. But these are the insert kind, so I bought some inserts and figured, you know, undo the little screws, slide 'em out and Bob's your mother's slightly iffy brother. Except, no, it didn't just slide out. It took a hammer (and yeah, I did them in the direction it said). And I got covered with black stuff to the point I'd have passed for Justin Trudeau at a party. Then the other one, the little allen screw thing was stuck, a bit more juice was applied and anyway, I guess I need the entire block now.

Then it got dark and there's still a bit of rubber left and who the hell needs brakes anyway.
!nataS pihsroW