SwiftCarbon, the direct-sales brand started by former professional Mark Blewett, has announced that it has joined the Green Commute Initiative (GCI) – a Cycle to Work scheme with an upper spending limit of £10,000 – and UK consumers could potentially save up to 47 per cent on a new high-end bike.
The GCI scheme works via a gross salary sacrifice, which means you save on tax and National Insurance contributions. The amount you save is based on the income tax band you are in, but GCI provides a handy calculator so you can quickly work out your potential savings.
If, for example, you really need to speed up your commute (and, of course, any other cycling you happen to do) SwiftCarbon’s HyperVox aero bike could be ideal.
This represents a saving of £1,327.68 (32%) – not bad, and anyone paying income tax at a higher rate could save even more.
If you’re an experienced commuter, you might be scratching your head at this point and thinking, “Hold on, isn’t there a £1,000 limit on the Cycle to Work scheme?”. Well, the headline feature of the GCI is that it doesn’t have that relatively low spending limit, which most other schemes are saddled with.
£1,000 is a lot of money, but let’s face it, it doesn’t go far these days when shopping for a performance bicycle.
Like other schemes, you technically hire the bike from the GCI during the repayment period (normally, you can choose to repay the discounted cost over 12, 18 or 24 months). After the bike is paid off, the GCI then loans you the bike for five years, free of charge, before officially transferring ownership to you for a nominal £1 fee.
What’s more, your employer doesn’t need to be signed up to the scheme for you to take advantage of it, you can apply as an individual, as long as your employer agrees.