German direct-sales mountain bike brand YT Industries has partnered with popular UK Cycle to Work scheme providers, Green Commute Incentive (GCI).
GCI’s involvement means employees will be able to benefit from reduced prices (up to 47 percent) on any bike from the YT range — the same applies to any brand or retailer partnered with GCI — with no upper limit on retail value.
GCI is the only Cycle to Work scheme provider authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to issue bikes that retail at over £1,000.
The government’s Cycle to Work incentive, now in place for 20 years, aims to encourage new cyclists and greater use of bicycles for commuting to work by aiding employees to obtain new bikes via tax and National Insurance reductions on the employee’s salary.
Employers can hire bikes to employees at an arranged rate of salary sacrifice (meaning an amount deducted from the employee’s pre-tax salary), usually with a separately-agreed deal to purchase the bike at the end of the hire period.
While employers can set up their own schemes in this way and are able to provide bikes at a value above £1,000 if they have FCA approval, most use providers such as GCI to implement the scheme.
The GCI system works roughly like this: You choose your next dream commuter bike (and weekend fun machine – there’s no reason you couldn’t pick YT’s Decoy e-MTB) and get a quote from GCI, with your employer purchasing from them a voucher equal to the cost of the bike. You then agree a salary sacrifice with your employer to repay the cost of the voucher (well, the bike really).
After the first 12 months, GCI offers you a five-year free-of-charge loan for the bike, at the end of which you can purchase the bike from them (not the employer) for £1.
As the bike has “no market value” after this period, there are no tax complications. Of course, it does mean you won’t officially own the bike until it’s had five years’ worth of commuting up and down the hill at BikePark Wales.
Perhaps it sounds too good to be true, but GCI receives excellent reviews on Trustpilot and literally hundreds of retailers are already registered with them. Canyon Bikes also recently began offering GCI’s services on any bike it sells through its online-sales platform.