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Frequently Asked Questions

Cycle2work is a government approved scheme that allows you to hire a bike and safety equipment from your employer for the purpose of commuting to and from work and for use at weekends and evenings. You can order your bike from any participating local retailer and from any Halfords store through cycle2work. The bike you hire will be provided at up to 32% less than the usual cost you would pay, which can result in savings of up to £320*.

*Savings based on an average rate tax paying employee. Savings refer to the tax and National Insurance saved from the salary amount sacrificed and do not refer to discounted cycles or cycle products.

You can choose a bike up to the value of £3000 from a list of local bike retailers provided to you or any Halfords store. The value is spread across a period of 12 months. This is commonly known as a salary sacrifice or salary exchange scheme. You agree with your employer that each month the payment will be deducted from your gross salary in return for the use of the bike and safety equipment you use for commuting. This element of salary will not have Tax or National Insurance applied to it, making this a Tax free benefit.

As long as the store you choose to visit either stocks or can order the bike you want then you are not limited to any particular make or model, therefore you can choose the best bike that suits your needs and budget.

The bike hired through the scheme is provided on the basis that you intend to make at least 50% of your trips or part trips to work using the bike. However, there is no requirement for you to specify what days/months of the year you will do this or record trips. N.B. you may also use your bike for leisure and weekends and whilst you are on holiday.

Most pension schemes will continue to calculate your pension contributions on your original gross salary. If you are unsure please check with your employer. Effects on the S2P (formerly SERPS) are likely to be negligible (please refer to your company policy if you require further advice). Other benefits such as statutory sick pay and job seekers allowance are again unlikely to be affected.

NHS Scheme Members – under the NHS pension scheme rules, each year of your pensionable pay counts separately towards the build-up of your final pension benefits. Therefore, entering into or continuing with any salary sacrifice arrangement (e.g. Childcare Vouchers, Lease Car Schemes etc.) that reduces your gross pensionable pay will have a negative effect on the amount of pension you are able to build up in that year. The overall effect from participating in any Salary Exchange scheme would be to reduce the amount of final benefits you build.

As being in Salary Exchange scheme will have this impact on your pension benefits the University does not offer Salary Exchange on the Cycle to Work scheme to our NHS members.


  • Firstly find your local participating bike shop or Halfords store.
  • You then visit the shop and choose your ideal package.
  • To apply for your required Letter of Collection value, simply log on to your company specific website and choose cycle2work - the details of which will be communicated to you by your employer.
  • Once your employer has received your application and you have been approved, a letter detailing your requested value will be sent to your home address.
  • You then take this along to your local store to collect your bike and safety equipment.

You have a 14 day cooling off period from the date you signed your contract in which to cancel.

Please note, if you cancel after the 14 days, you will be subject to a £25 administration fee.

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

During approved unpaid leave such as extended Maternity leave or a career break the hire agreement is likely to be suspended by your employer until you return to work and full pay resumes.

It is important that you make suitable provision to safeguard the bike. You may take a specialist policy but it is often easier to add the bike to your usual household policy. If the bike is stolen your employer will continue to deduct the monthly value from your salary until the end of the agreement.

To benefit from Income Tax and National Insurance Contributions (NIC) savings, the agreement you enter into with the University must be for the hire of the bike and equipment only. If the agreement allows for ownership to pass to the employee automatically, HMRC would class the agreement as a hire purchase agreement, in which case the tax exemption would not be available.

If you leave the University before the end of your agreement you will still need to pay the remaining month's deductions from your net pay.

For example, if you have a bike or equipment worth £100 and leave the University eight months into your lease, you will need to pay the remaining four months as net payment of £33.32 from your last month’s pay.

Most staff will benefit from joining the scheme. Current advice suggests that bike schemes are unlikely to affect Child Tax Credits. If you are in receipt of Working Tax Credits due to a lower household income then this may cancel out any benefit you gain from the scheme. As everybody's circumstances are different we recommend you contact the Inland Revenue on 0845 300 3900 if you are unsure.

  • You can save up to 32%* in Tax and National Insurance.
  • You pay monthly and so can spread the cost.
  • You can choose from any make or model available from a range of local bike shops and Halfords stores.
  • You can improve you health and fitness along with reducing your carbon footprint.

*Savings based on an average rate tax paying employee. Savings refer to the tax and National Insurance saved from the salary amount sacrificed and do not refer to discounted cycles or cycle products.

cycle2work are governed by the Department for Transport. In order to receive the Tax benefits resulting from a salary sacrifice arrangement you will need to be a UK taxpayer, who can benefit from the Tax efficiencies of the scheme.

You can choose to take between £100 and £3000. When deciding on a bike value it's important to consider carefully the amount you can afford and the type of bike that best suits your needs. Once you have chosen your value, completed the hire agreement and received your Letter of Collection you will not be able to increase or decrease the amount you have chosen.

No - the bike must be used by you and mainly for the purpose of commuting to work. However the bike can be used in leisure time so you may use the bike in your free time to cycle with friends and family.

Yes you can apply for a maximum of 2, providing that you use both the bikes for commuting to and from work.

The bike and goods remain the property of your employer for the duration of the agreement. At the end of the hire period you may be given the opportunity to take ownership of the bike at a fair market value (plus VAT).

At the end of the lease Halfords will contact you to discuss the end of hire options available to you. This will include the opportunity to extend the hire of the cycle at no additional cost until the HMRC deem the value to be negligible. This is typically 4 or 5 years, and once this agreement has finished you will become the rightful owner.

Salary Sacrifice or Salary Exchange basically means you have agreed with your employer to exchange a proportion of your salary in return for some form of non cash benefit, in this case the hire of a bike.