Employer: How does City Bike Hire work?

City Bike Hire is Cyclescheme's solution for workers that require accessible and flexible access to a cycle to work bike. 

The scheme allows employees to access city hire bikes for unbeatable prices. The savings are powered by normal salary sacrifice savings; meaning that employees enjoy savings of 32-42%. 

Presently, the City Bike Hire proposition applies specifically to TFL's Santander Cycles scheme in London (we will add additional city bike hire providers during 2021). 

The benefits of the scheme include: 

Save 32-42% on the cost of a Santander Cycles annual membership; meaning that the first 30 mins of every journey are free. If it’s longer than 30 minutes, employees will pay £2 for every 30 minutes of that single journey.

  • No need to consider storage or security 
  • Small minimum commitment; from £1 a week 
  • Suitable to use alongside other modes of transport
In addition, members get quicker access to Santander Cycles (they don’t need to use terminals), they can check all their recent trips and charges in the app and riders can flexibly use the bikes alongside other modes of transport.

Who can access the scheme?

Cyclescheme customers registered in or near London will automatically have a new City Bike Hire scheme created. Employers from further afield can request to be activated. 

What are the savings for employees?

Employees use the City Bike Hire scheme to request a £90 Santander Cycles yearly membership. They will save 32-42% on the total cost of this and no ownership payments will be required. 

How does the process work?

  1. The employer ensures they are set up on City Bike Hire (if in doubt contact Cyclescheme)
  2. Communicate the scheme (you can download resources via the marketing tab in your MySchemes account - here's an example)
  3. Your employees will need to apply via the City Bike Hire page (not the home page)
  4. Notification of applications will be emailed to you in the normal way 
  5. You can review, approve and/or deny requests within the Cyclescheme tab your MySchemes account
  6. Once approved, you'll need to organise funding (in the normal way you would for Cyclescheme)
  7. We'll then email your approved applicants a code that will unlock 1-years membership for Santander Cycles
  8. Your employees then head to TFL's Santander Cycles membership page; sign their Ts and Cs and redeem their code
  9. The employees then get access to Santander Cycles for 1 year, meaning the first 30 mins of every journey is free

Just like the normal cycle to work scheme - it's important that the bikes are used mostly for qualifying journeys.

Is this a compliant way to operate the cycle to work scheme?

Yes, the solution is born of the Government’s Employment Income Manual. This manual aims to support employers with the interpretation of the Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003 (ITEPA 2003). EIM21664 states ‘The [cycle to work] exemption also covers the provision of a voucher for hiring bicycles and equipment’. The voucher, in this case a single use Santander Cycles yearly membership code, will allow participants to access a hire bike ‘for qualifying journeys’.

How do employers sign up?

If you're keen to onboard your organisation to City Bike Hire you simply need to contact Cyclescheme

The scheme is free of charge and employers save National Insurance Contributions (NICs) of 13.8% on all value processed (just like the normal cycle to work scheme).

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