Strictly speaking I think the answer is no but many shops will bend the rules to get the sale, including letting you pay a bit extra yourself if required.
You might end up with a receipt for a £1000 bike but own some £1053 wheels.
Ps. A big chain like Evans might be a bit less flexible but some smaller shops will definitely do that kind of thing.
Technically speaking, it remains the property of the company until they sell it to you and that sale is supposed to be at “market value”. I think some firms adopted a process where they retain ownership for a further x years after the hire period is up and then sell it for a nominal amount.
In reality, I think most employers don’t really understand the scheme any better than the participants and assume that the employee is buying the bike off them with the monthly salary sacrifice payments, so don’t bother with the final sale.
I guess it depends on whether your employer (or more specifically the HR department) reads the detail of the legislation
Sounds about right. Evans specifically suggest using an extended hire period at 0 cost until the transfer is a nominal amount. This avoids having to pay BIK on the transfer value which significantly reduces any value in the scheme.
That’s the case with mine. I bought my first two bikes this way, and that was 6 or 7 years ago. I’ve never had any further charges, and the bikes are effectively worthless under HMRC tables now anyway.
However, they’ve changed approach now. They used to obtain a cyclescheme voucher, but administer the process in-house. Now they outsource to cyclescheme entirely. My understanding is cyclescheme are a lot more strict on the final transfer payment (as they get more money!).
As JGav says it has but depends if your employer implements it, or some other value. I think it’s about how much debt they want to take on. But the idea is to include e-bikes.
On my original C2W bike it was one of the first ones, and in the end the uni just wrote them all off and let us have them. Partly because they didn’t really understand scheme probably, but they also didn’t want to have to receive bikes back if someone said no and have to deal with.
My current bike was on a 12 month scheme, and then I got 2 options to pay a final sum after 12 or 36 months, by which time it would have depreciated further. I’ve gone for 36 months, I’m not sure if that means it’s due now or in 12 months. Not sure how much they’ll want for it. Technically I paid cash for half the bike as well, so if they want it back I’ll have to saw it in half and give them their bit!
We used the Evans scheme maybe 10 years ago, but haven’t used it since. We’ve had a couple of enquiries from staff about offering ride to work again, so I’ve had one of my HR people do some research. She’s come back with the useful comparison below -
"I have compared the Evans Cycle scheme to a more generic cycle to work scheme, https://www.cyclescheme.co.uk/. They offer the same benefits of tax saving and spreading the cost over 12 months for employees as well as a 13.8% NI saving to employers. There is no cost to the employer to set up either scheme.
In addition, Evans offer two free bike services (value £140) and £30 of cycling accessories. Cyclescheme offer 14 days free insurance and access to their partnerships such as Love to Ride.
The main difference between the two schemes seems to be the end of ownership process. With Evans, employees see out the hire term (employees can sign up for up to 72 months, but salary sacrifice remains at 12 months) with no further charges or deposits. When the Fair Market Value of the goods becomes negligible, they transfer ownership to the employee for free. Employees will be offered the opportunity to buy the goods early or return the bike. With Cyclescheme, employees can choose to ‘own it later’ whereby after 12 months they pay a small refundable deposit (either 3% or 7% of certificate value) and continue to use the equipment for 3 years. No other payments are required during this time. At the end of the ‘Own it later’ period, no further action or payment is required if the employee wishes to keep the equipment – Cyclescheme retain the deposit and transfer ownership to the employee. Cyclescheme refunds the deposit if the employee does not wish to keep the equipment. Another option is for the employee to ‘Own it now’ and take ownership of the equipment by paying Cyclescheme the market value (e.g. for a one-year-old package this would be 18% or 25% of the Certificate value in accordance with HMRC requirements). Employees could also return the bike to Cyclescheme at the end of the period and pay no ownership fee."
Currently no bikes are negligible though, even the most knackered old thing is going for loads, anything less than a year old in the sub 750 quid price point is going for much the same price it sold for other than the VAT. Obviously the schemes are never actually honouring these rules so it’s probably irrelevant, but the whole reason for these over 12 month schemes is because HMRC did start caring.
The big problem with Evans though is that they simply don’t have any bikes at the moment, and it’s months and months before any stock. At least cyclescheme gives you considerably more flexibility in being able to find one.