Well folks I’ve now been using my new bike for just under a month, racked up 235 miles and made my first payment and I have to say, my entire experience of cyclescheme has been a positive one.
I am happy to admit, for those of you who haven’t realised it, that I was skeptical about the cycle to work scheme’s claims that you’d save money using this scheme rather than buying your bike yourself. Hence why I promised to write a blog about my experience. I wanted to offer folk some real life information about what it was like to use rather than just calculators using words like “about” or “around” or “possible”.
So as promised, here is the real life experience of using the government’s cycle to work scheme to buy a bike for commuting.
Completing paperwork and applying
This I have to say was very easy and all done online, no paper to print out and sign and post. It was simple to complete and most importantly I got a very quick response saying that it had been processed and giving me my cyclescheme account details.
I chose the bike and accessories from my local shop, they gave me a quote and I filled those details in. That easy.
Processing time – less than 24 hours
Receiving my certificate to spend
Once I had been processed, I was given an account on the cyclescheme website where I could log in and see the progress of things or any useful info. This page let me know that my info had been processed and they were working on my certificate but that it could take up to 30 days for me to receive my certificate.
This I have to say was the only time I felt disappointed. Having to wait before I could go get my bike was annoying, but I suppose necessary.
However, it didn’t take 30 days at all. It only took 14 days.
So I happily picked up my bike from the shop who took care of all the paperwork for cycle scheme as I stood and admired my new bike. Easy as pie.
So I suppose the bit you really want to know is did I save money? Do all the sales pitch things add up?
Well yes. I got my tame accountant (my lovely father in law Mike) to check over my wage slips just to make sure I was giving you the correct info, but yes I absolutely am saving money on my bike.
I bought a £750 bike with £30 mudguards – so £780 in total which worked out at £65 a month for 12 months.
This payment comes out of your gross salary, before tax, meaning your tax and national insurance are less, so… I am actually only paying £42 a month in real terms – roughly a 35% saving or it sounds better to say I’m actually paying £276 less for my bike! How good is that.
Now here’s the extra cherry on the cake. I’ve saved almost £300 on buying a new bike, but I also get my first annual service free so that’s another £90 less I’ll pay this year 🙂
So would I recommend using your bike to work scheme?