Image CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 marcmo:Flickr
Browse the high-end bikes in your local shiny specialist and you can get the idea that cycling is a very expensive way to get around and get your exercise fix. Not so; with our money-saving tips you can buy and run a bike on the financial equivalent of the smell of an oily rag.
Use the Cycle To Work Scheme
By deducting the payments for your bike from your pre-tax salary, the Cycle To Work Scheme can save you at least 25 percent off the cost of a new bike. Recent changes to the rules allow you to buy accessories too, so don’t think of it as a bike-only one-off.
You pay for the bike or equipment through salary sacrifice, generally over 12 months, and you save on income tax and National Insurance on the payments.
That means it’s good for everyone who pays tax, and if you’re fortunate enough to be earning enough to pay a higher rate, you’ll save even more.
At the end of the scheme the bike is yours for a market value payment. Many providers extend the hire through a separate agreement for a further couple of years to take advantage of the much lower market value rates for older bikes (3% for bikes under £500 and 7% for more expensive bikes).
Buy second hand
Thanks to sites like eBay and Gumtree and many classified forums including our own it’s never been easier to find a bike second hand, and while some people have slightly inflated ideas of what their used stuff is worth, there are plenty of bargains out there.
Any second-hand bike will need a thorough mechanical inspection. In