We're a member of the government's Cycle to Work scheme, which allows staff to apply for a loan of up to £3,000 that can be used to hire a bicycle from approved retailers. At the end of the rental period, you'll have the option to purchase the bicycle for a small additional fee. Because the loan is deducted via salary sacrifice, you'll benefit from tax reliefs and a reduced rate of National Insurance, providing average savings between 23-39% compared to retail prices.

What can I get?

There are various options for employees considering the Cycle to Work scheme. 

A salary sacrifice loan to cover the cost of a bike and equipment:

You can apply for a loan of up to £3,000 to cover the cost of a bike of your choice, and most associated equipment for your commute, for example clothing, parts, accessories and tyres. This includes child safety seats – if you share your journey to work with your little one.

You can choose to shop from over 2,600 retailers nationwide, either in-store or online. You can visit the Cyclescheme website for a full list of retailers.

At the end of the rental period, you'll have the option to purchase the bike for a small additional fee determined by HMRC based on a fair market value.

Bike Rental (6/12 months):

The Cycle to Work scheme also includes bike rental, which can last for a term of 6 or 12 months across multiple providers, including Buzzbike, Swapfiets, Beryl, Brompton bike and Santander Cycles.

More on Santander Cycles…

As mentioned, Cycle to Work scheme include London's ubiquitous Santander Cycles! Staff are now able to apply for an annual membership through Santander cycles via salary sacrifice, which provides a discount of between 26-40%. 

Santander Cycles allow you to pick up and drop-off bikes from hundreds of spots around London, with an annual membership providing you unlimited access to journeys below 30 minutes. Find out more about membership on the TfL website. Applications can be made directly on the Cyclescheme website. You can also find out more with the Cycle to Work - Santander Cycles Guide

How do I apply?

Applications can be made directly on the Cyclescheme website. If you need any support, you can contact hrpolicyandreward@imperial.ac.uk.

A pre-recorded webinar from BHN, the CycleScheme providers

CycleScheme Webinar

March 2024

BHN, our CycleScheme providers have kindly pre-recorded a webinar to explain how the scheme works and the various hire/rental options available. They also explain the financial and health benefits of cycling, and answer some questions that we are regularly asked by Imperial staff. 

Frequently asked questions

How long will it take for my application to be processed?

Each application needs to be checked for eligibility before it can be approved. Your application will be reviewed and approved (or declined if not eligible) within seven working days.

Can I amend the loan amount that I have applied for after it has been submitted?

Unfortunately it’s not possible to do this: only one loan can be held at a time per employee, and it’s not possible to change the amount applied for once an application is made. If you need to change the amount you are applying for, you'll need to cancel your application and make a new one for the new amount.

What if I leave the College before my 12-month payment period ends?

If you leave during your hire period, the remaining balance due on your loan is taken from your final month’s net pay. Cycle Scheme will then contact you with your bike purchase options.

The same principle applies for those on a Fixed-Term contract also.

Can I apply for a second loan?

An individual can only have one Cyclescheme loan to purchase a bike at a time, i.e. the 12-month repayment period must have been completed before another application is made. Furthermore it is not possible to purchase from two different retailers using the same loan, as each loan must be used at one retailer only.

However, in most cases an employee can have both a Cyclescheme loan (to purchase a bike) and a bike rental certificate loan running concurrently. For instance, payments for a Cyclescheme bike purchase loan, and for a membership to Santander Cycle may be deducted through salary sacrifice simultaneously. 

Is there a limit on the loan amount?

The maximum loan amount is £3,000. It is not possible to part-purchase items via the scheme and part-purchase with your own funds, so this means the scheme can only be used to buy bicycles and equipment totalling this amount or less.

Is the scheme open to students?

Unfortunately, due to the mechanism through which it is administered (salary sacrifice), the scheme is only available to employees of the College.

What will happen to my Cycle repayments if I take family leave?

If you take family leave (maternity, adoption, surrogacy, paternity and/or shared parental leave), the Cycle to Work repayments would continue as normal while you are on full pay (if you are eligible for the College scheme which entitles to 18 weeks at full pay). During any statutory and/or unpaid leave periods, the Cycle repayments would pause for this time until you returned to work again on your normal salary.

I'm having trouble getting hold of a bike

We're aware that current consumer demand for bicycles is high. Cycle Scheme have put together some information to help you on their website. You can also contact their bike finder team via email for assistance.

Can I split the certificate across multiple vendors?

No – each certificate can only be redeemed at one retailer only, and the certificate amount should cover the exact cost of the bike (and associated equipment) that you are purchasing.

How long do I have to redeem my certificate?

Your voucher can be redeemed for as long as the subscription is valid, however salary deductions will be made from your next payslip after your request is approved.