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24 September 2020

E-bikes still out of your price range? Consider leasing one instead!

If you have been considering the idea of replacing your car with a bicycle or electric bicycle, but think a new e-bike is still rather expensive, then leasing an e-bike might be just what you need! Each month, you pay a fixed amount for your new bicycle. The costs of maintenance and insurance are also covered. Your employer can also opt to lease in the form of a company bicycle.

Here are the options at a glance

A number of companies offer bicycle-leasing schemes. Consumers can lead a brand-new e-bike from the Royal Dutch Touring Club ANWB. Many bicycle dealers also offer bicycles for lease. Your employer can enter into a collaboration agreement with Lease-a-bike. Depending on the agreements that your employer makes, you may be able to pick any type of bicycle at one of the 1,000 participating bicycle shops. This may include everything from city bicycles to e-bikes and from cargo bicycles to speed pedelecs. 

Woonpunt opts for a leased company bicycle

As an HR department employee of Woonpunt, Oscar Salden was there from the start of the housing corporation's bicycle lease scheme for its employees. He tells us more: ‘To encourage more people within our organization to cycle to work, they are offered the opportunity to lease a bicycle, including bicycle insurance and accessories via Lease-a-bike with a tax benefit. At least fifteen employees took up the offer since this scheme was introduced in May 2020. They opted out of their fixed travel allowance for their commute and their parking space at work.’  

The bigger the distance, the larger the lease budget

Woonpunt pays for a portion of the monthly leasing expenses. Oscar explains, ‘Employees who live up to five kilometres from their work can enter into a lease that costs €60 per month. Employees who live between five and ten kilometres from their work can enter into a lease that costs €110 per month. ‘Employees who live more than ten kilometres from their work can enter into a lease that costs €160 per month. At a lease price of just €60 per month, you can choose an e-bike worth approximately €1,500.’

Leasing also offers benefits to stichting Woonpunt foundation from an employer's perspective

‘It's also a great scheme for the employer,’ explains Oscar. ‘You can lease a bike for a fixed period for a fixed monthly amount. The insurance and maintenance is also taken care of, so there's really not much admin. The most important thing is that employees improve their health by cycling to work instead of driving. This increases employee fitness and ultimately improves their sustainable employment.’ 

Options including all types of bicycles

‘An added benefit is that Woonpunt does not set requirements for the type or brand of bicycle. They only specify that you must lease via Lease-a-bike. You can choose a lease bicycle that is more expensive than the standard amount specified by Woonpunt. The excess cost will be offset against the gross wage, resulting in an additional tax benefit. After 36 months, the lease contract will end and you can purchase the bicycle for approx. 15% of its value when new.’

Excellent help provided for the choice of bicycle

During the implementation of the bicycle scheme, Oscar became so enthusiastic about the prospect of cycling to work that he bought himself an e-bike. ‘I used Zuid-Limburg Bereikbaar's scheme to try out an electric speedbike for free. That bicycle was a bit too fast for my work commute. When I returned the bicycle, an employee at the Cycle Center in Valkenburg helped me find the right bicycle for me.’

The coronavirus crisis was the tipping point

‘Currently, I cycle to work in Maastricht on my new Giant branded e-bike two days a week. On the other three working days each week, I work from home in Beek. It feels great to be alert and awake after cycling on my e-bike to work. The coronavirus crisis was the tipping point for me, as it meant I could no longer exercise at the gym. Cycling to work meant that I was still able to remain active.’

Interested in more information on bicycle leases or a company bicycle?

If you would like to know more about the details of the bicycle lease scheme or about other tax benefits that employers can use to encourage cycling, please contact Edwin Claessens, Zuid-Limburg Bereikbaar's project leader on encouraging the use of bicycles.

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