Green Commute Initiative

Any UK readers used this scheme? I am really keen to get a Canyon Grail through this but I think our HR Manager might require some persuasion, even though I’m pretty sure it’s better for the employer than Cycle2Work.

Would be grateful to hear any experiences, although TrustPilot seems overwhelmingly positive.https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/greencommuteinitiative.uk

I love how it’s referred to as a “scheme”. I’ve seen that a lot in UK business language…sort of wish we’d use that term over here in the US more often…makes stuff sound much more intriguing.

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How is it different from any other scheme?
Their webpage says that no-one else offers unlimited, but Evans for example have changed their limit to £5000, and I’m sure others have sorted out their FCA regulation too.

I’ve used this to buy a Canyon. The advantage over other schemes was a) they are set up to work with Canyon and b) your company can do it as a one off under what they call Instant GCI. As a small company this was great for us as there was very minimal admin. They were really efficient at releasing funds, I think under a week from start to finish.

I think this ‘no one else offers’ is just out of date. From what I gather they were the first to cotton on, but now the other schemes have also been updated.

From what I can see, Cyclescheme have decided not to follow the lifting of the £1,000 limit at present due to ambiguities in the new government guidance. Who knows when they’ll get that sorted.

I think it’s also marginally more efficient for employers and there’s no final payment sting in the tail except a £1 token fee. Other schemes can be 7% of the value.

You can also use this more direct to consumer manufacturers.

Great to hear it worked well for you, the organisation I work for is big enough that registering as a corporate organisation for GCI might cause issue but I’ve positioned it to the HR manager in a ‘explain why you want do it for the instant GCI’ - we’ll see what happens.

Are you pleased with the Canyon? What did you go for?

It isn’t just the ‘scheme’ that needs to approve over £1k but the employer too. You could find a scheme willing to max it but employer won’t or vice versa.
I know of one big employer that only offers £500 per voucher for example.

Halfords Cycle2Work (which happily but confusingly can be used at some independent stores) have aparently told the retail side of industry they have no intention of raising their limit for the foreseeable. Gutting for me as work at a huge firm with virtually zero scope for getting them to use something alternative like GCI.

That all said I remain unconvinced of the real benefits of cyclescheme in some cases. Salary sacrifice offers the potential for pension payment loss. Not a huge amount alone but another erosion of the ‘savings’.

The others are limited scope to negotiate a discount (often stuck with RRP pricing), paying extra to provider (some retailers want 10% or £100 to use a voucher), possible limitations of use on sale items (sometimes), the balloon payment for extended hire (5 or 7% for some schemes), and the risk of financial penalty for leaving a job before voucher repaid (i.e. you need to pay remainder put of NET payment even if made redundant).

It is really worth having a good chat with a few bike stores to see the best deal and do the maths.

That said a friend got a Cycle2Work deal at a Cycle Republic store where they honoured a sale price and an additional discount code. The deal was outstanding.

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I have a Canyon Aeroad, very happy with it. Would have no concerns about going with Canyon, they’re well specced for the price and have a broad enough range of models and specs that there’s something there to meet pretty much any need and budget.

I didn’t get the Canyon through a work scheme as there was a £1000 limit at the time. Did get our company set up with the Cycle2work scheme though and it was pretty easy to do. Difficult to see why any employer wouldn’t be happy to do it as effectively it’s a benefit to their employees that costs them nothing. Bought myself a nice single speed for commuting through the scheme and had enough left over for a Rapha rain jacket.

They changed the rules recently and now it’s only the scheme that needs to have a consumer credit license. However, cyclescheme are concerned that the employer may need a different FCA accreditation to act as a broker. Their full reasoning is here: https://www.cyclescheme.co.uk/cycle-to-work-scheme-any-price
Evans have said that they are allowing up to 5k and the employer needs no FCA accreditation: https://www.evanscycles.com/b2b/ride-to-work-new-limit

The downsides about extra charges (eg PlanetX) or lack of discounts are definitely offputting, and potential restriction to certain retailers (my employer only offers Evans, which is why I know their scheme) are also really irritating. It might be worth it just for kit as there’s no residual value applied to kit/lights, so you could potentially get some good stuff for commuting in and save your race/club kit for summer, and there’s no worries about further payments after you clear the balance. As you say, it’s worth checking out what is on offer and doing the maths before you decide one way or another.

Agree with above but employers can still set a lower limit they wish. They need to put the cash up for the purchase.

RBS is the example where they apply a £500 limit. Maybe a cashflow thing - potential for X thousand employees to all take a voucher out during their ‘window’.

I got the Canyon Inflite and really impressed with it (got me around the 3 peaks cx alive at the weekend!). The delivery etc was excellent. Regarding other peoples concerns with the scheme(s). 1) Canyon don’t charge extra for using a scheme so nothing to worry about there. 2) I don’t think there’s an end of scheme charge (maybe £1). 3) If you leave employment during the hire there’s no terrible penalty. They can (if you want) take the remaining loan value from your final pay check, and only if that would take you below minimum wage does the extra have to be paid separately (and therefore taxable)

Excellent, I’ll just need to wait to hear what work’s HR manager says. LBS has told me he can do something where I could use the £1,000 voucher and pay the rest in cash for whatever I want and he’ll sort the rest. However, that will involve fronting up probably £1,700 and not getting the tax benefits on that amount. However, as some have said you’re losing out on some pension.

Congrats on the 3 Peaks! I’m hoping to do the double next year with running race in April and CX race in September but will all depend on getting in to CX race. Did you enjoy it or was it the type of thing that wasn’t really enoyable at the time?

I just saw that Rob Jebb won 3 Peaks CX race the week after finishing 4th at Grisedale Horseshoe Race… :grimacing:

I loved it. Amazing atmosphere, absolutely bonkers course. Enjoyed the uphills in a strange way, descents scared the bejesus out of me.

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