Cycle to Work Scheme

Welcome to the University’s Cycle to Work scheme

Cycle to work is a government-backed employee benefits scheme enabling staff to save money and spread the cost of a new bike for commuting to and from work. The scheme is run via salary sacrifice, so you don’t pay tax or National Insurance on the cost of a new bike and accessories – a potential saving of between 32% and 42%. 

From April 2021, the University’s scheme is delivered by Cycle2Work (Halfords), offering a range of great benefits including:  

Most of the information you need about the scheme, including how to sign up and choose a bike and what happens next, can be found on the Cycle2Work website. Please note that to sign up, you’ll need the University’s employer code which is available on Sharepoint. The University holds regular Cycle to Work Roadshows which staff can attend and recieve an in-depth explanation of how the Cycle2Work scheme works and what type of bikes and accessories are included in the scheme (includes a Q & A section).

Please see below for some important points to consider before applying.

From April 2021 no further applications will be accepted to the University’s Cycle to Work scheme via Cycle Solutions. Anyone who signed up via Cycle Solutions before the end of March will continue with their existing hire agreement and salary sacrifice payments. 

Who is eligible?

Only salaried University of Bristol employees on permanent or fixed term contracts are eligible to take part. You are not eligible if you are paid through an agency or external funding body.

You cannot take part in Cycle to Work if by doing so the salary sacrifice deductions would bring your monthly salary below National Minimum Wage. If you think this might be the case, please email for further advice.

How much should I apply for?

You can apply on the C2W application form for any amount up to £2,777.00, and this application form is located on the Cycle2Work website. The application ceiling has been set to this value because once the 10% discount is applied - see section below for further explanation - this translates to a value of £2,500.00 which is the maximum agreed limit for the University of Bristol scheme. Please note that you are strongly advised to choose and reserve (if possible) your bike and accessories before applying. Then you will know exactly how much to apply for, and you can check how much you’ll be paying each month through salary sacrifice using the online calculator (remembering to include your 10% discount). 

Please note that once approved, your application cannot be amended. The value of your application must exactly match the value of the bike and equipment. You won’t be able to top up the amount payable with your own funds and retailers are under no obligation to offer any kind of credit if the bike etc costs less than you’ve applied for.

Where can I get a bike from?

You can get a bike and accessories on the C2W scheme from Halfords, Tredz or from one of more than 1,000 independent bike shops participating in the scheme. You can search for local Halfords stores and local independent bike shops from the Store Locator section of the Cycle2Work website. Or for a full list of participating retailers including online-only retailers please visit Cycle2Work | Cycle to Work Scheme | Halfords UK, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the Cycle2Work Retailers Full List. 

How do I apply for the 10% discount on the retail price of the bicycle and accessories?

An extra 10% discount on the retail price of bikes and accessories is available for all participants in the scheme. This discount is applied automatically at the salary deduction stage (not at the outlet). You don't need to do anything to activate it. Applicants should put in the full retail price of the bicycle (and/or accessories) you would like to get through the scheme when applying to participate in the Cycle to Work scheme. Your Letter of Collection will reflect the full retail price. However, your salary deduction payments will have the 10% discount applied to them.      

How long after I make my application will I know if my application has been approved and will I recieve my Letter of Collection (LOC)?

It should take between 1 to 2 weeks (often less than that) from when you apply to when you hear as to whether your application has been approved. 

Can I cancel my application?

You have 14 days to cancel your Cycle2Work application from the date that you sign your hire agreement. Please email to request this.

Can I apply more than once?

Only one active loan agreement is allowed at a time, so during the period you are making monthly salary sacrifice deductions you cannot take out a further application. However, once the 12-month hire period has come to an end, you can apply again.  

What are the rules on use of my bicycle?

Under HMRC rules, all bikes and equipment obtained through Cycle to Work must be used mainly (i.e. more than 50% of journeys) for commuting or other work-related purposes to be eligible for the tax savings on their purchase price.

Anyone already participating in Cycle to Work should note this condition was relaxed temporarily as a result of coronavirus travel restrictions for people who received their bikes and/or accessories on or before 20 December 2020, but still applies to anyone joining a scheme after that date.

What happens at the end of the 12 month hire period?

Just prior to the end of the 12-month hire period you will be contacted by Halfords to discuss the three options which are: 

  1. Zero Cost Extended Hire: this allows you to opt into an extended rental agreement at NO additional cost. You will have nothing more to pay, and ownership will be transferred automatically to you at the end of the period;
  2. Take ownership of the bike and accessories by paying the ‘Fair Market Value’ as defined by HMRC – this is usually 18% or 25% of the original value; or
  3. Return the goods to your local Halfords store.

What if I leave the University before the end of my hire agreement?

If your employment at the University ends before the end of your hire agreement, the outstanding balance will be deducted from your final net salary (i.e. without the savings on tax and National Insurance). If your final salary does not cover the final balance, you will need to pay the balance owing to the University within 14 days of leaving. These conditions apply equally to anyone joining the scheme while on a fixed-term contract, or if an employee is made redundant. Once you have paid the outstanding balance you can still take advantage of the end of scheme options as described above.

What about insurance?

Anyone signing up to Cycle to Work is strongly advised to have adequate insurance to protect the bike against theft or damage. You can get insurance via your home insurance or a specialist policy. Halfords have partnered with CyclePlan to offer eight weeks free insurance for people taking part in Cycle to Work with a 20% discount on an annual policy after that. Advice on other options is available from consumer websites, e.g. MoneySavingExpert.

Does joining the scheme affect my pension contributions?

No, your pension contributions are calculated on your contractual salary and isn’t affected by the cycle to work scheme.

Useful contacts

General queries       

Salary sacrifice queries

Bicycle order queries


07875 274371 

              07929 863040



Cycle 2 Work (Halfords)

0345 504 6444