E-bikes not for you? It could be time to think again!

Along with banana bread and buying a dog, cycling received a boost to its popularity in 2020. Across Europe, bike shops struggled to keep up with demand as people looking for an alternative to public transport, as well as a way to get fit, made the switch to two wheels.

Cycling got cities moving again when workers returned to their offices. For your commute, maybe you have toyed with the idea but haven’t been brave enough, yet. A bike can save time, money and the exercise and fresh air will set you up for the day. If it’s all that pedalling that’s putting you off, what about an e-bike? An electric bike can be bought through the business, just like a ‘regular’ one, and could be a great compromise.

E-bikes still need pedal power

E-bikes aren’t the slackers’ option! With an e-bike, you still have to pedal, so you’ll be increasing your heart rate and building stamina. What an e-bike does have, though, is a motor to give you a helping hand. You can vary the level of assistance and choose from different battery sizes, depending on how far you need to go on one charge, and different styles of bike too. Rural with a hilly commute? You’ll need a model that will do the hard work when you get to steep bits. City dweller, who needs something a bit more adaptable? You might consider a folding e-bike. Do your research and consider things like how much it would cost to replace the battery, which can degrade over time.

Now more affordable

In the UK, there has been a government-backed Cycle to Work Scheme in place since 1999. It has recently been expanded and in 2019 the £1,000 cap on bikes was removed, with e-bikes specifically cited as a reason for this change. With models starting at around £500, e-bikes are now a realistic option to purchase through the scheme.

For an e-bike that costs £1500, for a higher-rate taxpayer, tax and NI on salary sacrificed would be 1000 x 42%, so £630. If you are an employer, you will save NI on the amount sacrificed. Another benefit to the employer is the ability to claim 100% capital allowances on the e-bike if total capital expenditure for the year is less than the annual investment allowance. Whatever way you look at it, e-bikes are a win. Another monetary saving is, of course, on the cost of your commute, whether you normally use a car, public transport or a combination of both. For whizzing between multiple practices, an e-bike is ideal.

Regular cycling – whether on an e-bike or traditional one – offer money-can’t-buy benefits. More of us getting on our bikes also means less traffic congestion and improved air quality. As a local business, your dental practice should be promoting its green credentials and commitment to improving the environment –being an ethical, environmentally responsible practice is an appealing element to any brand.

If you are looking for guidance about any kind of employee benefit, as well as optimising your business and personal finances, why not speak with a specialist dental accountant? Figurit is a team of experts with years of experience in advising dentists and dental business owners. We find practical solutions that will save you money too.

Could we be at the start of an e-bike revolution? Do your homework before taking the plunge, but with the UK government’s plans for going ‘green’ also ramping up, now is the time to think again about e-bikes.