40.000 leased company bikes in two years’ time
More and more commuters opt for a leased bicycle to avoid traffic jams. “Today, there are 40.000 leased company bikes, while the phenomenon still was non-existant hardly two years ago,” says Tom Vlaminck, who is responsible for leased bikes at KBC Autolease. “The explosive growth is mind-blowing.”
Employees don’t have any confidence in public transport, and they are fed up with traffic congestion, Vlaminck continues. Commuting by bike is not always a faster solution, but it feels completely different than standing still in the car. Policymakers realize that they won’t solve the mobility problem with expensive infrastructure works, so, they don’t mind to support leased bikes fiscally.
Employers, in their turn, like the idea to get rid of frustrations, and at the same time, reward their employees sympathetically.
The success of the leased bike goes hand in hand with the discovery of the e-bike as a perfect commuting tool. According to KBC AutoLease, which represents almost one-quarter of the bicycle leasing market, 75% of all leased bikes are e-bikes, of which one quarter speed pedelecs (up to 45 kph). Leased company bikes have several trump cards.
When a company bicycle is part of a flexible salary system, where part of the salary goes to the bike, you can have a better bike for the same investment. Extra services, like anti-theft insurance, bike maintenance, road assistance, make the offer even more attractive.
Costs depend on the type of bicycle and the additional service package. “A common city bike hardly costs 42 euros per month, while costs of a speed pedelec can run up to more than 200 euros,” explains Veerle Gevaert, mobility specialist at the head office of health insurance company CM in Schaarbeek. The employer usually pays the monthly bill for the leasing contract; the part the employer pays, depends on the salary policy of the company.
“The only condition not to pay extra taxes for the company bike is to use it regularly, like one day a week in winter, and three days a week in summer,” explains Veerle Michiels of HR service company, SD Worx. “Checking whether an employer ‘regularly’ uses its bike, is not easy, though. Companies often use a ‘declaration of honor’; others use a system of points to reward cycling employees.”
Since 2017, company bikes – no matter which types – are free from social security’s contributions, “as long as the bikes are effectively used for commuting.”
And who is entitled to get a bicycle compensation? That is up to the employer since bicycle compensation is a favor. Employers are not forced to pay it. Just for your info: a daily 10-km ride can easily bring in 920 euros a year.