So now that we have new Bicycle Lockups in the underground carpark of Diamond Valley, http://diamondvalley.ie/wordpress/new-bicycle-storage-units-in-diamond-valley/ there is simply no excuse not to get a bicycle.
The Bike to Work Scheme is a tax incentive which allows Irish employees to buy a bicycle at a considerably reduced price. Depending on your salary (i.e. the tax band you are in) you can save anything from 31% to 52% on the price of a bike. For example, if you earn €40,000 per year, you could save €510 on the cost of a €1000 bicycle. The balance (in this example €490) gets deducted from your salary over a period from 1 to 12 months. This is just an example calculation – it is possible to buy great bicycles for much much cheaper! Like all generous measures from our Government, there may be a day soon when it no longer exists, so if this incentive interests you, it might be wise to act now.
The scheme can be processed through a company called Bike to Work Ltd, that acts as the interface between the bicycle retailer and your company’s payroll section. It is also possible to deal directly with bicycle shops who may provide an additional discount to participating companies. The idea is that you use the bicycle to travel all or part of your journey to work at least some of the time. But there is no obligation on you or your company to keep onerous records of this and you are free to use the bike for non-work reasons also.
Here are the steps:
1. Contact your HR section or company management to check your employer is signed up for the scheme.
2. Visit your local participating bike shop (e.g. one of the bike shops in Bray) to choose your equipment and obtain a written quote.
3. Return the quotation to your HR section to forward to ‘Bike to Work’ to request a voucher.
4. Once the voucher is requested, ‘Bike to Work’ will invoice your employer for the bike package.
5. Complete and sign the Purchase Agreement (which your company gives you) and return it to your manager/HR
6. Once payment is made for the bike package by the company you collect your voucher from your manager/ HR
7. Redeem your voucher at the bike shop and collect your goods (you must have valid ID to do this)
It is also possible to avail of the incentive while purchasing a bike online but please take appropriate advice about how to do this.
And when you get your bright shining new bicycle you might want to learn about joining the Bray Wheelers cycling club here http://www.diamondvalley.ie/Sports.html