The government recently announced an increased Bike to Work limit of €3,000 to encourage greater use of cargobikes in Ireland. Cost has been one of the major barriers to cargo bike uptake in Ireland and the new Bike to Work incentive has been broadly welcomed.
The new €3,000 limit will come into effect in January 2023 and will apply specifically to cargobikes and e-cargobikes - the existing limits of €1,250 and €1,500 will still apply to pedal bikes and e-bikes respectively.
What is a cargo bike?
A cargo bike is a term given to a broad range of pedal cycles which have been specifically designed and built to carry additional or excess loads. The diagram below gives a good overview of the different cargobike typologies, with the most common types on Ireland’s roads being the Long John, the Box Bike, the Long Tail, and the Christiania Trike.
Bike to Work - How does it work?
The Bike to Work scheme is a tax initiative which allows workers to use their pre-tax income to pay for a bicycle. The original scheme had a €1,000 limit, but this was increased to €1,250 for pedal cycles and €1,500 for e-bikes. The government has now recognised that it needs to do more to incentivise cargo bikes, so it has introduced a new €3,000 limit specifically for cargobikes.
The effective discount you will receive through the Bike to Work scheme depends on which tax band you are in. If you are in the higher tax band you will receive a discount of approximately 49%, and if you are in the lower tax band the discount is approximately 29%. These discounts only apply within the €3,000 scheme limit - any costs above that limit are paid in full by the consumer.
To apply for the Bike to Work scheme you should contact your employer or your HR department. Bleeper is a registered supplier with most Bike to Work providers.
Case Study - Dolly Family Cargo Bike
To illustrate how the Bike to Work scheme applies to a specific cargo bike, we’ll use the Dolly Family Cargo Bike - an excellent two-wheeled e-cargobike which can seat up to three child passengers.
Bleeper sells the basic model of the Dolly Family Cargo for €5,400. The limit of the Bike to Work allowance for cargobikes is €3,000, so the tax savings can only be applied to this amount - the customer pays the remaining €2,400 in full.
The amount of tax you save through the Bike to Work scheme depends on which rate of tax you pay: Workers who pay the standard rate can expect a saving of 29%, while those who pay the higher rate will save approximately 49%.
The illustration below gives a basic breakdown of the savings that can be made on a Dolly Family Cargo via the Bike to Work allowance:
Electric or Not?
Many cargobike models come with and without electric-assist motors, but electric cargobikes are quickly becoming the standard and most popular option. If you are regularly carrying loads - e.g. bringing the kids to school - or live in a hilly area, or just want to be able to move off confidently in traffic, then an electric-assist cargobike is the right option for you.
E-cargobikes are more expensive than non-electric models, but thankfully the new Bike to Work allowance will help to diminish that cost barrier which has held so many people back from taking the leap with cargo bikes.
Long Tails are an increasingly popular cargo bike option, with their narrower frame suiting people who don't have enough storage space for a 'box' cargo bike.
Another popular feature of the Long Tail cargo bike is that its geometry is very similar to a 'normal' bicycle, making it very easy to cycle - with or without cargo.
Long Tails can also be a more comfortable option for older children, who can start to outgrow the 'box' cargo bike around age 6 or 7.
Bleeper stocks a range of electric long tail cargo bikes from Yuba, including the Kombi E5 shown below.
Bleeper E-Bike Shop
Bleeper is now selling new & refurbished cargobikes and e-bikes in our online store. Find your next bike, and book a test ride at our Dublin city centre workshop, on our website here: https://www.bleeperactive.com/buy-a-bike