What makes company bike leasing so interesting for employees

Cycling is in vogue. Sales of two-wheelers have doubled since 2018. This development is no coincidence, especially when the consequences of the climate crisis are becoming more and more widespread, and mobility needs to be rethought.
Published 28 Feb 2024
What makes company bike leasing so interesting for employees

Cyclists are not only travelling sustainably, they also avoid many of the problems that car drivers have to contend with in the city. Whether it's congested roads or the endless search for parking spaces: fewer and fewer people are willing to put up with this stress.

Of course, this also applies to employees, who are thinking about cycling to work more often than ever before. They are not alone in this endeavour, as a steadily growing number of employers are offering company bike leasing. Insurance plays a key role in the leasing offers.

These reasons speak in favour of getting on a bike

If the journey to work is limited and the cycle paths are well-developed, there is practically no better option for employees than to hop on a company bike. There are a whole range of advantages in favour of this.

Healthy travelling every day

Travelling to work on a company bike offers employees the opportunity to make exercise an integral part of their daily routine. The positive effects of cycling have already been proven many times over, for example in a long-term study by Imperial College London and Cambridge University. It has shown that cyclists stay fit for significantly longer compared to car drivers and can reduce their risk of developing cardiological diseases. What's more, cycling is the perfect workout if you don't want to put too much strain on your joints.

Sustainable mobility

Cyclists are particularly sustainable on the roads. If you disregard the production and transport of the bikes, they do not cause any of the harmful CO2 emissions that play a major role in man-made climate change. A journey of just 10 kilometres can save 2 kilograms of CO2 compared to a company car. According to the Federal Environment Agency, car journeys of less than 5 kilometres account for up to 50 per cent of CO2 emissions in large cities. The great potential of cycling lies above all in being a sensible alternative for these short journeys.

Tax advantages

Contributing to the cost of leasing a company bike as an employee may sound like a high cost at first. However, thanks to the so-called salary conversion, there is not much to this suspicion. This means that the agreed amount for the leasing instalment is deducted directly from the gross salary so the employee has to expect fewer deductions for taxes and social benefits. In the best case scenario, the employee pays up to 40 per cent less with this option than a direct private purchase would cost.

If the employee also uses the company bike in their free time, a non-cash benefit arises. The legislator has lowered the corresponding assessment basis several times in recent years. A company bike is now only taxed at 0.25 per cent of the recommended retail price, whereas a company car is taxed at one per cent. If the employer grants the company bike as a salary bonus, the employee no longer has to pay any tax at all since 2019.

How bike leasing through the employer works

With company bike leasing, the employee receives a bike or e-bike from the employer that they can use to commute to work. However, private use is also expressly permitted, which makes the company bike an alternative to the classic company car.

The employer must cooperate with a bicycle dealer or leasing provider for a bicycle leasing agreement to be concluded. The employee concludes the leasing contract for the desired model with the leasing provider.

Company bike leasing works as a salary conversion model, in other words, the leasing instalments are deducted directly from the gross salary by the employer and transferred to the leasing provider. For the employee, this has the positive side effect that they not only get to enjoy a new bike but also have to pay less tax and social security contributions.

The leasing of a company bike usually includes not only the bike itself but also other services such as maintenance, repair, theft protection or even replacement bikes for the duration of the repair. The scope of services varies depending on the leasing provider and its insurance partner. There can also be differences in how the employer treats the leasing instalments. Some subsidise the instalments out of their pocket so that the employee incurs even lower costs.

Once the leasing contract has expired, the employee usually has several options. They often have the option of choosing a new bike and starting a new leasing period. There are two options for the bike itself. Either the leasing provider takes the bike back or the employee buys it.

How can the employee participate in company bike leasing and how does he get his dream bike?

For the employee to lease the desired bike or e-bike, the employer must work with a leasing company whose authorised dealers stock the relevant model. Asking about leasing a company bike is increasingly becoming a promising idea. Around 60,000 companies now offer company bike leasing for more than 3.3 million employees.

Like our partners, mobility service Gmbh and Rad im Dienst, other leasing providers also have countless bike shops as contractual partners. This makes it easy for employees to make the right choice locally. In addition to authorised dealers, employees can also turn to mail-order companies.

It is now important that the employer concludes the contract with the leasing company for the selected bike. The employer acts as the lessee, not the cyclist. In the final step, the employer hands over the dream bike to the employee. The standard term of the leasing contract is 36 months. With hepster as an insurance partner, cover for 48 months is also possible.

Only strong together: insurance and leasing

Of course, the risks to which company bikes are exposed in the city should not be neglected. Even in a particularly cyclist-friendly neighbourhood, the risk of an accident can never be completely ruled out. Another problem that worries many cyclists is the possible theft of their bike. The trend of stealing expensive bikes and e-bikes in particular has continued unabated in recent years.

This is not the only reason why it is important to insure a company bike. The leasing company remains the owner of the bike for the entire duration of the lease. Many leasing companies insist that the lessee, i.e. the employer, can provide appropriate insurance. The employee's liability insurance is not sufficient, as it only protects the employee's private property. Providers such as or Velolease are of course aware of this problem, which is why they offer the appropriate insurance policies in partnership with hepster when leasing is concluded.

If you are looking for all-round protection for your company bike as an employee, you are doing everything right with fully comprehensive insurance. However, employees need not lose sleep over possible eventualities thanks to fully comprehensive insurance, which covers the following risks, for example:

  • Accident
  • theft
  • vandalism
  • Crash damage
  • electronic damage
  • Material defects after the warranty has expired

Personal injury and property damage can quickly have serious financial consequences. However, if the hepster insurance package includes leasing liability insurance, employees are also covered against third-party claims, for example in the event of a collision.

Another important aspect is damage due to wear and tear, which is generally unavoidable as it is caused by the normal use of the bike. The brake pads, the bicycle chain or the tyres are affected by wear and tear. Other parts wear out even if the bike is hardly used or not used at all. This applies to batteries, tyres, tubes and generally all components that are sensitive to the weather.

The good news is that many leasing companies offer packages that also include the maintenance and repair of wearing parts. In addition, more and more employers are contributing to the costs of maintenance and inspection. Around 80 per cent of the leasing providers grant a corresponding subsidy.

If employees enjoy fully comprehensive cover from hepster through their leasing provider, they are protected against all financial consequences of theft, damage or wear and tear. They do not have to worry about additional costs, as there is no excess. Compensation is determined based on the replacement value. Employees can also opt for residual debt insurance, which ensures payment of the leasing instalment in the event of cancellation, parental leave or inability to work.

If you like to go on long bike tours, hepster's bicycle cover may also be worthwhile. This guarantees support in the event of a breakdown and even provides a replacement bike if necessary.

Discover our insurance benefits for company bike leasing.

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