Not ready to buy a bike? Subscription, hire and lease schemes for pay-as-you-go cycling

December 13, 2023

man removing flat battery from e-bike

Why is it so much easier to finance a car than a bicycle?

Faced with dwindling sales in saturated markets like the UK, the car industry very successfully introduced PCP (personal contract purchase) as a way of tempting drivers to buy - and keep buying - new vehicles. Given how popular leasing, hire purchase and PCP options have become as a way of buying cars, why don't more bicycle makers offer them too?

If you're lucky enough to have access to a Cycle to Work scheme, you can save up to 40 per cent off the price of brand new bicycle or e-bike and pay for monthly, but what about everyone else? And while the big bike chains offer credit, what if you can't, or don't want to, make that sort of financial commitment?


Brompton subscription scheme

Brompton doesn't seem like an obvious candidate for a subscription scheme. The company charges £50 per month for use of one of its bikes including cycle insurance, or £420 for 12 months if you pay upfront. However, if you buy the entry level version of the ubiquitous folder through the Cycle to Work scheme, you'll pay around the same each month (£48), but after a year you'll own the bike.

Unless you only need a folding bike for a month or two at a time, the scheme doesn't scream bargain but kudos to Brompton for launching it; it's a shame every bike firm isn't as forward thinking.

brompton folding bike

VanMoof UK subscription scheme

Talking of innovative bike makers, VanMoof offered subscriptions in the Netherlands, Germany, and America, until declaring bankruptcy earlier this year. Under their model, customers paid 83 euros per month (equivalent of £70), which included maintenance, cycle rescue, and bicycle insurance.

vanmoof electric bicycle

If you're keen on leasing a high-end e-bike, try Dash who offer a salary-sacrifice subscription scheme on a range of interesting electric bicycles.


Hurrecane e-bike leasing

Here in the UK, e-bike leasing deals seem far and few between; Hurrecane appears to be the only company offering a truly bespoke service. According to the firm: "If you are tall, small, heavy, have health issues or disabilities, we can build you an e-Bike and offer it to you through our first of a kind, flexible low-cost eBike subscription model."

Hurrecane deliver a fully-built bike to your door, give you a demonstration of how it works and then leave it with you in return for a monthly subscription fee that includes maintenance, a lifetime warranty and no long-term contract.

The ethical choice

The ETA was established in 1990 as an ethical provider of green, reliable travel services. Over 30 years on, we continue to offer cycle insurance, breakdown cover and mobility scooter insurance while putting concern for the environment at the heart of all we do.

The Good Shopping Guide judges us to be the UK's most ethical provider.


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