The bicycle in the company: A sustainable alternative for employee mobility

Auch Fahrräder können Teil des Fuhrparks sein und das klassische Dienstwagenkonzept ergänzen.

Bicycles can be a suitable addition to fleets that want an environmentally friendly and cost-efficient alternative to combustion engines. Whether cargo bike or e-bike – there are numerous types of bikes for different purposes. In this article, you will learn how you can integrate bicycles into your company, what advantages they offer and what challenges need to be considered.

Where does it make sense to use bicycles in the company?

There are many options for integrating bicycles into the fleet alongside various motor vehicles. They can provide fast and flexible mobility, especially for short distances in the city and in densely populated areas. This makes bicycles in the company an ideal solution for employees who regularly have to commute within a city or between nearby locations. This makes short business trips possible without a car.

Companies from sectors such as delivery services, courier services and restaurants can also integrate bicycles into their fleets. Cargo bikes and e-bikes in particular can be used to transport heavier goods with ease. Special trailers, bags and baskets ensure that deliveries reach the customer safely. Insulation helps to keep food warm so that bicycles can also be used to deliver meals.

What are the advantages of having a bicycle in the company?

The use of bicycles offers various advantages for both employees and the company. These include:

  • Sustainability: Bicycles require no fuel and cause no harmful emissions during operation. This makes them much more environmentally friendly to use than cars.
  • Cost savings: The costs for purchase, maintenance and servicing are significantly lower compared to a car. In addition, the costs for parking spaces can be saved.
  • Flexibility and efficiency: Traffic jams and traffic obstructions are particularly common in the city. These are easier to cycle around. This saves time and increases employee flexibility.
  • Health promotion: Cycling brings more exercise into the daily lives of employees and can help them stay healthy.
  • Image gain: Companies that use bicycles can present themselves as more environmentally conscious and employee-friendly and thus strengthen their image.

E-bikes in the fleet

In addition to conventional bicycles, e-bikes are also used in the fleet. They offer similar advantages to conventional bicycles and are a quick and convenient alternative to the car. The electronic assistance makes it easier to tackle inclines or longer distances, which significantly increases the range and flexibility compared to conventional bikes. This can also make them attractive for less experienced drivers.

Please note the difference between electric bikes and pedelecs. Fast pedelecs (S-pedelecs) that can travel up to 45 kilometers per hour are considered motor vehicles. Different regulations apply to them than to e-bikes.

Cargo bikes as a transportation option

It is also possible to integrate cargo bikes into the fleet. They are suitable for various applications and the transportation of everything from small parcels to bulky goods. The loading areas are designed to allow easy loading and unloading.

The Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA) offers funding opportunities. It supports the purchase of e-cargo bikes and e-cargo trailers for bicycle-based freight transport by companies. Funding is available for 25 percent of the purchase costs, up to a maximum of 2,500 euros per e-cargo bike or e-cargo trailer. An application and approval freeze has been in place since November 2023. This was revoked by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK) on January 23, 2024. Applications for funding can be submitted and approved again.

Fahrräder können auch für Lieferungen eingesetzt werden.
Bicycles are already used by many companies to deliver goods or food. The right bags or backpacks make transportation easy.

What special features need to be considered for a bicycle in the company?

When integrating bicycles, a number of guidelines must be observed. In many areas, similar regulations apply to them as to company vehicles. This is to ensure the safety of the drivers. Here are some of the most important points:

Instruction

Bicycles and e-bikes used for business purposes are considered work equipment. Prior instruction of employees is therefore required for safe use. Employees are informed about possible hazards and what to do in the event of an accident. To do this, companies must carry out a risk assessment in accordance with DGUV Regulation 1, on the basis of which the annual bicycle instruction takes place.

UVV also for bicycles

Under certain conditions, bicycles in the company must also be inspected in accordance with the accident prevention regulations (UVV for short). The prerequisite for this is that the bicycle is used for business purposes and is powered by a machine. Normal bicycles and pedelecs are not considered vehicles and are therefore not subject to the blanket inspection obligation. However, in special cases, e.g. in the event of particular stress, they must also be tested. The inspection should be carried out at least once a year by an expert.

Insurance cover

Bicycles in the fleet should also be insured against possible risks. Liability insurance is particularly important here. It offers protection against liability claims that may result from accidents involving company bicycles. In addition, theft and damage insurance can cover the loss of or damage to bicycles due to theft, vandalism or accidents. The insurance policies should also be individually tailored to the type of bike, its use and the company’s sector.

"Bike Policy"

Similar to company vehicles, there are also certain guidelines for bicycles in the company. The “Bike Policy” sets outresponsibilities in connection with maintenance and care, safety standards and rules for using bicycles on the road. In addition, it can also include criteria for the purchase, such as price range, models and the scope of equipment. It also specifies whether the bicycles can only be used for professional or private purposes. This helps to prevent misunderstandings and conflicts within the company.

Service and maintenance

To ensure the safety of employees, the bicycles must be serviced regularly. This includes checking and adjusting the brakes, tire pressure, lighting system and gears. Wearing parts such as brake pads, chains and sprockets must also be checked regularly and replaced if necessary. A checklist for roadworthy bicycles can help you to take all points into account.

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Company bike instead of company car

Company bicycles are one way of integrating the bicycle into the company. Here, employees can generally use the bicycles provided by the company not only for business purposes, but also for private use. This offers tax advantages for both the employees and the company. In addition, company bicycles can be a valuable incentive and help to further motivate employees .

Leasing of company bicycles

Companies can lease company bikes. An external provider pays the purchase costs for the bicycle and makes it available to the company. The company pays a monthly leasing rate for use. This often also covers maintenance and insurance costs and depends on the model and insurance tariff selected. This allows companies to benefit from the advantages of the company bike without having to pay the entire purchase price at once.

In the event of damage to the bicycle, the lessor will repair it. Some tariffs also include accident and theft protection, others a breakdown service.

Monetary benefit and 0.25 percent regulation

If an employee is provided with a company bicycle, this can be treated as a non-cash benefit. The decisive factor here is whether the employee receives the company bike in addition to their salary or as deferred compensation.

If the employee receives the company bike in addition to their salary, it is tax and contribution free. However, the employee often waives part of his or her salary in the amount of the leasing rate for the duration of the leasing period. In this case, there is a salary conversion . If the company provides the company bike for the first time by the end of 2030, tax relief will also apply here. Since 2020, the monthly value of the bike rental has been 1 percent of a quarter of the recommended retail price (rounded down to the nearest 100 euros). In practice, this corresponds to a tax rate of 0.25 %.

Example:

  • List price company bike = 3,000 euros
  • Of which ¼ = 750 euros
  • Amount rounded down to the nearest 100 euros = 700 euros
  • Monetary benefit (1 percent) = 7 euros

In this example, the employee must pay EUR 7 per month as a non-cash benefit.

Bei der Integration vom Fahrrad im Unternehmen muss einiges beachtet werden.
Companies can also offer their employees a company bike instead of the traditional company car.

How can bicycles be successfully integrated into the company?

Companies wishing to integrate bicycles into their fleet should consider a few important steps. These include:

  1. Analyze demand: Check to what extent bicycles can be used in your company and whether there is a need for them. You can also ask employees whether they would use the bicycles on offer.
  2. Check infrastructure: Check whether the necessary infrastructure for bicycles is already in place at the company or which aspects should be added. These include, for example, parking and charging facilities for e-bikes.
  3. Comparison of models and providers: There are different providers depending on the type of bike and form of financing. A precise comparison is important here in order to save costs and choose the best service package.
  4. Select insurance cover: To ensure that the bikes in your fleet are insured against loss, damage or theft, for example, you should choose comprehensive insurance cover. Here too, it is important to compare different offers in order to find the ideal insurance cover.
  5. Ensure safety: Bicycles should also be checked regularly to ensure that they are ready for use and roadworthy. Employees should also be instructed before use. The bicycles may also have to be checked in accordance with UVV.
  6. Managing bicycles in the company: Bicycles, like all other vehicles in the fleet, should be managed efficiently. A software solution such as Fleet+ can help you keep track of everything. With Fleet+, associated documents and data such as leasing contracts, bicycle data and service appointments can be organized centrally.
Fleet management software Fleet+

Fleet+ fleet software

With our powerful fleet management software Fleet+, bicycles in the company can also be managed digitally and clearly.

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