To buy or to lease a bicycle - which is cheaper?

June 10, 2024
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Time for a new electric, road, mountain or speed pedelec bike? While choosing a new bicycle may be exciting, working out the finances is often slightly less fun. Those with the option of bicycle leasing through their employer will be wondering ‘should I buy or lease this bicycle’? It is often said that leasing is cheaper than buying, but is that truly the case? Our experts are here to provide the answer.

Leasing or buying a bicycle- which is cheaper?

To find out, here we weigh up the pros and cons of buying versus leasing a bicycle. As well as looking at the financial pros and cons, we also identify other important factors that may affect your decision.

Buying a bicycle: the pros and cons

The disadvantages of buying your bicycle outright

Thinking of buying your bicycle outright? If so, you will be paying a hefty sum from your take-home pay all in one go. With modern (e-)bikes easily fetching on average around €3000, this is quite a hefty price tag! This is especially true of e-bikes, speed pedelecs and cargo bikes, which are particularly expensive. But even the sportier riders among us are not spared, with road, mountain and gravel bikes equally costing a pretty penny.

Those who buy their bicycles outright are also personally responsible for the bicycle’s maintenance. Say your battery falters – is it simply a case of replacing a specific part, or is it time for your costly annual service, yet again? Either way, the cost is on you.

The advantage of buying your bicycle outright

The main advantage of buying a bicycle is that you own it outright. You can do with it what you will, making as many adjustments as you like to fully tailor it to your style and requirements. This gives you a certain freedom to do what you want with your bicycle.

Leasing a bicycle: the pros and cons

The advantages of leasing your bicycle

As an employee, choosing to lease a bicycle through your employer brings with it a great many benefits. This is why many employees often opt for bicycle leasing. Today, leasing a bicycle is just as popular as leasing a car nowadays, making it one of the top five most frequently chosen fringe benefits.

Spreading the cost – no large sum up-front

The first upside of leasing your bicycle is that you won't need to shell out a hefty sum out of your take-home pay all in one go. On the contrary, you will be spreading the cost, paying a certain amount each month over a three-to-four-year period.

Tax benefit – pay using your gross salary

Besides the benefit of spreading the cost, there is also a tax incentive: you will be paying for your bicycle not from your net salary, rather your gross salary, thereby reducing your net contribution to zero. By leasing your bicycle via your gross salary or end-of-year bonus, you are getting the same bicycle for up to 40% cheaper than through private purchase.

Want to know more about the tax benefits of leasing your bicycle as an employee? Then check out our blog article ‘Why does leasing a bicycle through your employer offer so many tax benefits?’.

Peace of mind on the road with an all-in package

What's more, the costs of maintenance, servicing and accessories, such as helmets or panniers, are included within your lease price. That means you get a 40% tax benefit on those too!

The disadvantage of leasing your bicycle

The only downside of leasing a bicycle is that you don't own the bicycle yourself, meaning you have slightly less freedom to do with it as you please. You cannot, under a  three- or four-year contract signed with the leasing company, make any structural changes to the bicycle, for example. However, once the lease period is up, you have the option to buy the bicycle at a predetermined residual cost price (often 16% or 20%).

How much does it cost to lease a bicycle?

So, how much does this all cost? Using our price calculator, you can easily work out the cost of your own lease. Want to know more about your lease bicycle price calculation, as well as what this figure includes? Check out our article ‘How much does a lease bicycle cost’.

Conclusion: to buy or lease a bicycle?

So, should you lease or buy your next bicycle? If you can lease a bicycle through your employer, then this is the best value option, as also shown through a survey conducted by Testaankoop. Let us once again briefly summarise why this is the case.

Thanks to the favourable tax benefits it brings, leasing a bicycle through your employer is cheaper than buying one outright, often by as much as 40%. What's more, by leasing a bicycle, you can enjoy additional benefits such as servicing, roadside assistance and a maintenance budget that works for you. There is no lump sum to pay upfront, rather spreading the cost over the entire lease period.

Whether for commuting or leisure, lease bicycles offer both freedom and peace of mind. So get leasing and make your cycling adventure more affordable and enjoyable!

Interested in leasing a bicycle?

Want to know how much you could save by leasing a bicycle versus buying one outright? Use our price calculator to find out in just one click. The numbers don’t lie, it’s a smart move.

Calculate your lease price