GCI Blog

Black Friday or Green every day?

The Green Commute Initiative way makes real savings whenever it suits you.

The problem with buying a bike (or anything) in a sale like Black Friday, is often, that there’s a catch. Cynical price rises that can be reduced on a sale-day or end-of-line reductions are OK until you realise things weren’t quite as great as you’d thought.

Being in the ebike business we see this all the time. As an independent ebike specialist we sell a carefully selected range of brands but the question we always ask a new customer first, at Fully Charged Silverstone, is ‘what job does your bike need to do for 90% of its time?’.

Often, customers don’t buy what they thought they needed.  It’s an important and sensitive subject.  Asking a person who wanted a cross-bar when their hip replacement probably means a step-through frame is a better option is just one example of the need to get bike selection right.

Making the most of a finance opportunity is also a key area for conversation.  Salary sacrifice is a finance option that sometimes flies under the radar but which is massively useful to prospective cyclists who plan to buy an ebike. Let’s face it, these things aren’t cheap if you want a reputable brand and to buy from a dealer who will provide after-sales support.

Taking the plunge to ebike ownership might be to help with a healthier lifestyle or to save the costs of car ownership. Either way, what you pay and how you pay is critical. Green Commute Initiative (GCI) is a leading provider of the Cycle to Work Scheme which uses salary sacrifice to give substantial savings.

Here’s how GCI works:
  • A customer chooses a bike at Fully Charged Silverstone (or any other GCI partner);
  • The customer submits an application on GCI’s website;
  • GCI sends documents for signature;
  • Customer takes their GCI voucher to the bike shop to redeem and the rides away.

That’s it. No fuss, no drama, no surcharge for the customer and a monthly, interest free payment plan that makes it an affordable purchase for the customer.

Here’s the greatest part of all. The new cyclist pays for their bike and accessories out of their salary before tax and National Insurance Contributions are deducted.  That’s right; the monthly cost of a new bike gets taken from your pre-tax salary. Basic rate taxpayers will save 30% and if you’re a higher rate tax payer, you’ll save 42% off the retail price.

On the retailer end of the deal, the store gets paid immediately, less the lowest commission fee in the UK (5%) and everyone is happy.

GCI makes this process so easy that the scheme is, by far, our favourite. As ebike prices have pushed the cost of ownership upwards it’s not great to be hit with a percentage charge as high as some Cycle to Work Scheme operators apply. Accepting competitor scheme certificates can mean the retailer is asked to accept fees up to 15% – sometimes we just can’t accept customers’ orders at this rate.

What the customer also gains is the ability to buy the very latest technology at reduced prices or to extend their price range to an otherwise unaffordable level, in the knowledge that, up to 47%, is now flexible spending power.

With technology advancing as quickly as it is today, it’s great to build an element of future-proofing into a long-term purchase by buying the latest releases.

In our opinion, working with GCI is about as easy as it gets when dealing with Cycle to Work Scheme customers and Fully Charged Silverstone is happy to promote the scheme to help more riders onto more ebikes – and out of cars.  When more people cycle, everyone wins.




  • 2nd January 2024