85% of shops to participate in Government’s bike repair voucher scheme

A poll run by CyclingIndustry.News on our Trade-Locked discussion group has returned the verdict that as much as 85% of bike shops look set to participate in the Government’s bike repair voucher scheme.

50 bike shops gave their feedback on the poll, with those outside of England adding a poll option that decried the exclusivity of the bike repair scheme, for which shops can now register to participate here.

34 stores gave direct affirmative to taking part, or already having registered their business, while just six said that they believed the scheme would not be beneficial to their business in particular, whether down to the admin involved, or “the kind of business it will bring,” in reference to a belief that bikes with low value but with intensive repair needs are likely to make up many requests.

Shops CI.N has spoken with who are opting to not participate suggest that the admin alone is likely to take up too many man hours. Mechanics will be required with each claim submission to provide photographic evidence of the repair along with the receipt. Furthermore, customer identification will be required that aligns with their online application for the voucher.

Those who are looking forward to participating have flagged that there will be no commission on the sale and that it may be an opportunity to build a relationship with a new customer. The customer’s voucher will only cover the first £50 of the bill, including labour and parts charges within. Any further costs will be footed by the customer.

As discovered by CyclingIndustry.News’ 2020 Retail Channel Study, just 9% of UK bike shops charge £50 or below for their most comprehensive services on bicycles, suggesting many customers are likely to find the voucher will not cover the work entirely.

Among the responses to our poll came suggestions of admin fees for voucher claims that will be refundable if the work proceeds.

The small print of the bike repair voucher documentation, available to those considering participating, stipulates that repairs must be made only to return a cycle to a roadworthy state and cannot therefore be applied to upgrades of already safe parts, nor the replacement or repair of removable lighting accessories.