E-bike leasing or financing – the favorable alternative?

Computer research

Average prices for e-bikes have risen significantly in recent years. This is hardly surprising, since today's models offer much more powerful engines, longer ranges and generally better equipment. Of course, not every prospective buyer wants to know more than 2.000 or 3.Spend 000 euro on a good e-bike. If you are of this opinion, we will show you in this article how you can realize your dream bike without a large one-time investment, for example, with the help of financing options or leasing offers for e-bikes as a private person or through your employer.

E-bike leasing or financing – general information

Both leasing and financing an e-bike allow you to pay off your bike in monthly installments. For employees and self-employed persons there is the possibility to obtain an e-bike as a so-called "job bike" from various leasing platforms and thus benefit from tax advantages. As a private person, there are so-called e-bike subscriptions that allow you to rent e-bikes for a minimum of three and a maximum of 18 months. In addition, as a private person you can buy your e-bike yourself with the help of financing via loans or installment payments, so that you do not have to pay the entire purchase price at once.

Regardless of whether you have leased, rented or financed your e-bike, you can deduct it from your taxes if you use it as a self-employed person or as an employee to get to work. How exactly you can deduct your e-bike from taxes, especially as a self-employed person, which conditions apply and what you have to consider, you can read in detail here. Basically, your e-bike must be used for business purposes in order for you to be able to claim it for tax purposes.

In addition, there are federal and regional subsidy programs for the private and commercial use of e-bikes, which we have discussed separately here. In this article, we explain in detail which option, with its advantages and disadvantages, is worthwhile for whom.

E-bike leasing as self-employed, employee and employer

Advantages at a glance disadvantages at a glance
savings of up to 40 % compared to the original price due to tax advantage E-bike first belongs to your employer
insurance included in leasing contract long contract period
problem-free takeover of the e-bike at the end of the contract lower pension contributions

Since 2020, e-bikes benefit from the 0.25% rule, also known as the company car privilege. This regulation states that when an employee leases an e-bike, part of the gross salary is converted into a benefit in kind and therefore the taxable salary is reduced. More about this later in an example calculation. It is also important to know that you can use your leased e-bike not only for business purposes, but also for your free time.

If you are an employer yourself, you will find enough information and instructions on the websites of various leasing providers to start a cooperation yourself. For example, this brochure from business bike, which succinctly summarizes the benefits for you and your employees. Basically, there are no additional costs for you as an employer through the cooperation, since the monthly leasing rates are transferred to your employees. You can financially subsidize the "job-ebike" and this amount is tax deductible. The whole thing is not only sustainable and good for the environment, but your employees get an extra "goodie" that they will surely be happy about.

As a self-employed person, you can also benefit from e-bike leasing, as you can claim the full amount of the leasing payments made as a business expense against tax. In addition to the "commuter allowance" of 30ct/km to the place of work, you can also claim the maintenance costs against tax.

As an employee, the most common option is to ask your employer if they have a partnership with an e-bike leasing provider. If not, you can advise your employer or your personnel department to conclude such a contract, if this is wanted and possible. For the exact decision of the supreme tax authority, which describes this leasing relationship between employer and employee, click here.

In the following, we will show you how you, as an employee, can lease an e-bike through your employer, as this process is more comparable to e-bike subscription and financing options for private individuals.

How do I lease an e-bike through my employer??

It may well be that your employer has already entered into a cooperation with an e-bike leasing provider – just ask them about it! If it is possible to obtain an e-bike at a discount through your employer, the procedure is quite simple. The most important steps can be found here as an example for the most popular leasing provider jobrad. For the other leasing providers you can expect a similar process.

In summary, you must first create an online account with a leasing provider, and then choose your dream e-bike at an authorized dealer of the respective leasing provider, gladly via our website. Then you can have the dealer upload the order form on the leasing portal. Then you have to wait for your employer to approve your application, and finally you can sign the contract and pick up your e-bike. Your employer leaves the e-bike to you and this should be recorded in writing in a transfer agreement. The usual contract period is 36 months.

Unlike the insurance of privately purchased e-bikes, the insurance of your "job bike" is usually integrated directly into the leasing contract. Your leasing partner usually offers different insurance packages. Retrofitted individual parts, such as.B. An extra luggage rack can be included in the leasing contract. In order to fulfill the insurance conditions of the leasing contract you need a good lock, so it is advisable to include it in the leasing contract as well.

One disadvantage of leasing is that the e-bike legally belongs to your employee. So if you lose your job, your e-bike may be left behind. You can counteract this by including in the contract the possibility that you can "buy out" your e-bike in special cases.

Savings through tax benefits

Over the three-year term of the leasing contract, you can save up to 40 % compared to the original price of your ebike. The exact saving depends on your gross salary, tax class and the particular e-bike. There are several calculators that you can use to work out your example. We present you in the following our example calculation.

We have assumed that you are leasing a bike with an original price of 3.You have chosen 500 euro. This would mean a monthly leasing rate of 97.22 euros for a leasing period of three years. In this example calculation your gross salary is 4.000 euro, you are in tax class I and your employer gives you a monthly allowance of 30 euro, which can be deducted from your taxes. The basis for calculating the imputed income is half of the original price (1.750 euros), which is rounded down to the nearest hundred (1.700 euro). Thus, the 0.25% rule of your service bike results in a monetary benefit of 4.25 euros.

The employer has to pay a certain part of the leasing amount, otherwise you as an employee would be considered as a leasing partner. This share can be in the form of insurance or repairs or, as here, a monthly allowance. The employer who leases the e-bike passes on the leasing costs to you in the form of a cash salary conversion. This reduces your tax base and you have to pay less taxes. Due to the lower tax base, your pension benefits will also be reduced – you should bear this in mind!

Without E-bike with E-bike
gross salary 4.000 € 4.000 €
cash salary conversion 0 -97,22 €
employer subsidy 0 +30,00 €
monetary benefit 0 +4,25 €
taxation basis 4.000 € 3937,03 €
payroll tax -665,33 € -647,58 €
solidarity surcharge -33,27 € -32,28 €
health insurance -322,00 € -316,93 €
pension insurance -372,00 € -366,14 €
care insurance -71,00 € -69,88 €
unemployment insurance -48,00 € -47,24 €
net amount 2488,40 € 2456,88 €
less imputed income 0 -4,25 €
payout amount 2488,40 € 2452,63 €
net debit 35,77 €

What happens at the end of the leasing period?

Over the three-year term of your leasing contract, you would have a net burden of just under 1.300 euro. After the expiration of your leasing contract you can either sign a new e-bike leasing contract and pick out a modern one. Alternatively, you can buy the e-bike from your dealer, which we will assume to be a better comparison with the other options.

Most of the known leasing providers offer a buy-back value of 15-20 % of the original price. But be careful: you should not anchor a repurchase in the contract in advance, otherwise you will be considered the lessee and your employer will have to pay social and payroll taxes. You should signal your interest in buying shortly before the end of your leasing contract.

The 15-20% of the new price sounds good at first, but your e-bike is usually worth more at this point and the price advantage is considered a third party wage, which you have to pay taxes on. Since the end of 2017, an e-bike is worth a flat rate of 40% of the new price at the end of the contract.

Let's assume that you agree with the dealer on 20% of the original price, which would mean 700 euros for our example bike. This means that you would have to pay tax on 700 euros as a non-cash benefit, which is taxed at a flat rate of 25% income tax plus the solidarity surcharge. Thus we come for our example on a tax payment of 210 euro. Both together you would come to a takeover amount of 910 euro. Adding up your leasing expenses we come to approx. 2.200 euro. A saving of approx. 37 % compared to the original price – and the e-bike is yours!

E-bike subscription

Advantages at a glance disadvantages at a glance
test ride your e-bike without any problems no financial savings
short contract terms possible limited choice of e-bikes
E-bike mis-purchases can be virtually eliminated

An e-bike subscription is another kind of rental model where you can rent a new e-bike or s-pedelec as a private person for 3,6,12 or 18 months. The following information refers to the market leader E-bike abo – with other providers you can expect similar conditions.

The monthly leasing rates are based on the original price of the e-bike. For our example bike worth 3.500 euro, you would probably have to pay a monthly leasing rate of approx. Have to pay 97 euro. In addition, there is often a one-time service fee of 70-100 euros, since in most cases the e-bike is delivered directly to your door. You can also pick up the e-bike on site, but so far this is only possible in german cities. How it looks with delivery and collection in your region, you can find out from the respective landlord.

However, it is important to remember that you are dependent on the e-bike offer of the respective rental company. Of course, the range is constantly expanding, but you don't have the same freedom as with leasing or financing when it comes to choosing the model of your bike. If you find an e-bike that interests you, renting an e-bike through an e-bike subscription may be an interesting alternative for you. If you want to test ride the e-bike for a longer period of time, there is no better way to avoid a bad purchase. Even if you only need an e-bike for certain periods of the year, an e-bike subscription can be a good idea.

Insurance and repairs

Your e-bike is insured by the landlord and a lock is included in the package so that you can properly secure your e-bike against theft. You can find out the exact scope of the insurance from the respective provider. Since you receive the e-bike as new, no repairs should be expected for the time being.

The providers offer technical support and should you need to visit a workshop, the rental company will cover the costs if this is necessary despite proper use. If the repair is your fault, you have to bear the costs. If you have rented an S-pedelec, you are obliged to pay it back every 3 months.000 kilometers in maintenance.

Take out and cancel an e-bike subscription

To take out an e-bike subscription, you must have a permanent residence in germany. You can conclude the rental contract online and the landlord portal must agree to this rental contract. The rented e-bike cannot be used for commercial purposes. If you do not contact your landlord, the lease will be automatically extended for one month.

To cancel your e-bike rental contract, you must cancel the contract at least one month before the end of your arrangement. If you get along very well with your leased e-bike, you can take it over at the end of your rental contract with most providers. Again, you must specify this intention at least one month before the end of your contract. Please note that your already paid monthly installments will not be credited 100%. Therefore the e-bike subscription does not offer a positive financial effect if you are thinking about buying an ebike.

E-bike loans and installment plans

Advantages at a glance disadvantages at a glance
you own your own e-bike no savings compared to original price
no large one-time investment possibly. Additional financial effort
no all-inclusive insurance packages

Many banks have offers that are tailored to the purchase of an e-bike. Comparison portals are a good first port of call for finding favorable loans to help you buy an e-bike. Depending on the monthly rate, different repayment periods are possible. Unlike car financing, a loan for an e-bike is not earmarked for a specific purpose – so you can use any loan that serves the purpose of free use.

An important criterion for choosing a loan is the interest rate. A second person with a regular income makes it more likely that the loan will be approved and, in the case of creditworthiness-related interest, the interest rate is also reduced. If you have a loan in the amount of 3.You want to borrow 500 euros to buy the sample bike worth 3.500 euro to buy, you can currently expect an annual interest rate of about 4 to 6%.

Therefore, it is advisable to pay off the loan as soon as possible. With a repayment period of 12 months and an interest rate of 5%, you would have to make a monthly payment of 299.63 euros. Calculated over the entire term, this means an additional financial burden of 95.51 euros.

In addition to the interest rate, there are other important criteria: if you have an irregular income, it makes sense to inquire about loans with an installment break. If you want to pay off the loan early, some banks offer free special repayments.

Can I finance an e-bike by installments??

Instead of a loan that you pay off in monthly installments, you can also purchase your e-bike directly from the dealer with individual installment plans. Most online retailers, in cooperation with a credit institution, offer individual installment plans that you can customize according to your needs. The effective interest rates are around 6%. You can choose the periods individually, but here too, the interest rates will result in an additional financial burden for you.

Some online retailers also offer 0% financing, but this has a fixed term. The fixed terms are usually very long, at least 24 months. In addition, only e-bikes selected by the dealer have this option, so your desired bike may not be included.

How can I order my e-bike in installments?? This is very easy with most online dealers. At checkout, simply select the "financing" or "installment" option and you can then set your personal terms and conditions. All in all, the financing through installment plans is a good way to use your e-bike directly for a small obulus.

Conclusion: for whom is it worthwhile?

We have shown you different ways how you can get your e-bike as a private person with leasing and financing options. Which option makes sense for whom depends on a number of factors, e.G.B. How sure you are about the e-bike model, whether you have a permanent job and what your general financial situation looks like.

To save up to 40% compared to the original price, we can recommend you e-bike leasing, because this is very trendy. If you are self-employed, you can deduct your "job e-bike" from your taxes, and if you are a private person with a permanent employment contract, you should ask your employer if they have entered into a cooperation for e-bike leasing. The steps to the jobbike are a bit more complicated than with the e-bike subscription, but also no rocket science. The insurance is included in the leasing contract and the contract period of 36 months is quite long, you should consider that. After expiration of the contract you can either choose a new e-bike with a new leasing contract or take over your e-bike at a reduced price.

If you are not yet sure exactly which e-bike you want, or if you only want the e-bike for a certain period of time, a rather shorter commitment that goes beyond a test ride certainly makes sense. For this, an e-bike subscription is a great option. The insurance is included in the rental contract and generally the process is quite comfortable for you with flexible terms. However, this way of renting an e-bike is not a way to save money, because you have to pay a service fee on top of the normal leasing rates, which are based on the original price. If you want to buy the e-bike after your lease, the payments made will not be fully credited.

If you are already clear about which e-bike you want and you cannot benefit from e-bike leasing and you do not want to pay the whole amount at once, there are several financing possibilities. You can either take out a private loan or purchase your e-bike directly from the dealer in installments. The interest rates are around 5% for medium terms, which means a certain additional financial burden for you. But with financing, you can ride your e-bike as quickly as possible without a lot of paperwork.