The UK government just announced its third and largest round of free bike repair vouchers, in efforts to encourage cycling as an alternative mode of transport. Anyone in England can claim the £50 value – but you'll have to be quick, as there are only 150,000 vouchers available.
Thankfully, registration only takes a couple of minutes, and the voucher code is emailed to you right away. Here's how to claim:
1. Create an account on the Fix Your Bike Voucher Scheme site. You'll need to provide your name, address, phone number, and email address. You should receive the voucher code in your inbox immediately.
2. Choose a bike shop from the approved list. The list is growing, so you can always check back to see if your local shop gets added. Just be sure to book the repair within 90 days, before the 31 August 2021 deadline.
Halfords is a participating bike shop that already offers a free 32-point bike check. Similarly, Evans Cycle, which is also participating, charges £35 for the service, which means you can use the rest of the voucher for additional parts.
3. Schedule a repair - Once you've checked the shop has availability, take your cycle and voucher along with identification.
Eligible repairs, according to the bike scheme's application portal, include "inspection, adjustment, lubrication, tyre inflation" or the adjustment, repair, replacement of the following:
- Tyres, tubes, wheels
- Braking systems
- Gears and chains ("transmission system components")
- Essential and safety components
Keep in mind the scheme doesn't apply to upgrading parts on your bike that are already "safe and roadworthy", or replacing or repairing removable battery-powered lights. You can't use it towards non-essential parts or accessories either, or towards replacement parts more expensive than needed.
Those in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland will have to check their government websites for similar schemes.
If you're looking to upgrade your bike altogether, here's where you can buy a bike online in the UK.