E-bike leasing for employers

E-bikes are becoming increasingly popular in Germany. According to Statista, 2.2 million e-bikes were sold across Germany in 2022 - ten per cent more than in the previous year. Electric bikes or cargo bikes are an important step towards the transport revolution. E-bikes are being used more and more frequently, especially as company bikes via employers. This type of mobility is not only beneficial for the company's carbon footprint and the health of employees, but also offers tax advantages.

What is e-bike leasing?

E-bike leasing is generally understood to be a form of company bike leasing, which is often also referred to as a company bike or job bike. With e-bike leasing, employers make an e-bike available to their employees. For employees, this is a sustainable and modern benefit that not only promotes employee mobility, but also has a positive impact on their health and the environment. Employees can use the e-bikes for their daily commute, for business purposes and for private journeys, and they offer a sustainable alternative to company cars.

In principle, e-bike leasing works in the same way as a company car: in most cases, the employer is the lessee and provides the employee with a bike. Employees can then use it for both work and private purposes, but they must contribute to the costs. In return, a monthly leasing instalment is deducted from their salary.

After a defined term, usually three years, the lease ends and employees can either return the bike or take it on at its residual value. Similar to a company car, maintenance and wearing parts are usually included.

How does e-bike leasing work?

Employers and employees have two options when leasing an e-bike:

  1. E-bike leasing via salary conversion
  2. E-bike leasing as a salary supplement

Leasing an e-bike via salary conversion

E-bikes are usually leased via the employer in the form of salary conversion. This means that employees forgo a portion of their gross salary and receive the e-bike as a company bike in return. In this way, part of the salary is converted into a benefit in kind. The leasing instalment reduces the gross salary, which reduces the tax burden. Then one per cent of the gross list price of the e-bike is added back to the salary. The non-cash benefit does not apply to salary conversion.

Leasing an e-bike as a salary bonus

The second option for companies to offer their employees an e-bike as a job bike for unrestricted professional and private use is to provide an e-bike in addition to the salary already owed, for example instead of a salary increase. If the salary remains the same and the e-bike is also provided, this company bike is tax-free, which means that neither taxes nor social security contributions are incurred for the employee. Employers can also claim the entire cost as a business expense.

Who is the lessee of an e-bike lease?

If the employer leases the e-bikes for its employees, it is the lessee.

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E-bike leasing via the employer - is it worth it?

E-bike leasing is an environmentally friendly alternative to company cars. In 2012, the company bike was therefore treated in the same way as a company car by decree of the highest tax authorities. This means that instead of a company car, employers can provide an e-bike or pedelec that employees can use to commute to work. This is not only good for the carbon footprint and health, but also has a positive financial impact for employers and employees. Employers can either pay some or all of the instalments, or employees can save on non-wage labour costs by paying in instalments from their gross salary. However, employees cannot then claim the e-bike for tax purposes, as it belongs to the employer. The situation is different for the following professional groups:

  • Freelancers
  • Tradespeople
  • Self-employed persons

For these professional groups, e-bike leasing is an attractive alternative to a company car, as the one per cent rule has also been applicable to company bikes since 2012. It is worthwhile for self-employed people to lease an e-bike, as the leasing instalment is considered a business expense and is tax-deductible. This means they can also use the e-bike privately tax-free.

E-bike leasing benefits: Employers & employees

E-bike leasing has various advantages for employers and employees:


  • Lower costs than a company car
  • Tax advantages
  • Employee loyalty
  • Improvement of the company CO2 balance
  • Promotion of employee health


  • High-quality bike without high financial outlay
  • Savings of up to 40 per cent compared to private purchase
  • Private use possible
  • Minimised CO2 footprint
  • Improves own health and fitness

What does e-bike leasing cost?

The cost of an e-bike lease depends firstly on the e-bike model selected, but also on the term and conditions of the leasing contract. They also vary depending on the leasing provider and additional services. Added to this is the so-called leasing factor, which normally exceeds the purchase price of a new e-bike company bike by three per cent. The monthly instalment can be estimated as follows:

  • Price of new e-bike : 1,000 euros
  • Three per cent = 30 euros per month
  • Additional costs for insurance and inspections of around 15 to 30 euros

Employees have two options for e-bike leasing:

  1. Either they receive the job bike as a salary bonus from their employer, who pays the leasing instalment.
  2. Or the monthly instalments are financed from your gross salary via salary conversion. This is treated as a benefit in kind, which is taxed monthly at 0.25% of the gross list price.

How much do you save with e-bike leasing?

Employees can save up to 40 per cent when leasing an e-bike through their employer compared to buying one privately. To better estimate the costs of e-bike leasing, employees can use an online leasing calculator from the various providers and calculate and compare the leasing instalment based on their own data.

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Private e-bike leasing - Can I lease an e-bike privately?

Most e-bike leasing offers are aimed at companies. However, it is also possible to lease an e-bike privately without an employer. Although private lessees cannot benefit from the advantages of employer leasing, private e-bike leasing can still be an attractive solution - for example, if cyclists cannot or do not want to spend the high purchase price of an e-bike all at once.

The difference to employer leasing: private e-bike leasing does not offer the option of salary conversion; private lessees pay the instalments directly to the leasing provider.

If no provider can be found for private e-bike leasing, private individuals still have the alternative of e-bike financing, where they buy their desired bike in instalments over a term of their choice. The principle is similar to leasing, but is worthwhile if you want to buy the e-bike after the leasing period anyway.

What are e-bike leasing returns?

E-bike leasing returns are e-bikes that have been returned after leasing and are then offered for sale. In fact, they can either be bought by the person who leased the e-bike, or they can be offered for free purchase at a substantial discount.

In the meantime, some bike dealers have specialised in selling returned bikes from e-bike leasing. These bikes are usually in perfect technical condition and come with a warranty. The advantage is that they are available at a significantly lower price than new e-bikes.

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Stefan Wendering
Stefan is a freelance author and editor at NAVIT. Previously, he worked for startups and in the mobility sphere. He is an expert in urban and sustainable mobility, employee benefits, and New Work. In addition to creating blog content, he also produces marketing materials, taglines, and website content, as well as case studies.
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