Electric Bikes

Electric Bike Lease: Can You Rent an E-Bike Long Term?

e-bike lease long term

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Leasing a car or renting a house is very much commonplace these days, but what about hiring an electric bike?

Renting an electric bike over a long period (and paying for it monthly) instantly makes them far, far more affordable. Therefore it’s perhaps not a big surprise to see a dramatic rise in the number of companies offering this service to customers like you.

With the availability of e-bike leasing increasing all the time it’s high time we answered key questions on the subject and pointed you toward some recommended schemes.



Can You Lease an Electric Bike?

Today, it is very much possible to lease an electric bike. And by leasing, we’re not referring to bike-sharing schemes like Lime, Jump, Ofo or Citibike. Clearly, those schemes have many benefits, but at ride’s end you and your bike go separate ways.

In this form, an electric bike lease means this is your bike and your bike alone. It’s paid for monthly and usually over a fixed term – usually 1, 3, 6, 12 or 18 months. Often it includes things like maintenance and insurance so you never have to worry about being without your wheels, or worse losing it to theft.

Leasing of regular bikes has been relatively commonplace for a few years now and with the rising popularity of e-bikes, existing companies have pivoted to this popular form of transport. Concurrently new companies have sprung up to service the demand for long term electric bike rental/loan.


Bikes available for rent

Why Long-Term Electric Bike Rental Appeals

Renting an electric bike has many advantages when compared to buying, or even financing the purchase, of one outright.

Let’s face it, electric bikes certainly aren’t cheap, especially when you compare them to regular bikes. This is why leasing an electric bike or signing up for an electric bike subscription is a good idea. From just £50 a month in the UK, or $59 a week in the USA, you can start enjoying the benefits of an electric bike.

If you are asking yourself whether you should buy an electric bike, an e-bike lease is a great answer. Select a shorter term plan, say 1 or 3 months and you can ride safe in the knowledge that you haven’t committed for the long term. If it doesn’t work out an electric bike isn’t for you, then you can return the e-bike at the end of your contract.

As we’ve already mentioned, the total price of the lease usually covers maintenance and insurance. This hopefully means no panicked visits to a bike shop or extra monthly payments to an insurance company. Do check the small print though!

If you come to the end of your ‘long term test ride’ and you can’t imagine your life without your beloved new e-bike, then great – sign up for a longer contract, or simply go ahead and buy one outright. For this reason, many companies offer a ‘lease-to-buy’ option when you sign up with them.

In the UK cycle to work schemes are a popular way of getting on a brand new e-bike. Whilst these schemes can be seen as leasing themselves some companies like Blike, have smashed e-bike leasing and cycle to work schemes together to create a super affordable way of riding an e-bike. Essentially it means that you won’t have to pay tax on your monthly leasing amount.


bicycle rental

Electric Bike Subscription

There are some limitations to signing up for an electric bike subscription. Namely the inflexibility of fixed-term contracts, and the smaller availability – both in terms of the bike brands/models themselves and the geographical location of the leasing companies.

On top of this most companies prevent the customisation of their leased e-bikes. This means no changing the saddle or adding a fancy new pannier rack.

Another downside of e-bike leasing: if you’re starting your e-bike riding journey from scratch, you’ll probably need some spare cash on top to invest in an accessory or two – things like a helmet or lock.

Unlike bikes that are part of sharing schemes, a leased electric bike requires charging. Whilst it’s not a significant cost, it’s certainly worth factoring in when considering whether to lease an e-bike or not – especially if you are considering racking up the miles.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • No maintenance worries
  • Often includes insurance
  • Try before you buy
  • Can be tax-efficient

Cons

  • Fixed term contract
  • Small selection of brands/models
  • Bikes can’t be customised
  • Limited to certain areas/cities
  • Sometimes limited to personal use
  • Often doesn’t include accessories
  • Requires charging

Best E-Bike Lease Services USA

With the average cost of an e-bike in America between $1600 and $2600, it’s no surprise to see many turning to leasing in order to own an assisted bike of some sort. Here are three of our favourite schemes.

1. Zoomo

zoomo zero
zoomo zero e-bike rear
zoomo zero e-bike
zoomo zero in use
zoomo zero outdoors
  • US Flag $199 per month

Prices are approximate

  • Contract length: 1 month
  • Number of bikes available: 1
  • Maintenance Included: ✅
  • Insurance Included: ✅

A favourite for delivery riders

30+ miles range

Flexible plans available

Zoomo operates across the globe but predominately grew in popularity thanks to their success in the US and in particular with delivery riders from the likes of Uber and JustEat.

Clearly, if you’re a courier and you are looking for an e-bike to lease then Zoomo should be your first port of call. But arguably the internal hub gears and fully equipped bike Zoomo currently leases is perfectly suited to the rigours of daily commuting.

Pros

  • Short, flexible contract
  • No mileage limit
  • Maintenance and theft included
  • No security deposit requried

Cons

  • Only one bike is available
  • Bike is orientated towards delivery usage

2. Ride Panda

momentum voya e+ 3
ridepanda
group of women riding bikes
family outdoor adventure
  • US Flag $45 per month

Prices are approximate

  • Contract length: Various
  • Number of bikes available: Various
  • Maintenance Included: ✅
  • Insurance Included: ✅

Available through your employer

Accessories included

Wide range of bikes available

RidePanda is a leasing company that focuses on providing solutions to e-bike riders via their employer. It has an amazing range of models available, some of which come from the biggest e-bike brands in the world like Giant and Specialized.

If you are self-employed, freelance or your company is unwilling to sign up to Ridepanda then you’ll be out of luck!

Pros

  • Top-end bikes available
  • Accessories included
  • Maintenance and insurance included

Cons

  • Only available if your employer is signed up

3. Whizz

whiz bike rental
whiz bike rental in use
whiz bike rental outdoors
  • US Flag $159 per month

Prices are approximate

  • Contract length: Not stated
  • Number of bikes available: 2
  • Maintenance Included: ✅
  • Insurance Included: ✅

Aimed at delivery and courier riders

Various packages available

Can be paid for weekly

Whizz is another e-bike subscription company focussed on providing e-bikes and associated equipment to delivery or courier riders.

The brand has two bikes available, with various packages at different prices depending on the exact specification of bike you choose.

Whilst its not clear how long a minimum contract length is with the company, their website does state that the subscription can be paid for weekly or monthly.

Pros

  • Rent, Rent-To-Own and Buy available
  • Price is reasonable given what’s included

Cons

  • Only available in New York City currently
  • Just two bikes available

Best E-Bike Subscription UK

Over in the UK now and three leasing companies that caught our eye.

1. Swapfiets

swapfiets bike rental
swapfiets bike rental e-bike
swapfiets bike rental outdoor
swapfiets bike rental ride
  • UK Flag £64.90 per month

Prices are approximate

  • Contract length: Flexible
  • Number of bikes available: 2
  • Maintenance Included: ✅
  • Insurance Included: Surcharge applied if the bike is stolen

Readily recognisable bikes

Two flexible leasing plans

Free delivery

Thanks to their bright blue front tyres, Swapfiets electric bikes are instantly recognizable. If you’ve been to cities across Europe and the Nehterlands in particular you will have noticed these bikes whizzing up and down streets right across the continent.

It’s only the past couple of years that the bikes have been available in the UK. Swapfiets offer both regular bike and e-bikes. The two assisted models are powered by top-end Shimano motors and are squarely aimed at city riders and commuters. The cheaper model is single-speed, with the more expensive Power 7 having 7-speed gears alongside the motor assist.

Pros

  • Two city-orientated e-bikes
  • Two frame sizes
  • Fully equipped

Cons

  • Limited bike choice
  • All memberships have one month’s notice

2. Dash

volt whyte 505 e-bike
dash e-bike rental
dash e-bike rental
dash e-bike rental
  • UK Flag £29 per month

Prices are approximate

  • Contract length: 1,3,6,12 & 18 months
  • Number of bikes available: Various
  • Maintenance Included: ✅
  • Insurance Included: ✅

Leasing and cycle to work

Various models available

Lease from just 1-month

Dash is one of a breed of new companies that is combining the well-known cycle to work scheme with the more recently developed subscription model. In essence, this means that riders lease a bike monthly, but those monthly payments are taken via salary sacrifice and exempt from tax and national insurance.

Dash has access to a wide range of e-bike brands and models. Prices depend on the length of contract you chose, your salary and the bike you select.

Pros

  • Tax-free savings on a subscription
  • Different models available
  • Short-term contract is great for trialling an e-bike

Cons

  • Insurance has a £100 excess
  • Not available if your company isn’t registered with Dash

3. Brompton

brompton a line blue background
brompton e-bike subscription
brompton e-bike subscription
brompton e-bike subscription
  • UK Flag £100 per month

Prices are approximate

  • Contract length: 3 months
  • Number of bikes available: 1
  • Maintenance Included: ✅
  • Insurance Included: ✅

Top-end electric folding bike

Best suited to commuters

3 month minimum contract

Arguably the best folding electric bike around, Brompton’s are also available to lease directly from the brand themselves. There’s only one plan for Brompton available and there is a minimum three-month contract to agree to before you take the plunge. If you’re happy after that period, the contract goes onto a rolling monthly.

Although Brompton electric bikes are all roughly similar, it’s not clear from Brompton’s website which specification you would receive should you decide to plump for a subscription. So if you are definitely after a 6 speed model, in red with a high handlebar you might be out of luck!

Pros

  • Premium performance from Brompton
  • Includes insurance

Cons

  • 3 month minimum contract
  • Expensive
  • Not clear which specifications are available


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