These European Countries Reward You for Cycling

There are incentives to swap your car for a bicycle.

(Dutch_Photos /

Many people commute to work by car and some use public transportation. But across Europe, many people are swapping their cars for bikes. In fact, many countries offer incentives to get people to cycle to work, reported Euronews.

There are many benefits to riding to work that range from health to reducing your carbon footprint. A 2017 study from the University of Glasgow found that cycling to work may reduce your risk of heart disease by 46 percent and your risk of developing some cancers by 45 percent.

Dr Jason Gill, from the Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, said in a university news release, “If these associations are causal, these findings suggest that policies designed to make it easier for people to commute by bike, such as cycle lanes, city bike hire, subsidized cycle purchase schemes and increasing provision for cycles on public transport may present major opportunities for public health improvement.”

Different European countries have incorporated programs that improve bike infrastructure and subsidizing the purchase of conventional bicycles or ebikes and others reward cycling to work with financial incentives. Here are three countries that are nailing bike programs.

The Netherlands mileage allowance
Dutch people are leading the world in cycling. In fact,  27 percent of all journeys are made by bicycle, according to a government report, and riders average 2.6 kilometers a day. In some cities, the figures are even higher. While the country already has extensive bike routes and parking, and a cycling culture, there is now a  financial advantage in place for people to ride to work. It’s good for people’s health and for the environment.

To get more people to cycle to work, employers offer bicycle facilities and mileage allowances of the same amount that people who drive their cars to work. And since cyclists do not have to pay for gas or parking, this is an added bonus.

Belgium cycling incentives
Belgium has a similar plan to the Netherlands. The cycling allowance was just raised in May, 2023, according to a blog on Upway. People can receive it for regular cycles and ebikes and has been in place since 2021. In 2022, one in five employees of small or medium sized companies received the bicycle allowance.  For some, their employers may even offer a company bicycle.

France improved bicycle infrastructure
France recently announced a plan to expand cycling infrastructure to get more people to ride to work, reported Forbes. The goal is to double the country’s bike lanes as a way to help fight climate change.

The new bike plan also includes subsidies for people to purchase and maintain bicycles, more bicycle parking, and bike training for school children. A plan to give government workers financial incentives to cycle to work is in the planning stage.  

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