2023 bicycle allowance: everything you need to know

Do you regularly cycle to work? It's good to know that the Belgian government will increase the bicycle allowance as of 1 May 2023. But what exactly is the bicycle allowance and do you want to know if you are entitled to it? In this blog post, we discuss all the ins and outs of the bicycle allowance in Belgium.

What is a bicycle allowance?

The electric bicycle allowance allows the employer to compensate the employee who uses a bicycle for commuting to work. Employees can thus receive financial compensation for the costs they incur in commuting to work by bicycle. 

The allowance is a way to encourage the use of sustainable means of transportation and thus contribute to the preservation of the environment. In Belgium, the bicycle allowance for commuting to and from work has been in effect since 2021.

How much will the bicycle allowance be in 2023?

In 2022, the bicycle allowance in Belgium was €0.25 per kilometer. From May 1, 2023, it will rise to €0.27 per kilometer. The bike allowance is tax-free up to €0.27. The maximum allowance is therefore €10.80 per day. 

Is your employer prepared to pay a higher bicycle allowance (greater than €0.27)? If so, don't forget that the allowance will be added to your monthly salary, and will therefore be taken into account when calculating withholding tax and social security contributions.

Who can benefit from the bicycle allowance?

Does your employer belong to a sector whose collective bargaining agreement provides for its own bicycle allowance? If so, it makes no difference and you are not entitled to an allowance of 0.27 euros per kilometer.

Your employer did not include the bicycle allowance in the collective agreement? You are in luck! The National Labor Council has decided to make the bicycle allowance mandatory and has included it in the supplementary CLA 164. This CLA only applies to private sector workers. Thus, all private sector workers who regularly cycle to work are eligible for the bicycle allowance. Regular means once a week or during the summer period. 

But keep in mind: is mobility a condition of employment? Do you receive a travel allowance, a train pass or a company car rental, for example? In that case, you can only be compensated for the journey for which the bicycle is used or for the period during which the bicycle is used. 

Example of a journey: the journey between home and the train station. 

Application: the reimbursement of the train pass is then tax-free. 

Example period: use of a bicycle in summer and a bus pass in winter.

Application: The bicycle allowance applies only to trips made by bicycle during the summer period. 

What bicycles are eligible for the benefit?

To determine if the benefit applies to your situation, it is important to understand what is meant by "bicycle." The following types of bicycles are eligible for reimbursement:

  1. A bicycle: a normal bicycle or an electric bicycle. 
  2. A motorized bicycle (if electric) 
  3. A pedal bike (if electric).

Would you like to claim compensation for a bicycle new or a second-hand bike, for example? Or for one of the following electric bikes : MTB,

mountain bike, city bike, cargo bike, longtail bike, folding bike or speed pedelec. It's all possible! In fact, the bike allowance is not linked to the type of bike. 

Want to know more about the different types of electric bikes? Read on:

The different types of electric bikes

Important factors for obtaining the bicycle allowance

  1. The employer must complete and sign a declaration on honour
  2. The employer must verify the data on the declaration and cite the following: the number of miles traveled on the route, the number of days the bicycle was used and the frequency with which the declaration was completed. 

Advice fromUpway

A bicycle allowance is of course welcome. But it means that you have bought or need to buy a bike. Upway 's advice: if possible, ask your employer for a company bike. A company bike is 100% tax-deductible and can be combined with an electric bike allowance. For tax purposes, it's the best decision!

You're only applying for the bike allowance and you don't yet know where you want to buy a bike? Regular or electric? new or second-hand? Then read the following blog: where to buy your electric bike

You are now fully aware and can apply to your employer for the e-bike allowance for your bike and commute starting May 1. Good luck!

Source: CLA no. 164, concluded in the NAR on January 24, 2023. Collective bargaining agreement concerning the employer's intervention for bicycle trips made by the worker between home and work.