Most of us would simply buy a new bike if we needed one, but what if you could lease one on a monthly subscription and quickly have it repaired or replaced if it broke down? That’s the premise behind Swapfiets , a private bicycle leasing scheme taking the Netherlands by storm.
The Delft-based company offers bicycles at rates from €12 to €15 per month, including repair and maintenance. All bike repairs or replacements take place within 12 hours. The lease formula is very flexible, and can be cancelled at any time.
In its first year the company has provided bicycles for 5,000 customers, and has deployed across nine Dutch cities, including Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Eindhoven. The bikes, easily recognisable by their blue front tyre, are particularly popular among students. Swapfiets says about 35% of first-year university students in Delft use the formula.
Might this work here in the UK, particularly in student towns where bicycles are popular? I’m pretty sure it would.