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Does France still offer aid to buy an electric bike?

We explain how slightly more people are actually now eligible for help since income thresholds to qualify have been raised

Government scheme covers both electric and traditional bikes Pic: Anton Gvozdikov / Shutterstock

Reader Question: It was reported that government assistance for buying an electric bike was expected to end last year - is there any help still remaining?

It is correct that aid for buying a bike, known as the bonus vélo, was set to finish at the end of 2022, however, the government announced at the start of January that the scheme has been extended for an extra year.

The aid can in some cases be used to buy a traditional bike or an electric one but eligibility is conditional on several factors. It is limited to residents.

However, around half of households in France could be eligible for some form of help via the scheme, which is aimed at those in lower income tax brackets as well as disabled people.

Slightly more people are also now eligible as the income thresholds to qualify have been raised.

Read more: French e-bike mania spurs entrepreneurs to design their own models

For purchasing an electric bike (vélo à assistance électrique or VAE), the aid is 40% of the cost of the bike (up to a maximum of €400 off) if you are disabled or if your household’s net annual taxable income (revenu fiscal de référence) is equal or less to €6,358 per family quotient part. 

The latter is a calculation of family size used for tax, for example one person has one part, a couple has two, the first two children add a half each, and then the third onwards add one whole part each.

If your income is between €6,358 and €14,089 per part, the maximum amount of assistance is €300. If your income is above €14,089 per part then no assistance is available.

In the case of a cargo, folding, or recumbent bike or an electric bicycle that has been adapted for a disabled person, assistance can be up to €2,000 dependent on the income of the applicant.

Aid is capped at €1,000 for these bikes if your income is between €6,358 and €14,089, or if you are purchasing the bike for a business, association or local authority.

Aid for a new traditional bike is 40%, capped at a maximum €150-off, and is only applicable if you are disabled or in the low-income level (equal or less to €6,358 per part).

You can find your revenu fiscal de référence on the first page of your most recent avis d'impôt sur le revenu (income tax notice). 

Aid when scrapping an old motor vehicle

If you are scrapping an old motor vehicle (a petrol car or van from before 2006, or diesel car from before 2011) that you have owned for more than a year, you can benefit from a bonus to pay towards a new electric bike of any kind (including folding, cargo etc), regardless of your income level.

This reaches up to 40% of the new bike's value within a ceiling of €1,500 and it can be claimed by any member of the household, although the scrapping bonus can only be claimed once per household (formerly it could be claimed once per vehicle scrapped).

The bonus can only be used for the purchase of one bike.

If you are scrapping an old vehicle and fall into the low-income group or are disabled, this bonus can reach up to €3,000 (but still only covers up to 40% of the cost of the new bike). 

If you live in a low-emission zone (ZFE) - use our map here to see if your town is a ZFE - and your local authority has given you a grant to buy or lease an electrically-assisted bicycle, this bonus is increased by €1,000.

To benefit from the scheme, you must apply on a government website within six months of purchasing the new bike.

You will have to log on using FranceConnect (this requires log-ins from another partner site such as the tax office or health reimbursements sites) and then upload documents including:

  • a copy of the purchase invoice for the bike

  • proof of identity

  • a copy of your last tax notice (avis)

  • proof of address, less than three months old

  • proof of disability, if applicable

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