Halfords to buy customers’ unwanted cycles in Xchange second-hand bike scheme

Halfords is today launching the Halfords Xchange, a second-hand bike scheme designed to ease the pressure on demand for new bikes and bring quality assured used bikes within reach of people on lower incomes.

The company is offering customers up to £250 in exchange for their unwanted cycles.

Research conducted for Halfords at the beginning of the pandemic suggested that there were up to seven million unused bikes languishing in garages and sheds. Whilst the recent boom in cycling may have seen some of these come back onto the road, Halfords believes there are millions of perfectly serviceable bicycles out there which could have a second life.

Whether it’s a bike they no longer use or it’s time for an upgrade, customers can use the Halfords Xchange to trade in their old Halfords bike and get up to £250 to spend on anything in store. The scheme covers adults’ and children’s bikes.

Halfords’ technicians will assess, repair, and refurbish all second-hand bikes so they are ready for a new owner, ready to ride, safety checked and with a 12-month warranty.

“With demand for bikes so high, well-publicised supply chain constraints, and a cost-of-living crisis on the horizon, it can’t be right that so many perfectly good bicycles are being left to gather dust in sheds and garages,” said Graham Stapleton, chief executive of Halfords.

“Even if people don’t want to trade in their old bike for a new one, they can do their wallet a power of good by taking advantage of the Halfords Xchange. Just as important, they’re giving somebody who might not otherwise be able to afford it the chance to own a properly serviced, quality assured bike.”

The UK cycling market was valued at £2.31 billion in 2020, according to the Bicycle Association, an increase of 45% vs 2019. In June 2021, Halfords reported cycling revenues up 54.1% compared with the previous year.

Halfords asked sustainability expert Mike Berners-Lee and his team at Small World Consulting (SWC) to estimate the carbon benefit of bringing 100,000 second-hand bikes back into service, on the assumption that they would be purchased in preference to 100,000 new bikes. According to SWC’s report – The Environmental Benefits of Giving Bikes a Second Life – every 100,000 second-hand bikes sold through the Halfords Xchange will result in an estimated 16,000 tonnes of carbon saved, versus 100,000 new bikes being purchased.

SWC considered only the benefits arising from extending the life of a used bike versus the manufacture of a new bike. They did not consider the potential additional benefits that may arise from people who buy second-hand bikes switching away from more carbon-intensive forms of transport, nor the health benefits related to having access to a bike.

Read more: MiRider on its new facility, hand-assembled bikes and its expectations for 2022

According to Mintel, 23% of people who bought a bike in 2021 bought second-hand, up from 17% in 2020.

“There is a clear role for a trusted brand to get good bikes back on the road, helping more people access one of the greenest and healthiest forms of transport there is,” said Stapleton. “The government says it wants to usher in a new golden age of cycling. Getting unused bikes back on the road is one small contribution to achieving that goal.”

Rebecca Morley

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