British commuters' £1 billion bike storage problem

  • Over half of cyclists (56 per cent) use their bike to commute in to work, with a fifth doing so every day
  • Those who cycle in to work every day typically spend £873 on their bike – 58 per cent higher than average
  • But commuting cyclists are struggling to store their bikes and 2.1 million people cycle less frequently due to lack of facilities available

New research1 from Direct Line Cycling Insurance reveals that commuters are being increasingly discouraged from cycling into work by a number of factors, and those who do ride in face a dilemma on where to store their bike. While an estimated £1 billion worth of bikes are used to commute every day across the UK, the research suggests that as many as 1.5 million cyclists are deterred by the lack of bike storage facilities at their workplace.

The research shows a correlation between the amount spent on bikes and frequency of using it to commute to work, with those who cycle into work everyday spending £873 on average on their bike – 58 per cent higher than average (£554) and more than twice the amount (108 per cent) spent by those who cycle into work less than once a month (£420). The study also reveals that Britain is a nation of bike lovers, with nearly two million people (13 per cent of cyclists) having spent more than £1,000 on their bike.

Over half of cyclists (56 per cent) use their bike to commute to work, with a fifth (20 per cent, or 1.2 million) cycling every day. However, some 2.1 million Brits (20 per cent), cycle to work less frequently due to the lack of facilities available in their place of work. 1.5 million commuters (14 per cent) state that their office doesn’t have enough cycle storage or that the storage facilities were taken away, with a further eight per cent revealing that they used to have storage, but it has since been removed due to reduced office space. Additionally, 12 per cent said that their office does not have enough showers and changing rooms to accommodate their cycling needs.

Table one: Biggest barriers to cycle to work more frequently 

Barriers to cycling to work

Percentage of people

Number of people

The office not having suitable storage facilities

20 per cent

2.1 million

The office being too far away

29 per cent

3.1 million

Variable weather conditions

25 per cent

2.6 million

Dangerous cycle route

25 per cent

2.6 million

Difficult cycle route

17 per cent

1.8 million

Not having time

15 per cent

1.6 million

The office not having suitable showering or changing facilities

12 per cent

1.3 million

Having no interest in cycling to work more frequently

10 per cent

1.1 million

All cyclists who are prevented from cycling to work more frequently

85 per cent

9.1 million

Direct Line Cycling Insurance, 2022

Despite this, it is clear that cycling to work is the most cost-effective transport option, with the estimated cost of storing a bike for the year being as little as £78, which is a fraction of the average annual cost of public transport2 (£348).

Vincent Guadagnino, Communications Manager for Direct Line Cycling Insurance said: “There has been a huge rise in the number of commuters choosing to cycle since the pandemic. However, despite the considerable health, cost and environmental benefits, the research suggests that millions of adults are being deterred from cycling in to work.


“With more than £1 billion worth of bikes left unattended when their owners are at work every day, it is vital that cyclists take the necessary steps to secure their bike. If secure facilities aren’t available, we would encourage cyclists to invest more in equipment such as locks or specialist cycling insurance to ensure that cyclists are still able to do what they love without having to worry about the safety of their bike.”

Direct Line Cycling Insurance provides comprehensive cover for bikes both at and away from home, paying out for theft and accidental or malicious damage. For further information on policies or approved safety measures, please visit


Notes to Editors

1          Research conducted by Opinium among a nationally representative sample of 2,000 adults between 5th-8th April

2          Estimates based on the 2020 publication of the ONS’s Family Spending dataset, published March 2021. Figure is based on weekly average expenditure for rail and tube fares (7.3.1), bus and coach fares (7.3.2) and combined fares (7.3.3) spread across the year.

For further information please contact:

Chelsey Wheeler
Deputy Head of News and Issues – Direct Line  

Tel: 01651 832 095

Email: [email protected]

Direct Line

Started in 1985, Direct Line became the first UK insurance company to use the telephone as its main channel of communication. It provides motor, home, travel and pet insurance cover direct to customers by phone or on-line.

Direct Line Cycling Insurance is arranged by Gator Bikesure Ltd, a subsidiary of Two Three Bird, who provides insurance solutions across the UK. The insurance is underwritten by Red Sands Insurance Company (Europe) Ltd. Gator Bikesure Ltd is an Appointed Representative of Compass Underwriting Ltd who is Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority under firm reference number 304908. Red Sands Insurance Company (Europe) Ltd is Authorised and Regulated by the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission. Gator Bikesure Ltd (Company Number: 09492364) registered address: 3rd Floor, 114a Cromwell Road, London, United Kingdom, SW7 4AG. Customers can find out more about our Direct Line Cycling Insurance products or get more information by visiting or calling 0330 460 0277.

Two Three Bird has operated in the cycling insurance industry for over 13 years and holds a presence on four continents, providing leading specialist cyclist insurance solutions to partners in South Africa, Australia, North America, the United Kingdom and Europe.