How does Swapfiets work?
Swapfiets is one of the relatively new developments in the world of subscription services. Swapfiets Delft was the first Swapfiets location. For a few tenners a month you can subscribe to Swapfiets. The bike is delivered with two locks and a key.
Moreover, your subscription gives you the right to “swap” for free. This means that you can have your bike repaired free of charge when something breaks due to wear and tear and normal use of the bike. Examples of such defects include a flat tire, a broken chain(case), a torn saddle and broken lights. Swapfiets aims to exchange, or repair, your bike within 24 hours.
Is Swapfiets cheaper than owning your own bike?
If you only have a bike for about two years, then Swapfiets can be cheaper. If you’ll own your bike for longer than 2 years, then getting your own bike is much cheaper. The cheapest Swapfiets subscription is €16,50 a month. That’s €198 a year and €396 in two years. You can buy a similar bike for about €400.
That means that after 2 years you unnecessarily pay € 198 per year extra for your bike. For this 198 euro you can always have your bike repaired for free by Swapfiets and there is an insurance. But a similar insurance and the cost of reparations in the first few years for your own bike are (almost always) a lot cheaper than € 198 per year.
If your Swapfiets is stolen, you’ll pay €40, as long as you used your padlock. If you didn’t, you pay €60 extra. If you forgot to lock your bike altogether, you pay €350. If your own bike gets stolen then you lose all your money regardless of how you locked it. You can insure your own bike for about € 5 a month, but according to the Fietsersbond (Cyclist’s Union) you’re better off investing that money into buying a good lock and always locking your bike to a bike rack or pole. Prices for a good lock start at around €60.
Swapfiets notice period
Swapfiets has a notice period of one month in every city. However, there are a few cities in the Netherlands where you have to take out a subscription for at least three months.