Re: Odd indeed
I've run into similar rules on company cars in Europe. Only one previous employer gave the option of taking a car or taking cash instead. All others were variations on the theme of 'take it or leave it' - in some cases not even offering public transport compensation (let alone a bicycle) as an alternative.
The holiday pay thing is also reasonably common in Europe - many countries will pay out an extra couple of weeks in summer and/or winter.