Due to COVID-19 restrictions, some branches might have suspended their booking requests whilst they’re safely reopening. Before you visit your local opticians for a free eye test, check online or give them a ring to see if their free eye test service has resumed.
Here's the thing: we really, really, reeeeally care about eye health. That's why we can't shut up about how important it is to be proactive with checking the quality of your vision, and cost shouldn't deter you from it. A lot of the time, it's hard to keep track of what is available to us and how to make the most of all free services out there - and that includes free eye tests. Fear not, we've got your back: here is everything you need to know about nabbing a free eye test in the UK.
Free eye tests for students
If you're aged 16, 17 or 18 and are in full-time education then great news: you're eligible for free NHS eye tests! How it works: the NHS works with high street opticians (Specsavers, Boots, Vision Express), as well as supermarkets (such as Tesco) to make free eye tests available for students. Those under 16 also get free NHS eye tests, whether they're studying or not.
More free eye tests: Specsavers, Boots and Vision Express
Did you know that most high street opticians also offer free eye tests in the UK, funded by the NHS? The problem is that most people don't! They can be pretty quiet about it, but it's a good and convenient way to grab yourself a freebie. Again, they will ask you a few questions, but you won't have to pay a penny. You can get a free eye test at Specsavers, or get a free eye test at Boots - it's super easy to book your appointment online. Or simply, go into your local opticians and check what free eye test options they offer.
Free eye test: Specsavers
Most high street opticians offer free eye tests: get yours from Specsavers.
Free eye test: Boots Opticians
Most high street opticians offer free eye tests: get yours from your local Boots. If you’re not eligible for an NHS-funded eye test, it costs £25. For more information call 0345 125 3752.
Free eye test: Vision Express
Most high street opticians offer free eye tests: get yours from your local Vision Express. If you’re not eligible for an NHS-funded eye test, it costs £25. For more information call your local store.
NHS-funded free eye tests
Did you know that the NHS funds free eye tests in the UK, for millions of eligible people across England, Scotland and Wales? That's right, they're not just for students! This means that if you have an eye condition, you are entitled to a free eye test at least every two years. So, why not make the most of it?
For example, if you or your partner receive:
- Income support
- Employment and support allowance
- Pension credit guarantee credit
- Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
- Universal credit and meet certain criteria
- Certain tax credits
You may also be entitled to a free NHS sight test if you have an existing eye condition, or are at risk of developing glaucoma - check if you're eligible here If you've already paid for a sight test but qualify for a free eye test via the NHS, you may also be able to claim a refund on your sight test fees.
What happens after an eye test?
If you haven't had your first eye examination yet, there's absolutely nothing to worry about. It's a routine process during which a trained optometrist measures the quality of your eyesight and works out what prescription and eye care would suit you best. Taking an online eye test beforehand might ease your mind, as you will get an idea of how they work. There are a million reasons why you should ensure you have regular eye tests or checkups and be proactive about your vision. Contact lenses are the easiest, most convenient option to go with, but you will need to have a contact lens fitting that's a little different to a regular eye test. There, opticians will actually measure the diameter of your eyes, to make sure the lenses fit your eyes and feel comfortable.
The only thing you need to look out for is what happens after your eye test. Once you get your results, it's well within your rights to leave and use your prescription to get your contacts at a different retailer. High street opticians will often try and sell you contacts there and then, often at a much higher price. Your best bet is to leave with your prescription and get your contacts from us: with prices up to 45% cheaper than the high street, free next day delivery and 24 hours a day, 7 days a week customer service, it's hard to beat our deal. Oh, and we also offer a free contact lens trial!
Terms & conditions
The free eye tests advertised above are funded by the NHS, for those on the eligibility list. The information stated was accurate as of 29/06/2020, but the pricing or list of participating branches may have changed since then. To avoid disappointment, check the terms and conditions of the branch you book with prior to booking, as additional and COVID-19 restrictions may apply and the free eye test service might currently be suspended.
First time ordering from us? Just add everclear eyedrops to your basket and enter code DROPME and ta-da: you get them free. We're nifty like that.