Due to coronavirus restrictions, some branches might have suspended booking requests or may not be offering free eye tests, so check ahead of booking.
Here's everything you need to know about getting a free eye test in the UK - and how to nab yours now. Please note, not all high street opticians offer this complimentary service, so it's always best to double-check with your local branch before booking your appointment.
Boots and Vision Express eye tests
Did you know that most high street opticians offer free eye tests in the UK, funded by the NHS? They can be pretty quiet about it, but it's a good and convenient way to grab yourself a freebie and detect if you have any eye problems. To start, they'll ask you a few questions to ensure you're eligible for an NHS-funded free eye test - but even if you're not, they sometimes have free eye test promotions for everyone, so look out for those. Before booking, make sure you check your eye test will be free with no strings attached.
You can get a free eye test at Boots or Vision Express - it's super easy to book your appointment online, or simply, go into your local opticians and check what free eye test vouchers and options they offer.*
Free eye test: Boots Opticians
Most high street opticians offer free eye tests: get yours from your local Boots. If you're not eligible and your local branch isn't running a promotion, it costs £25. For more information call 0345 125 3752.
Free eye test: Vision Express
Get your free NHS funded eye test from Vision Express. If you’re not eligible and your local Vision Express branch isn’t running a promotion, it costs £25. A contact lens check-up costs £35 unless you’re a member of their Complete Contact Care subscription plan. For more information call your local store.
*Please note these are just standard eye tests and don't include a contact lens check-up or fitting. Our exclusive premium eye health package includes both services and you can easily book your appointment here.
Specsavers eye test
Another high street optician, Specsavers, sometimes offers a free eye test. They have put their free eye test offer on hold for now, but they are providing NHS-funded free eye tests. To find out more about the Specsavers free eye test offer or to book your NHS free eye test appointment, simply call your local store or search online.
Eligibility for NHS-funded free eye tests
NHS funds free eye tests in the UK, for millions of eligible people across England, Scotland and Wales. Excluding branch promotions, most of the free eye tests provided by high street opticians are funded by the NHS. This means that if you have an eye condition or are on a low income, you're entitled to a free eye test, with an NHS optical voucher, at least every two years. So, why not make the most of it to lower your health costs?
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 valid NHS sight test if you have an existing eye condition, or are at risk of 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 - visit the NHS website to find out more about your entitlement to an NHS voucher. This voucher will not cover the cost of your glasses or contact lenses.
Free eye tests for students
If you're 16, 17 or 18 years of age 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 (Boots, Vision Express and Specsavers), 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.
A more exclusive option: Our eye health package with David Clulow
Exclusively available to Vision Direct customers, enjoy two premium services for the price of one: a thorough eye test AND a contact lens check-up at no extra charge. This first-class eye health package is worth £50 but can be yours for only £25 - that's what most opticians charge for a standard eye test!
Each service will take 25 mins (50 in total), ensuring it will be thorough enough, without wasting your time. Plus, you get to enjoy access to aftercare, expert advice and David Clulow's fabulous range of designer glasses.
For more information on the important hygiene measures David Clulow have set up click here.
Here's how it works:
Step 1: Register or sign into your Vision Direct account to book your eye health package
Step 2: After your eye test & contact lens check-up, pay £25 at your selected store
Step 3: Enjoy access to aftercare, expert advice and a range of designer glasses
For more information, visit our common questions page (FAQs).
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 to keep track of the health of your eyes, and work out what prescription and eye care would suit you best.
Taking an online eye test beforehand might ease your mind, as you'll 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'll need to have a contact lens fitting that's a little different to a regular eye test. There, an ophthalmologist will actually measure the diameter of your eyes, to make sure the lenses fit your eyes and feel comfortable and let you know what type of lenses you'll need, including spherical for myopia or hyperopia, toric for astigmatism or multifocal for presbyopia.
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 dailies, two-weeklies or monthlies at a different retailer. We hate to brag, but with our hassle-free ordering service, next day delivery, free 365-day returns guarantee and super-friendly, UK-based customer care - it's hard to beat our deal. Oh, and we also offer a free contact lens trial!
Free eye drops
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.
Terms & conditions
The free eye tests advertised above are funded by the NHS, for those on the eligibility list - unless your local store is offering a free eye test promotion. The information stated was accurate as of 8 June 2021, although 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 restrictions may apply and some stores have not re-opened booking for routine eye tests due to pandemic closures. Eye test information will differ for Northern Ireland.