Free Eye Tests

Including Specsavers

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Important. Do you qualify for a free eye test on the NHS?

Some people are always entitled to free eye tests, incl anyone under 16 (or up to 19 if in full time education), anyone over 60, those with certain medical conditions (eg, diabetes, glaucoma) and those claiming certain benefits (eg, income-based jobseeker's allowance, income support). For full information, see the NHS website.

What's more if you live in Scotland, eye tests have been free for everyone since 2006.

  • You can get a voucher for a free eye test (norm £30) at M&S Opticians* stores until Fri 31 Jan. There are currently only six M&S Opticians branches (find your nearest*), but the free eye test voucher is valid at all of them. If you don't live near one, see our Free Eye Tests page for others.

    M&S recommends booking an eye test in advance and once you've booked your appointment online, the voucher will come up for you to save. It's probably worth mentioning the voucher when you arrive at your appointment. M&S has confirmed that there's no obligation to make a purchase after your eye test.

    M&S won't always be the cheapest place to buy your specs though - see our Cheap Glasses page for the latest deals.

    Can I get a free eye test on the NHS?

    If you're under 16 (or up to 19 and in full-time education), over 60, or if you live in Scotland, you're entitled to free eye tests on the NHS.

  • You can get a voucher for a free eye test (norm £15-£25) at selected Specsavers* stores until Tue 31 Mar. Enter your postcode on the eye test booking page* and a list of local participating stores should appear - if your branch isn’t there, then it’s not participating. We've asked Specsavers how many stores are participating and we'll update this when it confirms.

    Once you’ve selected a store, you should then see the free eye test voucher (you may need to scroll down) and you'll need to book the test in advance either online or by calling your branch. It's worth mentioning the voucher when you book. Some stores will only give a free eye test when you buy a pair of £69+ glasses, so check if the voucher includes this requirement before booking – if it does, the voucher will clearly state, ‘Free eye test when you buy a complete pair of glasses’.

    Specsavers won't always be the cheapest place to buy your specs though - see our Cheap Glasses page for the latest deals. If you don't live near a Specsavers, see our Free Eye Test page for where else you can get one. 

    Can I get a free eye test on the NHS?

    If you're under 16 (or up to 19 and in full-time education), over 60, or if you live in Scotland, you're entitled to free eye tests on the NHS.

    • Cannot be exchanged for cash, used with other vouchers or eye-health clinic appointments or redeemed by those entitled to a free NHS-funded eye test. One per person.

  • You can get a voucher for a £10 eye test (norm £25) at Boots*, which you can use in any Boots store with an optician (find your nearest*), until 11.59pm on Mon 31 Aug. 

    Simply go via the link above and print the voucher or show it on your phone when you go to your appointment – you can book this online, at a Boots Opticians store, or by calling 0345 125 3752. It's possible Boots staff may try to sell you new glasses, but Boots has confirmed there's no obligation to act on its advice, or to make a purchase.

    However, if you do wish to buy glasses after your eye test, the voucher will get you the eye test for free when buying any prescription specs, plus £20 off when you spend £90 or more on any pair of glasses or prescription sunglasses.

    You can't use this offer if you're under 16 (or up to 18 and in full-time education), over 60, have been diagnosed with diabetes or glaucoma, or if you live in Scotland, as you're entitled to free eye tests through the NHS.

    Don't live near a Boots Opticians? See our Free Eye Test page for more. See our Cheap Glasses page if you need some new specs.

    • Only one free eye test per person, subject to appointment availability.

  • If you work on a computer or laptop - sometimes technically known as a VDU (visual display unit) or DSE (display screen equipment) - for the majority of the day, you could be entitled to a free eye test from your employer.

    The Health and Safety Executive has rules in place which mean that your employer may be obliged to offer you a free eye test if you ask for it. Each employer will have a different arrangement for this - some will let you book your own eye test and claim the money back on expenses, while others may prefer that all staff are seen by the same optician. It's best to speak to your employer and ask how it works for you. 

    Some employers will also pay for, or contribute towards, a pair of glasses if you need them to carry out your work. Again, it's best to ask your employer how this works for your company.

    Remember to always keep your receipts as these may be needed, particularly if you need to claim the costs back yourself.

What to look out for with prescriptions

By law you're entitled to your prescription after having an eye test and cannot be forced to buy glasses or contact lenses from the retailer the optician works for. However some opticians carry out extra assessments such as eye photos, for which they may charge, so always double check the total price in advance. Prescriptions have a 'lifespan' of two years.

Pay less for specs

If it turns out you do need a new or different prescription don't make a purchase straight away. First see our Cheap Glasses deals and Cheap Contact Lenses guide to make sure you get the best deal possible.