How to find the cheapest Covid tests for overseas travel

Find the cheapest Covid tests

Whether for overseas travel, or simply peace of mind

Whether you need a rapid antigen or PCR test for an upcoming holiday, or you're no longer eligible for free NHS tests to use at home, we've rounded up the cheapest private options here.

This is a controversial market where firms don't always advertise true prices. We've checked reviews and price accuracy (as much as we can). There are no certainties, so always do your own checks – please give feedback on firms, and let us know if you find a cheaper price. We've focused on mass-market providers – you may be able to find a cheaper local test, but again, always do your checks.

Non-travel tests: Cheapest private rapid antigen (lateral flow) tests

Need a test for travel? Jump down to the lateral flow and PCR tests for travel section
 
Many are no longer eligible for free tests from the NHS, though it depends on where you live, as well as a few other factors:
 
  • In England, you can no longer order free Covid tests via the NHS, even if you have symptoms. A small number of people are still eligible for free tests however, such as those with certain health conditions or those working in the NHS. See the NHS website for full details.

  • In Scotland and Wales, you can only order a test under certain circumstances, such as if you have Covid symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who's tested positive. See the NHS Scotland website and Welsh Government website for full details.

  • In Northern Ireland, you can still get free tests to check whether you have the virus, even if you don't have symptoms. See the NI Direct website for full details.

If you're no longer eligible for free Covid tests via the NHS, but still want to take a test for peace of mind, you'll need to pay for a private test. These start at £1.95 for a single rapid antigen test, but can be slightly cheaper if you buy in bulk. We've listed some of the cheapest providers below.

Important - these tests are not suitable for travel. If you're travelling to a country that requires you to take a test, see travel test prices below.

Home testing rapid antigen kits (not for travel)

LOCATION/PROVIDER TOTAL COST COST PER TEST
Superdrug £9.59 for five £1.92
£1.95 for one £1.95
Boots* £9.80 for five £1.96
£2 for one £2
Randox Health £20 for 10 (incl delivery) £2
Lloyds Pharmacy £11.29 for five £2.26
£2.29 for one £2.29
Testing for All £25.99 for 10 (incl delivery) £2.60
Within three hours of submitting result

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Tests for travel: Cheap 'fit to fly' PCR or rapid antigen tests (if your destination requires it)

Some countries require proof of a negative Covid test before they'll let you in, and may accept a PCR or rapid antigen test – for both, always check the standard your destination country requires (importantly, some don't accept home testing kits and require the test to be supervised). 

If you have a choice, rapid antigen tests are cheaper and you'll get the results quicker. For each country's requirements, see the Government's foreign travel advice.

You may have a small window from taking the test to departing (for some countries it's just 24-48 hours), so speed is key. But you'll often pay more for faster results.

Bear the following in mind when ordering tests for travel:

Cheap PCR 'fit to fly' tests for UK departures

If you need a PCR test, we've two tables - quicker but more expensive tests done at clinics, or scroll down for tests you can do at home...

Need a rapid antigen (lateral flow) test to travel? Jump down to see your options

At a clinic PCR tests: Pricier than at-home tests, but quicker as results can be analysed earlier

LOCATION/PROVIDER COST RESULT TURNAROUND
Liverpool One and London Waterloo station via Randox Health £55 By 11.59pm the day after
£65 By 11.59pm the same day
£80 Within 1-3 hours
London (O2 Arena and St Pancras station) via Collinson 
£55.20 for Amex cardholders via code AMEX20 Within 48 hours
£69 full price
Belfast, Dartford, Gateshead, London via Express Test* £59 By 10pm the day after
Bristol, Manchester, Oxford via Express Test* £69 By 10pm the day after
Boots stores* around the country (see full list) £79 Within 48 hours
Aberdeen, Burnley, Cardiff, Glasgow, Hatfield, Leeds, London, Northampton, Reading, Southampton via Express Test* £80 By 10pm the day after

Discount codes for private testers via airlines are only for their own passengers.

Home PCR test kits: Cheaper, but slower than clinics as it takes time to send/drop off samples. Plus some countries don't accept these

LOCATION/PROVIDER COST RESULT TURNAROUND
Randox Health £34.99 if you click & collect By 11.59pm the day after returning your test to a drop box
£43 (home test) via airline & holiday operator codes
£48 (home test)
Project Screen* £59 Within 24 hours of test received by lab 
Boots* £62 Within 24-48 hours of test received by lab 

Discount codes for private testers via airlines are only for their own passengers.

Cheap rapid antigen 'fit to fly' tests for UK departures

If choosing between home testing or going to a clinic, in this case at-home testing can be quicker, providing you order the test in plenty of time – you'll get immediate results and some could have it verified within 30 minutes, but you should check first. We've ordered the tables below by price, with the cheapest at-home tests first, though it's important to note not all countries accept home tests.

Home testing rapid antigen kits

LOCATION/PROVIDER COST TRAVEL CERTIFICATE TURNAROUND
Medicspot* £11.99 By 11.59pm the day you submit result
Randox Health £11 if you click & collect Within three hours of submitting result
£13.50 full price
Chronomics* £15 Within 30 minutes of submitting result
Project Screen* £16 for Virgin Atlantic customers, automatic discount Within three hours of submitting result
£17 full price
Testing For All £19  Within five hours of submitting result
C19 Testing £19.99 Within 12 hours of submitting result
Qured £19.80 for Heathrow passengers via code HEATHROW10 Within two hours of submitting result
£22 full price
Collinson £19.60 via discount codes Within two hours of submitting result
£24.50 full price

Discount codes for private testers via airlines are only for their own passengers.

At a clinic rapid antigen tests

LOCATION/PROVIDER COST RESULT TURNAROUND
Gatwick via Express Test* £33 via code LGWBTT2 Within 40 minutes
Glasgow, East Midlands Airport, Liverpool, London, Manchester Airport via Randox Health £35 Within 60 minutes
Belfast, Birmingham Airport, Heathrow via Express Test* £35 Within 40 minutes
East Midlands, Gatwick, Heathrow, Luton, Manchester, Stansted, London via Collinson £32 via discount codes Within 45-60 minutes
£40 full price
Aberdeen, Bristol, Burnley, Cardiff, Edinburgh Airport, Glasgow, Leeds and more via Express Test* £50 Within 40 minutes

Discount codes for private testers via airlines are only for their own passengers.

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