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What free things do you get at 60 or older?

20th March 2024

If you are approaching your 60s or have already entered that age bracket, free travel passes and medical care are just a few things you can enjoy. Getting older has many benefits, and receiving services for free is just one of them.

This guide has collated some of the best free things for 60-year-olds who live in the UK. So, if you’re looking to travel across the country or pick up some new bits for your home, it is worth checking this guide before you book or buy, as there might be something you can get for free.

Free travel passes for over 60s

When it comes to free things for 60-year-olds, one of the major benefits of reaching this age is being able to enjoy certain free travel methods.

Free bus pass

Free bus passes are one of the best free things when you are 60 or older that you can get in the UK.

In recent years, the rules around free bus passes for older people have changed, but currently, in England, you can claim a free older person’s bus pass when you reach the female state pension age, which is currently 66, regardless of gender. This gives you free local bus travel anywhere in England.

Residents in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland can get an older person’s bus pass for free travel at the age of 60.

ALSO READ: The ultimate guide to days out using public transport

Free travel for London residents

If you live inside or outside of London, you can get the Freedom Pass, which allows you to travel for free on the bus, tram, DLR, and most rail services in the capital, as well as getting free local bus travel across England.

For people living in London in one of the 32 London Boroughs, the 60+ Oyster Card means you can ride the capital’s public transport for free.

Free travel in Scotland

Scotland offers free travel on national bus services, and in some areas, older people can enjoy free rail travel.

To access free train travel, you will need to get a National Entitlement Card, and you can apply for one on the ScotRail website.

Free rail travel in Wales

People over 60 can benefit from free bus travel in Wales with a Concessionary Travel Pass. The pass also allows for free rail travel in some areas.

Free rail travel includes routes from Wrexham to Hawarden Bridge, Shrewsbury to Swansea, or Llandudno to Blaenau Ffestiniog.

You should check the Transport for Wales website as some routes come with stipulations – such as only being able to travel for free from October to March.

ALSO READ: How accessible are the UK’s train stations?

Free tickets for attractions and activities

There is an array of amazing activities that won’t cost you a penny, and featured in this section are some of the best free attractions that older adults can visit in the UK.

Free museums and galleries you can visit

The UK is home to some of the world’s best museums and art galleries, allowing visitors to enjoy artefacts dating back millions of years. They offer older adults and people of all ages a great day out.

Here is a list of museums and art galleries that you can visit for free:

ALSO READ: Top accessible attractions in the UK

Free outdoor attractions

If you would prefer to explore places outdoors, there are a variety of attractions you can enjoy. Here are some popular attractions you can visit for free:

Free attractions for sports fans

If you love sports and fancy a day out with your family, there are sports-themed attractions which are completely free that you can visit. Here are a few of the popular attractions to visit:

ALSO READ: Every premier league team ranked by accessibility

Free food for over 60s 

With many older people having more free time following retirement, it is an opportunity to fill it by doing some of the things you enjoy the most. For example, socialising with friends and family over a delicious meal can be a great way to stay connected to the people around you. Even though eating out can sometimes be expensive, if you are over 60, there are many restaurants where you can get a great discount or even a free meal.

Free meals out

If you frequently wish to dine out, obtaining a Tastecard is a wise choice. While not exclusive to seniors, Tastecards are highly valuable, offering up to a 50% discount on food or 2-for-1 meals at over 6,000 restaurants in the UK. Sign up for a 90-day trial for just £1 or opt for the best value with an annual membership at £34.99. Many of the restaurants offer a 2for1 offer, meaning you can get a whole meal for free.

Independent pubs and country dining houses often feature pensioner lunches on specific days, discounted afternoon teas or a 2for1 deal. Verify these offerings by calling, checking their websites, or inquiring locally. Many places display these deals on boards outside, and there's no harm in asking the staff!

As one of the largest supermarkets in the UK, Asda extends a special offer to individuals aged over 60. Customers in this age group can purchase soup and a bread roll for just £1, and they also have the privilege of enjoying unlimited tea and coffee for free at any of Asda's 205 cafés.

ALSO READ: The best discounts for over 60s in the UK

Free drinks

In partnership with Caffè Nero, Waitrosehas a hot drink offer for members of its myWaitrose loyalty scheme, which is free to join. To benefit from this offer, customers need to bring their own cups to avoid a charge for a reusable one, and there is no minimum spend requirement to receive the complimentary drink.

Free services for over 60s in health and fitness

As you get older, it is important that you continue to stay fit and look after your health. In the UK, many free services are available to people over 60, ranging from free eye tests to free health checks.

Free prescriptions

If you are over 60, any medicine prescribed by a doctor is free anywhere in the UK. To get your free prescriptions, you will need to tell the chemist at the till and fill in any forms for the prescription.

You may be asked to show proof of age, so you will need to bring some form of identification.

Free eye tests

When you are 60, another free thing that you can benefit from is free eye tests. You are entitled to a free NHS-funded eye test every two years, and you should book your appointment as normal and then notify the staff that you are eligible for a free test on arrival.

The likes of Specsavers offer free eye tests for those over 60, but you can find out more information about free eye tests on the NHS website.

Free NHS dental care

Over 60s in England could be entitled to free NHS dental care, but this depends on what benefits you are receiving. You can find out more about whether you can get free dental care by reading this NHS guide.

In Wales, if you are 60 or over, you can get free dental examinations, but any subsequent treatment as a result of the complimentary examination does carry the appropriate charge. You can read more about the free dental examinations in Wales here.

Everyone in Scotland is entitled to free NHS dental examinations (including review examinations). For some patients, all treatment is completely free. You can read this guide to find out more about who is entitled to the free treatments.

Free hearing

Hearing loss affects one in six people in the UK, and it is recommended that when you reach the age of 60, you have a hearing check every two years to keep an eye on your hearing.

At Boots, if you are over 50, you can book a free hearing test and ear health check. You can visit the Boots website to book the free hearing test. Alternatively, you can explore their online hearing test if you have any worries about your hearing. Specsavers also offers everyone a free hearing test, regardless of your age, and also has a discreet online version too.

Free health checks

The NHS Health Check is a free check-up of your overall health, and it can tell you whether you're at higher risk of getting certain health problems.

If you’re aged 40 to 74 and do not have a pre-existing health condition, you should be invited to an NHS Health Check by your GP or local council every five years.

The health check will usually take around 20 to 30 minutes, and it will include:

  • Measuring your height and weight
  • Measuring your waist
  • A blood pressure test
  • A cholesterol test
  • You may also get your blood sugar level tested

Free online fitness classes

It is important to stay fit and active as you age, and if you have limited mobility or are a wheelchair user, you don’t have to leave your home to try a fitness class.

In today's digital world, there are lots of free online fitness classes available for older people. Below are just a few you could try:

ALSO READ: Free online resources for exercise

Free swim and gym sessions

In some areas across the UK, free swimming and gym classes are offered to people over 60.

Southwark Council, for example, offers residents free swimming and gym facilities in their leisure centres all day on Fridays and from 2 pm to closing time on Saturdays and Sundays.

Adults over 60 can also take part in Silver sessions for free throughout the week, whilst residents with a disability that meet their eligibility criteria can use the leisure centres seven days a week.

ALSO READ: How swimming can help improve your fitness

Free shopping items for over 60s 

There is no denying that everyone loves to save money where they can, and by being over 60, you can be entitled to some great discounts and even some freebies.

Discounts at the supermarket

Iceland has taken the lead as the first supermarket to introduce exclusive discounts for individuals aged over 60. Every Tuesday, customers in this age group can enjoy a 10% discount on their shopping in Iceland, with no minimum spending requirement. This discount is also applicable at The Food Warehouse branches. To avail themselves of these special discounts, customers need to present proof of age, such as a driver’s license or bus pass.

Membership benefits

B&Q, known for its extensive range of home improvement products, provides enticing deals every Wednesday. By becoming a member of the Diamond B&Q Club, customers receive emailed vouchers, gain access to exclusive offers, and enjoy a 10% discount on key cuttings, along with discounts on van rentals.

ATS Euromaster caters to the automotive needs of individuals aged over 60 through its Club 60 program. Members of this club benefit from year-round discounts on various car-related services, including MOTs, air con recharge, wheel alignment, and a 15% discount on servicing, brakes, steering and suspension, exhausts, batteries, and more.

Free items over 60s can get for the home

With the cost of living gradually getting more expensive, making sure bills are paid can become a worry, as are unexpected costs which may not have been saved for. However, there are some schemes and discounts to which those who are over 60 are entitled.

Free TV license

Various TV licence discounts and concessions are available, and your eligibility depends on your individual circumstances. If you are 75 or older and receive Pension Credit, you are entitled to a free TV licence that covers both you and anyone residing with you, regardless of their age. For those who are blind or have a severe sight impairment, a 50% discount on the licence is applicable, but the licence must be in your name if you live with others to receive the discount.

In the case of individuals residing in care homes or sheltered housing, there is the option of an Accommodation for Residential Care (ARC) licence, priced at £7.50. This licence is necessary only if you watch TV in your separate accommodation rather than in communal spaces like a residents' lounge. To determine whether your care home or sheltered housing qualifies for an ARC licence, it is recommended to consult with your warden or administrator.

Free energy payment

The Winter Fuel Payment, allocated annually and exempt from taxes, is intended for households with individuals born on or before 24 September 1957 (for the 2023-24 period). Its purpose is to assist in offsetting winter heating expenses. While this payment is typically disbursed automatically, you can complete a claim form if you believe you have not received it.

Discounted vet expenses

Veterinary expenses can become quite costly in case of unexpected issues, and even routine check-ups and vaccinations contribute to the overall cost. It is always worth checking with your nearby veterinary practice about potential discounts for individuals over 60.

Dogs Trust provides a 50% discount with their subscription, amounting to just £12.50 per year. This membership comes with several advantages, including unrestricted access to a 24-hour emergency advice service staffed by veterinary professionals, third-party public liability insurance for your dog, a complimentary Canine Care Card ensuring Dogs Trust's commitment to caring for your dog in the event of your passing, and a subscription to the Wag! Magazine, delivered three times a year.

ALSO READ: Tips for retired first-time pet owners

Free payment for grandparents

If you're among the 63% of grandparents providing care for your grandchildren, you may qualify for additional tax credits amounting to £250 each year. Additionally, this benefit can be retroactively applied as far back as 2011. To meet the eligibility criteria, you must dedicate some weekly time to caring for a grandchild under the age of 12.

Free handyperson service

For individuals aged 60 or older or those with a disability, several councils offer a handyperson service. This service can cover minor works to a home, such as replacing light bulbs and other small DIY jobs.

ALSO READ: How to make a home safe for older people with limited mobility

Hopefully, this guide has highlighted some services and things you can benefit from if you are 60 and over.

This article was brought to you by Handicare, working with Age Co, who provide a range of mobility products for the home, such as stairliftshomelifts and bathing solutions. For more information about how they can help make your home more accessible, please get in touch.

For more tips, guides, and advice, make sure to visit our news page.

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.