Not all of us have stacks of cash lying around that we’re keen to spend all at once. With laser eye surgery costing between £1,195 and £2,875 per eye on average, it’s good to know there are finance options that you can pay back in bitesize chunks.
Laser eye surgery financing acts like a loan. But you don’t need to go to a bank. Payment plans let you spread the cost of eye surgery over 10 months to four years, which you can repay in monthly installments you can stomach – say, between £30 and £70.
So which reputable eye clinics are offering laser eye surgery on finance? How does it work? And are there any hidden costs to watch out for?
This article is designed to help answer all your questions about seeking laser eye surgery on finance – and find the eye clinic that’s right up your street. You can also use our simple tool to find a quote for receiving eye surgery at a top-rated clinic near you.
Our no-nonsense guide to laser eye surgery on finance in the UK covers:
- Top Clinics Offering Finance
- How Does It Work?
- What If I Have Bad Credit?
- Is It Really Interest Free?
- What About Hidden Costs?
- Eye Surgery On Finance FAQs
- Find Laser Eye Surgery Financing Near You
1. Who Offers Laser Eye Surgery On Finance in the UK?
Typically, it’s the high street eye clinics that are able to win customers with finance plans. With practices up and down the country, it’s easier for the bigger players in laser eye surgery to provide reliable finance options.
Independent laser eye companies – even popular eye hospitals such as Moorfields Private – often do not have the infrastructure from their handful of clinics to provide the full spectrum of payment options for eye surgery.
Popular places for finding laser eye surgery on finance include the usual suspects: Optical Express, Optegra and Optimax. But there are many more you may not have heard of yet, with deals worth comparing.
Here is the full list of where you can find LASIK eye surgery on finance, based on the leading 50 eye clinics in the UK:
|Clinic||Cheapest Finance Payment (per eye)||Shortest Finance Payment (per eye)||Deposit||Total Cost of Surgery (per eye)|
|Optical Express||£13.20 /mo |
72 months (11.5% APR)
|£69.50 /mo |
10 months (0% APR)
|Optegra||£36.35 /mo |
48 months (9.9% APR)
|£119.67 /mo |
12 months (0% APR)
|£179.50 (10%) or|
|Optimax||£42.38 /mo |
36 months (0% APR)
|£152.55 /mo |
10 months (0% APR)
|Ultralase||£42.38 /mo |
36 months (0% APR)
|£63.56 /mo |
24 months (0% APR)
|Centre for Sight||£77 /mo |
24 months (0% APR)
|£77 /mo |
24 months (0% APR)
|London Vision Clinic||£65.50 /mo |
36 months (0% APR)
|£196 /mo |
12 months (0% APR)
The small print: For ease of comparison, we have only included the cost of LASIK treatment, and – in line with industry standards – these prices are per eye. For both eyes, the final cost can be double these quotes.
LASIK eye surgery costs a similar amount to LASEK at most clinics we surveyed. But lens replacement surgery – which is often recommended for those over 40, and for complex eye conditions – can be 50% pricier, on average.
☝ Get yourself a tailored quote from an eye expert and receive free eye tests worth £880, using our simple quote tool here.
2. How Does Laser Eye Surgery On Finance Work?
Laser eye surgery finance options come in many different shapes and sizes, depending on which treatment you’re going for (LASIK or cataract surgery), how much you would like to pay (£100 or £30 a month), and for how long (from 10 up to 48 months).
So, what does that look like? Taking Optegra’s financing as an example, you could pay £36 over 48 months, plus a 20% deposit of £359 upfront. That would cover treatment costs of £2,104 (at 9.9% APR) for LASIK or LASEK surgery.
How will you pay? You can often choose between providing your debit or credit card details, or setting up a standing order on your bank account. If you opt for the latter, most clinics will require you to create a standing order at least a week before the surgery date, and provide them with evidence.
3. What If I Have Bad Credit?
A poor credit rating generally isn’t a problem for seeking laser eye surgery finance, as eye clinics rarely perform a credit check. More important is being able to prove that you’ll be able to pay the monthly installments going forward. And since monthly payments for eye surgery can be as little as £9 a month (for LASEK at Optical Express), the risk of defaulting for most people is extremely low.
Am I eligible? The terms and conditions of your financing will be unique to the clinic that lends to you. But as a rule of thumb, you’ll need evidence of your employment, and UK resident status in order to be considered for a payment plan.
Here is a list of documents the eye clinic may require as part of your application to pay on credit:
- A UK bank statement showing your salary (within the last month)
- A utility bill (within 3 months)
- A passport or driving licence
Would you be able to provide these documents? Good, then you stand a decent chance of finding laser eye surgery finance in the UK.
4. Is It Really Interest Free?
Well, that depends on how long you decide to pay your loan back in, which you’ll usually determine based on how much you feel comfortable paying per month. The longer you take to pay off your finance plan, the less your monthly installments.
Many clinics will offer interest-free credit for the first 10 months to one year. Some are even generous enough to cover you for two years at 0% interest, though this is rare. When interest does apply, it’s usually somewhere between 9% and 11% APR. APR stands for annual percentage rate, and is the yearly rate you’re charged for borrowing a loan.
Can I repay the balance early? Yes, over-payments are usually an option for those wanting to clear their debt before their due date.
What happens if I cannot pay my loan back? Your finance provider will have experience in dealing with missed payments, and you’ll want to talk to them directly for guidance.
5. Are There Any Hidden Costs?
No clinic should tuck any costs away. You can see clear financing prices on the websites of many of the clinics listed on this page. Included in the eye surgery cost is usually the full cost of treatment, and aftercare such as eye drops for one month and a 24-hour helpline, but always check with your provider at your initial consultation. Look out for:
- Interest – As discussed, you can choose between interest-free credit and pay monthly installments with APR, depending on your length of repayment.
- Deposit – It’s typical to pay 10% to 20% of the total cost of treatment to secure the surgery. That means you can expect to pay between £180 and £360 upfront, on average.
- Consultation – The initial consultation – where you can meet your eye surgeon, check your eligibility, and receive a tailored quote for surgery – is often free at high street clinics, but rarely at eye hospitals.
- Eye tests – You’ll need an up-to-date eye assessment to check which treatment would be best for you (if any), which usually happens at your pre-surgery assessment.
Never sign any payment contracts until you’re sure you understand all the prices involved.
So, Will I End Up Paying More? Possibly. But don’t worry, that’ll be your choice. You can decide between paying back no more than the full quoted cost of surgery – usually within a year – or leaving yourself some more breathing space, but accepting interest of around 10%.
For some people, it’s a better deal to pay a little extra if they get to spread the cost of the treatment, especially if this means being able to afford surgery soon, and enjoying a couple more years glasses free. Others, however, would prefer to pay as little as possible.
6. Laser Eye Surgery On Finance FAQs
1. How much does laser eye surgery cost in the UK?
Today, most eye hospitals and clinics will quote you somewhere between £595 and £2,495 per eye for the most common LASIK or LASEK surgeries – if you find transparent price lists, that is. The reality is many people end up paying higher than these amounts, with higher prescriptions having higher laser eye surgery costs.
Then there are the prices for lens replacement surgery – with cataract surgery being the most popular treatment – which tend to range from £1,995 to as high as £6,500 per eye. That’s because the lenses involved in implantable contact lenses need to perform the complex job that our eyes do daily – and these alone can cost a four-figure sum.
2. Who offers the best laser eye surgery in the UK?
Of course, only you can decide which eye clinic is right for you, and that will depend, in part, on where you live. To help you decide for yourself, Lasik Eyes holds the UK’s largest collection of independent laser eye surgery reviews – over 8,900 since 2002. You don’t want to be trekking across the country – and nor do you need to. From Optical Express to Optegra, some of the best eye clinics will quite possible be on a high street near you. You can use our free tool to find your match.
3. Can I receive eye surgery on the NHS?
Sadly, laser eye surgery in not available on the NHS to treat long- or short-sightedness. In these cases, the General Medical Council (GMC) recommends the less costly alternatives of glasses or contact lenses. That’s because it considers eye surgery a cosmetic rather than medical surgery.
There are a few exceptions, however, where there is a medical need for treatment. Though these cases are very rare, such as if you suffer from Parkinson’s, and are unable to put glasses on, or if you can prove that not receiving treatment would lead to blindness. If in doubt, it’s worth talking to your GP or a trusted eye specialist to find out what options are available to you.
4. Where else can I find cheap laser eye surgery?
Payment plans are a safe and budget-friendly way of financing laser eye surgery. But there are a couple of other steps to finding more affordable laser eye surgery. With NHS funding all but dead in the water, the main alternative to monthly payment options is to see if your private medical insurance will cover the costs of your ophthalmic surgery.
The good news is many eye clinics today team up with healthcare providers to take over at least part of these costs. The bad news is: how many people have private health insurance these days?
7. How Can I Find Laser Eye Finance Near Me?
Once you’ve got a taste for the costs involved, how to find a well-reviewed, reputable laser eye surgery clinic near you is the question on everyone’s lips.
If you’d like to pay the lowest possible monthly payments, Optical Express lets you go as low as £9 a month (over six years). Or, if you’re keen to max out your interest-free credit, the London Vision Clinic is giving out 0% finance for as long as 24 months.
☝ To filter through over 8,900 laser eye surgery reviews on Lasik Eyes to find the top-rated clinic offering finance near you, use our simple quote tool here. Try it now.