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Cheapest COVID tests – the hidden costs explained

Cheapest COVID tests – the hidden costs explained

When you need a COVID test package, how do you know what to look for?

Is it as simple as searching ‘Cheapest COVID test in UK’? Or is there more to consider? As you might have guessed, cheap COVID tests sometimes have hidden costs.

What’s the best test to buy?

It depends on your circumstances – cost, convenience and the reliability of your provider are all factors to consider. And, you need to know if it’s the correct testing package for your travel circumstances too. Here’s a handy checklist to consider before you make a purchase:

  1. Choose a Government-approved provider – check the frequently-updated list here
  2. Find out where your tests will be analysed
  3. Get the right test type for you (rapid antigen test or PCR)

Choose a Government-approved test provider

First, you’ll need to choose a test provider who is on the Government-approved list so your result is valid. MyHealthChecked is an approved provider, of course.

Take particular care with the cheapest COVID tests – double check that your provider is on the list and it’s not a scam. If the price seems ‘too good to be true’, it probably is! Beware of deceptive offers for COVID tests with ‘quick turn arounds’ and fake COVID recovery certificates.

Check where your COVID tests are analysed

It’s important to look at whether the test provider has their own lab facilities and can fulfil all testing promised. Demand for COVID tests fluctuates, so there may be a delay with despatch and analysis of testing kits if the provider you choose is not in control of their lab facilities.

If your results are delayed, you’ll be putting friends and family at risk – and will be asked to take a second set of tests at your own expense – so that cheap COVID test kit might end up a false economy, and could delay your travel schedules.

Can’t I just use NHS lateral flow tests?

No. The travel rules state that you need to buy your own PCR or Lateral Flow testing from a Government-approved provider to be compliant with travel regulations.

Where can I buy COVID tests?

MyHealthChecked offers rapid antigen test or PCR for fit-to-fly purposes as well as rapid antigen tests and COVID recovery certificates for general testing. We are a Government-approved provider, and run our own labs – so you can be really confident about getting your test and results in good time. You can also pick up a MyHealthChecked COVID test packages in Boots or Lloyds if you’d prefer.


GOV.UK – Guidance – Red list of countries and territories

GOV.UK – Booking and staying in a quarantine hotel if you’ve been in a red list country

GOV.UK – Guidance – Travel to England from another country during coronavirus (COVID-19)

GOV.UK – Guidance – Approved COVID-19 vaccines and countries with approved COVID-19 proof of vaccination

GOV.UK – Press release – Lateral flow tests to be introduced for vaccinated international arrivals