Discounts for carers
There are lots of exclusive discounts for carers, but it can be a minefield wading through them all. Take a look at our guide to money off. From carers’ discount cards, to carers go free. And deals on utilities to carer council tax discounts.
What discounts are there for carers?
There are many types of discounts available for carers. Carer's cards are one of the major ways that we can access reductions on goods and services, but they are not the only way. Read on to find out more.
What is a carer's ID card?
A carer’s card is simply a card that identifies us as being an unpaid carer. It is a form of ID to let supermarkets, GPs, pharmacies or attractions know that we are a carer, if proof is required.
At Mobilise, we do not offer Carers Cards. The first place to try would be your local carer support organisation. You should be able to find them by entering your postcode on the Carers Trust website. However, not all areas have a carers card scheme.
Alternatively, take a look at our 'Help for carers' guide to discover other financial and practical supports that may be available to support you in your caring role.
Free stuff for carers
There is an array of ‘free stuff’ available for carers. From free or discounted days out for carers, to discounts on council tax, gas and electric in some areas. Take a read and see where you could be saving some pennies and perhaps enjoying a day out!
Where can carers go free?
If we’re planning a day out with the person we care for, it’s always worth checking to find out if a ‘carer goes free’. Many attractions now offer this carer discount.
If we have a place in mind, the best thing to do is to call them directly and ask. Or, simply type into Google, e.g. “National Trust carers go free” - the top search result is a link directly to their ‘access pass’ and info on how carers can go free.
Carers go free at Blackpool Pleasure Beach
Aside from Blackpool’s notorious sandy beach in the UK, why not also plan a trip to Blackpool Pleasure beach. Carers get free admission into the park on the day whilst other members are advised to book an e-ticket in advance. We will need to show our DLA, PIP letter or a valid Blue Badge.
This is perfect because whilst at the ticket centre, we can also request for an EasyPass for the person we care for. This means the person we care for will not have to wait in long ride queues if they have any medical condition that prevents them from doing so.
Instead, they can enter and exit through the Speedy Gates, avoiding the main queue. Find out more about the eligibility for the EasyPass here.
Carers go free at the cinema
Did you know that as an unpaid carer, we can go to the cinema for free? Yes, that’s right! With a CEA card (which costs £6), we get free tickets to the cinema with the person we care for to provide assistance throughout the movie.
To apply, the person we care for must be receiving either:
Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
Attendance Allowance (AA)
Personal Independence Payments (PIP)
Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP)
We can find out more about our eligibility here.
We can also check to see if your local cinema have Theatre Access Passes. They may have free carers tickets
Secret Cinema also offers carers one free ticket, with proof via a DLA or PIP letter. A Blue Badge will also suffice. All we need to do is book before our arrival here. Take one step further from our day-to-day cinema experience and start experiencing a new secret world!
Carers go free at Chessington
If you haven’t been to Chessington, what are you waiting for? Carers are eligible for one free ticket if we are accompanying the person we care for. We’ll also need to show proof of disability for the person we care for
We can easily book our tickets online and then our carers tickets will be issued upon arrival. Start your booking process now!
Carers go free at Chester Zoo
Calling all the animal lovers! Chester Zoo, located in Cheshire, England. It’s one of the UK’s largest zoos, with over 350,000 animals for us to meet. There is plenty to do and most importantly, plenty of places to eat.
We can now also download their Chester Zoo Visitor app. This means we can ditch their paper map, and ask for directions directly through the app! Using an app as our guide is much more convenient, and will easily help us locate accessible facilities.
Carers go free at Disneyland Paris
We have all heard about the magic Disneyland Paris offers. And it is never too late to visit.
Carers go free at Edinburgh Zoo
Carers in our community have also said great things about Edinburgh Zoo. Edinburgh Zoo is open seven days a week. So we can pick a day that is not too busy to best suit us. From animals and attractions, to education and experiences, start planning our fun day out here.
And of course, carers are also offered free admission into the park providing we bring proof such as an Access card with a ‘+1’ symbol, or DLA letter on the day.
Carers go free at Jarrow Hall
Jarrow Hall, an Anglo-Saxon Farm, Village, and Bede Museum is located in South Tyneside, England. From glass exhibitions, different family events to seeing animals, it is perfect for a day out. And carers also get a free entry ticket!
Simply choose a carer ticket when booking.
Carers go free at Legoland
Legoland, Windsor, almost every kids favourite (and ours too). A place of fun which sparks our creativity and inspires. Build amazing memories with their rides and attractions, such as their ‘Flight of the Sky Lion’ ride. With over 55 rides, there is something for everyone, whether we love heights or not.
Just like the other attractions above, carers who show a proof of status letter as well as a photo ID will be able to enter for free.
Carers go free at National Trust
Carers in our community recommended the National Trust. Days out at National Trust include beautiful summer gardens (perfect for picnic spots), cafes and fun family activities such as nature trails. There’s even refreshing coastal walks if we are one to connect more with the ocean.
The National Trust has an Essential Companion card, which allows us to bring another companion with us and both will be free of charge. We don’t have to sign up for this card to be admitted free of charge but it does make it quicker and more convenient for us in the future!
It’s also important to note that although most National Trust locations no longer require pre-booking, some still do. Take a look at some of the places that require booking beforehand to avoid disappointment on the day!
Carers go free at Paignton Zoo
Perhaps you are closer to Paignton zoo in Devon? Good news, we also get free entry as a carer. We simply just need to bring our PIP, DLA or Blue Badge documents to prove our role as a carer.
Alongside various disabled toilet facilities, Paignton zoo also has us covered by offering a free wheelchair with a returnable deposit of £20. By pre-booking this, that’s one more thing we can tick off our to-do list!
Carers go free at RHS Garden Bridgewater
If you live close to the Greater Manchester area, you may want to check out the RHS Garden Bridgewater. Immerse yourself in the beauty of colourful gardens and their flower shows.
Carers can also go for free when accompanying loved ones. Carers are not required to provide proof of carer status for the gardens.
And we can simply email them for any further questions here.
Carers go free at Twycross Zoo
Twycross Zoo in Leicestershire is also a carer’s go-to place in our community. Meet different animals from around the world including reptiles and tortoises as part of their conservation breeding programme.
They also have various fun upcoming events for 2021 so we don’t just have to plan a one-off trip during the summer.
Plan a day with our loved ones and enter the zoo for free with a valid blue badge card or PIP letter. Just ensure we book in advance before arriving.
Carers go free at Woburn Safari Park
Another carer in our community highly recommended Woburn Safari Park and expressed her satisfaction with the service provided by staff.
Not only do they have an on-foot safari, they also have a road safari through so we can experience different wild animals freely roaming around from the comfort of our own vehicles.
Simply book your free ticket online, providing proof of disability in the form of DLA, PIP or Blue Badge!
Free entry into museums across London
There is a range of Museums across London that we can visit, without paying a fee. And the bonus? We're learning something new on our visit! Check out some of the museums where we can go free below:
National Maritime Museum
Tate Modern (apart from some exhibitions they may show)
Can carers go free on trains?
Although there is no official scheme which allows carers to travel on trains and buses for ‘free’, the good news is we can get discounts on travel, depending on where we live.
If the person we care for has a Disabled Person Railcard, it can help to save them a third off of travel.
In Scotland, this is known as the National Entitlement card and apply to those over 60 or who have a disability.
Can carers get road tax exemption?
If we have a disability ourselves or own a disabled passenger vehicle, mobility vehicle or powered wheelchairs, we may be able to get a free vehicle tax.
In order to apply, we will need to visit a Post Office branch that deals with vehicle tax. We can do this by using this simple tool, selecting 'Driving', then 'Vehicle Tax' from the dropdown.
If we'd like to renew our vehicle tax exemption, we can do so here.
We also have a simple Blue Badge checker tool, which will let you know in minutes if you may be eligible and how to get one.
Some places offer free parking if we use the shop mobility service
Carers in the Mobilise Community have also shared hidden gems that they've found during their days out:
I also discovered this on a trip to Banbury to Castle Quay shopping centre. That if you park in the disabled bay and use the shop mobility service, you don't have to pay for parking. The shop mobility team swap your parking ticket to a free one. They don't list it on the website other than "have a range of customer services facilities to make shopping easier, so it's always worth checking"
Can carers get a discount on Council tax?
The answer is yes. But getting a reduction on your council tax depends on if we live with the person we care for or if we live elsewhere.
If we're caring for someone with Dementia, they may also be eligible for a Council Tax reduction.
If we live with the person we care for
If the person we care for is severely mentally impaired, they are excluded from paying council tax. This is classed as being disregarded.
As carers we may also qualify to be 'disregarded' for council tax, if we meet certain criteria.
There may then be subsequent discounts for other adults living in the property of 25% or 50%.
We may also get a discount on our council tax under the disability discount scheme.
If we live elsewhere
If we find our house is usually empty because our caring role requires us to spend more time with the person we care for, then our home may be exempt from council tax. We can find out the circumstances for this by visiting our local council’s website.
How do I apply for a council tax reduction?
This discount can be applied through our local councils. Simply visit their website or give them a call to find out more.
Can carers get money off gas and electricity?
The answer is yes! As carers, we may be entitled to certain payments to help cover the cost of our gas and electricity bill. Particularly during the winter months.
Here are some of the schemes we can consider:
Winter Fuel Payment (a one-off discount of £140 on our electricity bill between September and March each year.)
Cold Weather Payments (a payment of £25 for each seven day period of very cold weather between 1st November 2021 and 31st March 2022.)
Warm Home Discount (an annual payment of between £100 and £300 to help pay our heating bills.)
Read our ‘Financial support in winter for carers’ blog which simplifies our eligibility and signposts us where we can go to apply. Our comprehensive 'Help for carers' guide is also a great starting place to discover all the financial supports that can be available to us to support us in our caring role.
Note it is also common to call up our gas and electricity supplier each year to see if they have any discounted tariffs for carers and vulnerable customers. They may be able to offer us a cheaper deal if we ask.
We may also want to check out LEAP, a free home-visit service which assesses if we are in need of any energy saving measures.
How do I prove I'm an unpaid carer?
We always recommend that you check directly with the venue or place you are visiting. Typical proof of carer status documents that are widely accepted include:
Note that these documents will have to be dated within the last 12 months.
Money saving carers
On top of the amazing discounts available for carers, there are also good money saving habits to have. Here are our top tips from carers on saving money are worth checking out.
Good finance habits
Save our loose change in a jar. An online version of save our change is available with lots of bank accounts too.
Split money for bills into a separate account - particularly good if we are paid weekly but bills go out monthly.
When phone contracts end, don’t carry on paying - switch to a sim only contract.
Check out Shopmium, where we can exclusive discounts and offers on our everyday purchases, both online or in-store.
Download the Too Good To Go app and explore local shops and restaurants that have unsold food that we can get for a cheaper rate (or sometimes free).
Everything 5 pounds is anorher carers' favourite, ranging from beauty, to clothes.
Pop to supermarkets about an hour before they close to hunt down yellow ticket or reduced items. Look out for the section or temporary trolley where they put these.
Most supermarkets have a loyalty scheme that might help us save points or get discount vouchers.
You can also search for even more retailer discounts on Discounts for Carers.
Making things last
When toiletries, cleaning chemicals, food in squeezy packaging is nearly finished, chop open the packaging to scoop out and not waste any
Add water to the last few drops of washing up liquid, hand soap to use every last drop
Make money from our spending
Spend less when we can
Mislay our bankers card
Make list of necessary items before descending on the shops, and keep to it.
Only go to the shops when they’re about to close.
Make list of necessities and ask a friend to shop for us.
Only buy essentials - carers have shared that a CRISP carers card, it allows us to pick up free gloves for personal care.
Leave our card or cash at home if we are not going out with the intention of buying something
If we (or the person we are looking after) have more that four prescription items per year look into a pre-paid certificate. We can pay monthly.
Tell people about our caring role
Let our energy and utility companies know we are caring for someone
If we are struggling to pay a bill, let the company we owe know and let them know our caring situation
Places local to us may also offer a carer discount - don’t forget to ask
Register as a carer with your GP - you’ll get a free flu jab
We hope you have gotten some great ideas to start planning fun days out with the person you care for. Our list is continually growing. So please do let us know if you would love to add your favourite places to go. We would love to hear from you.