Travelling to hospital

Claiming a refund

If you have to travel to and from hospital for treatment, you may be able to claim a refund on:

  • your bus or train fares
  • some petrol costs
  • taxi fares (in some situations).

If you need someone to travel with you to hospital for medical reasons, you may be able to get a refund on their travel costs too.

Who can claim

You can claim a refund if you get one of the following benefits:

  • Income Support
  • the guarantee element of Pension Credit
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Universal Credit (if you meet certain criteria).

You can also claim if:

  • you are entitled to, or named on, a valid NHS tax exemption certificate
  • you have a low income – this means you can get help with travel costs as part of the Low Income Scheme.

You can usually get your refund at the hospital – check what you have to do before you travel. You will need to bring proof that you get one of the qualifying benefits. This could be your benefit award letter. You will also need to bring proof of your travel costs, for example tickets or receipts.

Some voluntary organisations have drivers who can take people to hospital and other destinations (for example to the shops). Check at your local library for details of voluntary organisations in your area.

Hospital parking

Hospital car parking policies are different across the UK.

  • In England, many hospitals give people with cancer free car parking or discounts. But this is not always well-advertised. You should ask your hospital for more information.
  • In Scotland, hospital parking is free at all hospitals except Glasgow Royal Infirmary, the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and Ninewells Hospital in Dundee.
  • In Wales, hospital parking is free at all hospitals except at University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff, Glangwili West Wales General in Carmarthen and Prince Phillip Hospital in Llanelli.
  • In Northern Ireland, hospital parking is free at all hospitals if you are having chemotherapy or radiotherapy.

My treatment was at a specialist hospital miles from home. This meant my wife had to stay in a hotel overnight when visiting.


Back to Help with transport and parking

The Blue Badge Scheme

The Blue Badge Scheme can help with parking costs if you have severe mobility problems.