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Things to think about when buying equipment to help you live at home independently

Before you buy equipment, consider the price, how appropriate the equipment is and what happens if things go wrong.​
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Get help from a friend or family member

  • Talk to someone else before asking a salesperson to your home or visiting a pharmacy.

  • Try to have someone with you when you’re choosing and buying equipment.


  • Have you been told the complete price? Ask about charges for delivery, fitting, service, repairs and running costs.

  • Have you checked prices with other companies?

  • If you are registered as disabled with the Council, you are entitled to exemption from VAT on disability equipment. The supplier will ask you to sign a brief declaration about this.

  • Shop around – don’t act on impulse and don’t be pressured into buying today.

Is the item appropriate?

  • Have you made sure the item will fit and work in your home?

  • Can you try the equipment before you buy?

In case things go wrong

  • Are you being offered a guarantee? If so, does it give value for money?

  • If something goes wrong with your purchase, is the repair service local?

  • Does your agreement give you a few days to cancel? If it does, get this in writing.

  • Will you remember how to contact the seller in future?

  • Get a receipt or order form with the name, address and telephone number of the company and keep it safe.

  • Have you been given enough time to check the small print on any agreement?

  • If you are spending over £100, consider using a credit card. This can offer protection if there are problems.

  • Get everything in writing. Don’t always accept the salesperson’s word.

  • Don’t pay a deposit unless you are sure. If you are sure, only pay a small deposit.

  • If you buy second hand, you still have rights. See Citizens Advice for more information.