Shopping at stores

Getting to the shops


If you need help getting to the shops, there are door-to-door transport services available for people who have difficulty using public transport. These are normally known as Dial-a-ride, but sometimes Ring-and-ride or Dial-a-journey. To find out if you have a Dial-a-ride scheme in your local area, contact your local social services department.

Bus pass

You may also be entitled to a bus pass from your local council that will entitle you to free off-peak travel. To find out if you're eligible contact your local council.


Some local councils, for example those in London, also offer reduced taxi fare schemes.
In London this is called the Taxicard scheme. To find out if you have a scheme like this in your local area, contact your local council.

Freephone taxi service

To make it easier to get a taxi home some shops, especially supermarkets, have a freephone taxi service that allows you to call a taxi for free and the taxi will come and pick you up at the store entrance.

Finding items in shops

Get help from a customer service assistant

It can be difficult to find the right items and read labels if you're in a busy store. Supermarkets, department stores and other shops are help you to find items and understand what's on product labels. For example, a customer service assistant could accompany you around the shop, helping you to find what you need, reading labels to you, and providing essential information like the use-by date. If possible, it's a good idea to avoid busy times so the staff can give you more time.

Frequent the same shop regularly

You may also find it easier to locate items if you return to the same shop regularly, rather than using different stores because you will become familiar with where items are located. You will also get to know the staff, which will make it easier for them to support you with your shops as they will become familiar with the level of support that you need.

Use magnifiers

Many people also use magnifiers whilst shopping to make it easier to find items. Our Helpline can give you details about a range of different magnifiers and advise you on which would be the most suitable for your needs. Call our Helpline on 0303 123 9999 or email [email protected]. Alternatively, you can visit our online shop

Paying for your shopping

Paying for your shopping can be a challenge if you're unable to see how much cash you're handing over and how much change you're receiving,  but there are many products in our Online Shop which can help. There is also more information in our Paying for goods and services section.

Our Helpline can also give you advice. Call 0303 123 9999 or email [email protected] for more information.

Chip and PIN cards

When you use a debit or credit card to make purchases in a shops a personal identification number (PIN) needs to be entered on a key pad. The numbers on the pad are arranged like a telephone and there is usually a dot on the number five key for orientation purposes. The "enter" key is usually in the bottom right-hand corner and is larger than the other keys.

If you find using a pin pad difficult you can request a "chip and signature" card from your bank or credit card company. Using this type of card means that you can sign for your purchases rather than using a PIN number for authorisation.