Do you need prescription glasses for driving? Can you simply not afford the high cost of buying glasses? I can’t blame you as buying a new pair is an expensive and a confusing task for the average consumer.

A conversation I had with my friend Dan the other day;

Dan – Hey, can I try on your glasses? I want to check the prescription. 

Me – Ok, why though? I thought you didn’t wear glasses? 

Dan – Yeah, I’ve needed to get a pair for long time but can’t afford it. Wow, these are close to my prescription.

Me – What do you do when driving? 

Dan – I should have glasses for driving but it’s ok, I can still kinda read signs. 

If you are like my friend Dan not having glasses for driving to see the road properly is not safe for you, other drivers, and passengers in the car.  So why risk it?

I know the sticker shock you can feel when going into a local optical shop.  You probably say to yourself,  “They seriously want $500-$700 for glasses?”  Then you turn and walk out of there. Why are glasses so expensive though?

The real answer because consumers are used to the high mark-up.  The other answer is an Italian company called Luxottica. Haven’t heard of them? That’s ok, most people haven’t, but you have heard about the brands and companies they own. This includes LensCrafters, PearleVision, Sunglass Hut, Oakley, Ray-Ban, etc.  Luxottica has basically a monopoly and supplies the glasses industry end-to-end.  They even own two large vision insurance companies. You can watch this 60 Minutes special on Luxottica to get a better idea.

This is why people like my friend Dan complain they can’t afford glasses.  Unfortunately Dan is not the only person I’ve heard make similar complaints.  Many of the people that tell me they NEED glasses for driving seriously mean it. On their license it says they are required to wear them. So what is a person supposed to do?

Most of the places my friend Dan would go to locally are either owned or supplied by Luxottica.  While there are good options like Wal-Mart Optical and Costco, not everyone has a Costco membership. Also I am aware some people will just simple not shop at Wal-Mart.

The solution is to buy glasses online.  Sounds crazy at first but believe me, it’s a good way to go for those that are budget savvy and are looking for the necessary “eyes” they need while driving.

Several new companies have started up the past few years to take on Luxottica, which includes the hipster brand Warby Parker.  They are also other companies that have been around longer like the UK based SelectSpecs which can ship you a pair of prescription glasses for $20-$30 dollars which they claim are “The World’s Cheapest Glasses “.  Read this SelectSpecs Review to get a better idea of what they offer.

The process of ordering glasses online can be a bit confusing at first for people new to doing it. You need to get your prescription along with your pupillary distance and then you search for frames and lens options online.  Many of these websites provide virtual try-on which allows you to see what the glasses will look like on your face and if they will fit.  If you’ve bought anything online in the past few years this is something you should be able to handle. Especially for the safety of yourself and the other drivers around you.

For more information about buying glasses online, visit OpticalOwl the best place to learn and the only site that covers the online glasses industry.

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Adam has always loved cars and anything with wheels. When he is not writing about interesting stories you might find him jamming on his saxophone, watching movies, creating art, or playing with his two dogs.

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