Accendo Lab

AccendoLAB review: Private COVID testing for travel

We review this Oxford-based COVID testing laboratory and assess what you get from its COVID tests for travel service.

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Going abroad this year? There are new travel rules as of 4 October. If you live in the UK, for your return you'll need to arrange and pay for COVID tests for travel from a private COVID test provider, like AccendoLAB. In this review, we look at what you get from AccendoLAB's COVID tests, and what customer reviews say about the service.
Name Product Test purpose Test type Test location Price (from) Key benefits
VERIFIED
Accendo Lab Covid-19 RT PCR Day 2 Amber Test Go Collect
Day 2
PCR
Clinic
£60
VERIFIED
Accendo Lab Covid-19 RT PCR Day 2 Green Test Go Collect
Day 2
PCR
Clinic
£60
VERIFIED
Accendo Lab Covid-19 Rapid Antigen Travel Test Go Express
Pre-departure to return
Lateral flow (antigen)
Home
£39
VERIFIED
Accendo Lab Covid-19 RT PCR Day 2 Amber Test Go Express
Day 2
PCR
Home
£99
VERIFIED
Accendo Lab Covid-19 RT PCR Day 2 Green Test Go Express
Day 2
PCR
Home
£99
VERIFIED
Accendo Lab Covid-19 RT PCR Fit to Travel Test Go Express
Pre-departure from the UK
PCR
Home
£99
VERIFIED
Accendo Lab Covid-19 RT PCR Test To Release Go Express
Day 5
PCR
Home
£99
VERIFIED
Accendo Lab Covid-19 RT PCR Day 2 and 8 Go Express
Day 2 and 8
PCR
Home
£195
VERIFIED
Accendo Lab Covid-19 RT PCR Day 2, 5 and 8 Go Express
Day 2 and 8, Day 5
PCR
Home
£290
VERIFIED
Accendo Lab Covid-19 Rapid Antigen Travel Test Go Collect
Pre-departure from the UK
Lateral flow (antigen)
Clinic
£29
VERIFIED
Accendo Lab Covid-19 RT PCR Fit to Travel Test Go Collect
Pre-departure from the UK
PCR
Clinic
£75
VERIFIED
Accendo Lab Covid-19 RT PCR Test To Release Go Collect
Day 5
PCR
Clinic
£75
VERIFIED
Accendo Lab Covid-19 RT PCR Day 2 and 8 Go Collect
Day 2 and 8
PCR
Clinic
£120
VERIFIED
Accendo Lab Covid-19 RT PCR Day 2, 5 and 8 Go Collect
Day 2 and 8, Day 5
PCR
Clinic
£195
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What is AccendoLAB?

AccendoLAB is a private laboratory based in Bicester, Oxfordshire, which was set up to provide COVID PCR testing. The company is on the UK government’s list of general COVID testing providers and Test to Release provider list for international travel, which means the tests meet the official minimum standards for safety and performance.

The company is also currently being reviewed by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS), the government’s official accreditation body for COVID test providers. It has completed stages 1 and 2 of the 3-stage accreditation process.

What types of COVID tests can I get from AccendoLAB?

AccendoLAB offers 3 services: Go Collect, an on-site, unsupervised testing service at its headquarters in Bicester; Go Express, where you order tests to do at home and then post your samples back for processing; and Go Heathrow, a new service launching in August 2021 for people flying in and out of the UK from Heathrow Airport.

COVID tests available include pre-departure PCR tests, day 2 and day 8 tests, Test to Release tests (for England), and a travel test bundle for people returning from low-risk listed countries who have yet to be fully vaccinated.

What is AccendoLAB’s return policy?

AccendoLAB will not offer a refund on any unused Covid Test Kits. Orders cancelled prior to shipping will be hit with a £25 handling charge, plus VAT. Orders cancelled after shipping cannot be returned and will not be refunded.

AccendoLAB customer reviews

AccendoLAB has a Trustpilot rating of 3 out of 5 stars, with very mixed reviews. Customers are either very satisfied and give it a full 5 stars or are very disappointed and give it 1 star, with nothing in between!

Happy customers praise AccendoLAB for its quick delivery of tests and turnaround of the results, as well as a positive customer service experience. The main complaint from dissatisfied customers is the late delivery of test results upon returning to the UK, meaning an extended quarantine period (last updated: October 2021).

Are AccendoLAB tests accurate?

We couldn’t find any statistics on the AccendoLAB website on the efficacy of its COVID tests, but the company claims to use the latest real-time PCR technology at its laboratory.

But remember, no COVID test is 100% accurate, even those that meet regulatory standards for performance and safety.

How long does it take to get results from AccendoLAB?

AccendoLAB aims to get your test results back to you within 24 hours of your sample arriving at its laboratory.

How much do AccendoLAB tests cost?

A pre-departure PCR test costs £75 if you select the Go Collect option and pick it up and return it to the Bicester laboratory. If you choose Go Express and have the tests delivered to your home and returned via ​​Royal Mail Tracked 24 it costs £99.

Day 2 tests from low-risk countries cost £60 for Go Collect or £99 for Go Express. Day 8 tests from low-risk countries cost the same. Test to Release for day 5 testing to end your quarantine early costs £75.

There’s also a travel test bundle for low-risk arrivals, which includes day 2 and day 8 tests and day 5 Test to Release for £195. Remember, if you are fully vaccinated and returning from a low-risk list country, you only need to take a day 2 test and no longer need to quarantine.

If you cancel your order before it is shipped you must pay £25, plus VAT. Orders cancelled after shipping cannot be returned and you will not be refunded.

Pros and cons of AccendoLAB

Pros
  • Government-listed COVID test provider.
  • Option to pick up and return tests direct to Bicester laboratory.
  • A 24/7 Heathrow laboratory is reportedly coming soon, which could offer ease, speed and convenience for a large number of travellers.
Cons
  • The pick-up/drop-off facility is great if you live near Bicester… but not so great for everyone else.
  • The website is difficult to navigate, with limited FAQs.
  • Very mixed customer reviews on Trustpilot.

Our verdict: Is AccendoLAB any good?

There are definitely upsides to this provider if you’re near one of its labs. If you live in Oxford, or are travelling to and from Heathrow from September, you can pick up and drop off your tests in person. This means cheaper tests and faster results.

One reassuring aspect of the website is that you get to see the team behind the business, and a quick read of their individual bios shows their scientific background and expertise. This is a definite bonus as most other COVID test providers we’ve reviewed reveal very little about the people who run their companies.

On the downside, the website is hard to navigate and AccendoLAB has wildly varying customer reviews on Trustpilot.

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