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SIM Only deals

Keep your mobile phone, switch to SIM Only, and you could save £321* a year. Compare our best SIM Only deals today.

Uswitch tips

How do I switch and keep my number?
Thumbnail, graphic - SIM cards from different networks. Uswitch compares deals from Lebara Mobile, O2, iD Mobile, Three, Vodafone and others.

1. Choose your new deal
Select a deal below and click through to the network’s site.

2. Get your PAC code
You’ll need a special code to keep your number when you switch. It's quick and free:
Text PAC to 65075 to receive your code.

3. Give the code to your new network
Contact the new network after signing up to provide them with your PAC code, which will begin the process and will automatically cancel your previous plan. Alternatively, you can enter the PAC code when signing up on the network’s site.

How much will my phone bill go up in April 2024?

Some networks increase their prices every April. They’re usually raised in line with the inflation rate, plus an extra 3-4%.

This means that depending on your provider, your bill could go up by as much as 8.8% in April 2024.

Read our guide to mobile price rises to learn what you can do.

Three Mobile SIM deal

Three Mobile logo

£8.00 a monthMonthly cost will rise every April by inflation (CPI) plus 3.9%.

12 month contract

30 GBof 5G data

Promoted
  • No price rise in 2024
  • Three+ rewards app
via Three

List of SIM Only deals

Sorted by: Uswitch Promoted

  1. Lebara Mobile SIM deal

    Uses Vodafone's Network

    Lebara Mobile logo

    £1.48 a month for 3 months, then £4.95

    No contract

    5 GBof 5G data

    Uswitch ExclusivePromoted
    • No price rise in 2024
    • 70% discount for 3 months applied
    • EU roaming included
    • Most Popular Mobile Network
  2. Lebara Mobile SIM deal

    Uses Vodafone's Network

    Lebara Mobile logo

    £2.78 a month for 3 months, then £6.95

    No contract

    15 GBof 5G data

    Uswitch ExclusivePromoted
    • No price rise in 2024
    • EU roaming included
    • Most Popular Mobile Network
  3. spusu Mobile SIM deal

    Uses EE's Network

    spusu Mobile logo

    £7.90 a month

    1 month contract

    40 GBof 5G data

    Uswitch ExclusivePromoted
    • No price rise in 2024
    • £4 discount applied
    • EU roaming included
  4. Three Mobile SIM deal

    Three Mobile logo

    £10.00 a monthMonthly cost will rise every April by inflation (CPI) plus 3.9%.

    12 month contract

    60 GBof 5G data

    Promoted
    • No price rise in 2024
    • Three+ rewards app
    via Three
  5. O2 SIM deal

    O2 logo

    £10.00 a month

    12 month contract

    40 GBof 5G data

    Promoted
    • No price rise in 2024
    • EU roaming included
    • Best Network for Roaming
  6. SMARTY SIM deal

    Uses Three's Network

    SMARTY logo

    £10.00 a month

    1 month contract

    80 GBof 5G data

    Uswitch ExclusivePromoted
    • No price rise in 2024
    • 40GB extra data applied
    • EU roaming included
    • Best SIM Only Network
  7. iD Mobile SIM deal

    Uses Three's Network

    iD Mobile logo

    £10.00 a month

    1 month contract

    60 GBof 5G data

    Uswitch ExclusivePromoted
    • No price rise in 2024
    • 3 months' Free Apple TV+
    • Free roaming up to 30GB
    • Best Network for Data
  8. Talkmobile SIM deal

    Uses Vodafone's Network

    Talkmobile logo

    £9.95 a month

    1 month contract

    80 GBof 5G data

    Promoted
    • No price rise in 2024
    • EU roaming included
  9. Three Mobile SIM deal

    Three Mobile logo

    £12.00 a monthMonthly cost will rise every April by inflation (CPI) plus 3.9%.

    12 month contract

    120 GBof 5G data

    Promoted
    • No price rise in 2024
    • Three+ rewards app
  10. SMARTY SIM deal

    Uses Three's Network

    SMARTY logo

    £8.00 a month

    1 month contract

    50 GBof 5G data

    Promoted
    • No price rise in 2024
    • EU roaming included
    • Best SIM Only Network
  11. Vodafone SIM deal

    Vodafone logo

    £10.00 a monthMonthly cost will rise every April by inflation (CPI) plus 3.9%.

    12 month contract

    50 GBof data

    Promoted
    • VeryMe Rewards app
  12. Lyca Mobile SIM deal

    Uses EE's Network

    Lyca Mobile logo

    £6.90 a month

    No contract

    15 GBof 5G data

    Uswitch ExclusivePromoted
    • No price rise in 2024
    • EU roaming included
  13. giffgaff SIM deal

    Uses O2's Network

    giffgaff logo

    £10.00 a month

    No contract

    20 GBof 5G data

    Promoted
    • No price rise in 2024
    • EU roaming included
  14. O2 SIM deal

    O2 logo

    £7.99 a month

    12 month contract

    15 GBof 5G data

    • No price rise in 2024
    • EU roaming included
    • O2 Priority Tickets
    • Best Network for Roaming
  15. Lebara Mobile SIM deal

    Uses Vodafone's Network

    Lebara Mobile logo

    £3.58 a month for 3 months, then £8.95

    No contract

    30 GBof 5G data

    Uswitch Exclusive
    • No price rise in 2024
    • EU roaming included
    • Most Popular Mobile Network
  16. Lyca Mobile SIM deal

    Uses EE's Network

    Lyca Mobile logo

    £3.49 a month for 3 months, then £8.90

    No contract

    30 GBof 5G data

    Uswitch Exclusive
    • No price rise in 2024
    • EU roaming included
  17. Talkmobile SIM deal

    Uses Vodafone's Network

    Talkmobile logo

    £7.95 a month

    1 month contract

    50 GBof 5G data

    • No price rise in 2024
    • EU roaming included
  18. O2 SIM deal

    O2 logo

    £6.99 a month

    12 month contract

    6 GBof 5G data

    • No price rise in 2024
    • EU roaming included
    • O2 Priority Tickets
    • Best Network for Roaming
  19. Three Mobile SIM deal

    Three Mobile logo

    £8.00 a monthMonthly cost will rise every April by inflation (CPI) plus 3.9%.

    12 month contract

    30 GBof 5G data

    • No price rise in 2024
    • Three+ rewards app
  20. O2 SIM deal

    O2 logo

    £15.00 a month

    12 month contract

    100 GBof 5G data

    • No price rise in 2024
    • EU roaming included
    • Best Network for Roaming
  21. SMARTY SIM deal

    Uses Three's Network

    SMARTY logo

    £16.00 a month

    1 month contract

    Unlimited5G data

    • No price rise in 2024
    • EU roaming included
    • Best SIM Only Network
Can't find what you're looking for?

Uswitch services are provided at no cost to you, but we may receive a commission from the companies we refer you to. If a deal is "promoted" on Uswitch's tables, then it has been lent additional visibility as a result of us securing exclusivity on a great deal, or a commercial agreement to showcase what we believe to be market-leading value to consumers. Learn more about how our site works.

Please note: Mobile networks may increase monthly prices in line with the retail or consumer price index each year during the length of your contract. Please refer to individual network's terms and conditions before signing up.

*Switching from an ending 24 month handset contract to a SIM-only contract (and keeping your existing handset) could save you £321 per year, or £26 per month. This calculation is based on the price of the top selling 24 month handset package in Q1 2022 (Apple iPhone 13 with 100GB data) against the against the cheapest equivalent SIM only deal on the Uswitch site as of Jan 2024 (TalkMobile 120GB data £11.95 per month). Correct as of 1st February 2024. See more here: Uswitch savings

Everything you need to know about SIM only deals

A SIM only deal is perfect if you already have a phone that you're happy to carry on using, or if you'd rather just pay for a handset outright without a long-term contract commitment.

It's also worth noting that they're usually a lot cheaper per month than a handset & SIM plan, so you’ll be paying much lower monthly fees over the length of your contract.

Compare our best SIM only deals today to find the perfect plan for your personal mobile phone needs.

What happens when I choose a SIM only deal?

When you decide on a SIM only deal and click through to the network or retailer’s website to purchase it, here’s how it goes:

Sign up to your SIM only plan - Confirm all the deal terms and submit your details if you need to complete a credit check

Get your PAC code - This is the code you need to keep your current phone number. Check the steps below to find out what to do

Get your SIM - Hooray! Once everything’s confirmed, you’ll get your new SIM

Start using your SIM – All you need to do is pop your new SIM into your phone and you are ready to go

Can I move to a SIM only deal with my current network?

If you're upgrading your contract with your current provider, it should be really straightforward to switch to a new deal and keep your number.

However, if you've found the deal via a third-party, like Uswitch or another price comparison website, you'll need to check with your network that it can switch you over.

Which mobile network has the best coverage?

Latest coverage figures from Opensignal* for the big four networks are:

Three: 98.5%, EE: 97.7%, O2: 96.2%, Vodafone: 96.6%

To find out what coverage you can get where you are, put your postcode into Ofcom’s coverage checker.

That means Three’s network covers more UK locations than any other provider. SMARTY and iD Mobile also operate on Three network, so they’ll offer the same coverage.

Here's a look at every network operates:

MVNOWhich network is it based on?
Asda MobileVodafone
BT MobileEE
giffgaffO2
iD MobileThree
Lebara MobileVodafone
Lyca MobileEE
Sky MobileO2
SMARTYThree
TalkmobileVodafone
Tesco MobileO2
VOXIVodafone
Virgin MediaO2.

Why should I choose a SIM only deal?

Here are some of the main reasons why a SIM only deal could be right for you.

  1. SIM only deals often give you great plans with plenty of data, minutes and texts for a fraction of the price of a contract plan
  2. Monthly mobile phone payments have risen by £9.50 since April price rise
  3. You could save up to £321 a year by moving to a SIM only deal
  4. They're great value for money, they're flexible, they can include lots of data and much more

There aren't many downsides, with the only real downside being they don't come with a mobile phone included in the deal, so you will need a handset of your own to use the SIM card.

What are the benefits of a SIM only deal?

  • Flexible data bundles
  • You can keep your current phone
  • Choose a deal from over a dozen different networks
  • Short-term contracts so less financial commitment
  • Cheaper than a pay monthly deal

What are the cons of a SIM only deal?

You don’t get a mobile phone with the deal and the cost of a new handset can be a lot upfront.

How do I find the best deal for me?

Several factors will come into play when choosing the right SIM only deal for you.

You should consider the length of your deal, how much you want to spend, your monthly data allowance and whether you’re interested in additional perks or prefer a no-frills bundle.

SIM detailsLebara Mobile SIM card
Monthly price£2.78 p/m
Data allowance15GB
Contract lengthNo contract
ExtrasEU roaming included

How much should I pay?

You can currently get a SIM only deal for as little as £1.58, which comes with 1GB of data. It’s not a huge amount but it’s certainly enough for many UK consumers. You don’t have to pay a lot more to increase your data, either. This iD Mobile deal offers 70GB for just £10 a month. And there are plenty of similar deals, too.

While SIM only deals can change, it’s an indication of how much you can save, compared to a pay monthly mobile phone contract.

Choose the amount of data

According to Ofcom, the average mobile phone user in 2022 used about 5.6GB per month while connected to mobile data on their smartphone. That covers browsing the web, checking emails and scrolling through social media.

So you may think you need unlimited data, but in reality, a much smaller package would be more than enough. The less data you need, the more money you can save, as smaller bundles are usually cheaper than big data plans.

If you want to see how much data you're using, all you have to do is take a look at your network's app on your phone. There, you should find a detailed breakdown of exactly how much data you use on a monthly basis.

Pick your preferred contract length

The length of contract you choose comes down to your personal preference. You can usually choose from:

30-day deals: These short-term plans are perfect for people who want a no-commitment SIM deal. You can keep the plan rolling for as long as you like, but you can also cancel and switch to a new plan at any point after the initial 30 days. You’re more likely to get a cheap 30-day deal on a smaller network like Lebara, giffgaff or SMARTY.

12-month deals: Opt for this type of deal and you’ll be committed to using it for a year. After that, you can keep using it or switch over to a new plan at any time.

18/24-month deals: This is ideal if you just want to sign up for a SIM only deal you’re happy with and not worry about finding a new one anytime soon. Longer deals are common with larger networks like Vodafone and O2.

How easy is it to switch networks?

If you want to switch networks to find a better deal, you first need to work out how long is left on your existing contract. To find this out, you can log into your network's app or website, contact their customer service team or text INFO to 85075.

However, if you’re still in the middle of your contract, you’ll have to wait for the plan to end before you switch over to SIM only, unless you’re willing to pay a cancellation fee.

When you're approaching the end of your contract, your network is now obliged to send you an end-of-contract notification.

Once you're out of contract, switching networks is as simple as sending a text, thanks to the introduction of the text-to-switch legislation.

Will I lose service if I switch to another network?

Moving networks is usually a near-seamless process, and you're not expected to be out of service for a noticeable period of time during the process. You'll still be able to take calls and receive texts after you've given your new network your PAC code.

When the actual switch to your new network happens, you may lose service for a very short while. This can often only a matter of minutes.

When the transfer is done, just put your new SIM into your phone and switch it on. If the phone works and you can make calls, you've got service and you're all set.

When will my new SIM only contract start?

Your new SIM only contract will usually start when your SIM card has been dispatched. If it’s a physical SIM card, just pop it in your smartphone and you’ll be good to go.

If it’s an eSIM, you’ll need to follow your network’s set-up instructions, but it will usually be a straightforward procedure of activating the eSIM in your phone’s settings.

Will I need to unlock my phone to use it with a new SIM only deal?

As of December 2021, networks haven't been allowed to sell locked phones, so if you got your phone after this date, it should already be unlocked.

A locked phone can only be used on the network you bought it on, but this can differ depending on which network, handset and plan you have. However, there's a simple way to see if your phone is unlocked.

If you’re on an iPhone, go to: Settings > General > About and scroll down until you see Network Provider Lock. Your phone will be unlocked if it says, ‘No SIM restrictions’. But if there’s a network’s name there, it is locked.

If you use an Android device, the method is very similar. Go to: Settings > Connections > Network and internet > Mobile network > Choose network. If you can now see several networks, your phone is unlocked. But if only one is showing, your phone is locked to that provider.

Check out our guide to unlocking your mobile phone for more details.

Once you’ve confirmed that your phone is unlocked, you're now free to get a new SIM. The next thing to do is find a SIM only deal that suits your needs.

Which network should I join?

We offer deals from most major UK mobile networks. You can compare SIM only contracts from Vodafone, O2, SMARTY, VOXI, Three, giffgaff and more.

Although the likes of giffgaff and VOXI may not be as instantly recognisable as high-street names like Three and O2, they're certainly brands you can trust. That's because their service is based on the larger providers' networks, which they pay a fee to use.

For instance, VOXI operates through Vodafone. So despite having a different name, different plans and different prices, VOXI’s coverage, speed and quality will be the same as Vodafone.

In fact, many smaller networks offer market-leading call rates and data deals, so they can often work out cheaper than more well-known networks.

However, the larger networks tend to offer more in the way of benefits and customer support.

To keep prices low, some smaller networks don't operate a call centre and offer online support only. With a big-name network, you’ll usually always be able to speak to a person if you need help with your account.

And don’t think benefits like O2 Priority Tickets and Vodafone’s VeryMe app are reserved for the major providers. Smaller networks offer incentives too, like VOXI’s data-free social media, iD's data rollover and Tesco Mobile’s Clubcard points.

For more information on each network’s perks and features, check out our dedicated network pages for Lebara Mobile, Tesco Mobile, Virgin Mobile, Sky Mobile, iD Mobile, Asda Mobile and Lyca Mobile.

Uswitch Mobile Awards 2024 winners

Want to know which network is doing the most for its customers?

Each year, we highlight mobile networks in our Uswitch Telecoms Awards, recognising the best in the market customer service, coverage, roaming and more.

Determined by consumer research as well as the decisions of a panel of judges, comprised of technology journalists and industry experts, these awards represent a seal of quality.

Take a look at the 2024 winners to see how the networks did in a selection of different categories.

Best SIM only networksWinnerHighly commended
Network of the YearTesco Mobilegiffgaff
Best SIM Only NetworkSMARTYgiffgaff
Best Network for Customer ServiceTesco MobileSky Mobile
Best Network for DataiD Mobilegiffgaff
Best Network for RoamingO2Lebara Mobile
Best Network for PerksSky MobileO2
Most Popular Mobile NetworkLebara MobileO2
Best Handset Contract NetworkTesco MobileiD Mobile
Best PAYG NetworkgiffgaffVodafone

Guides to help you switch

Here at Uswitch, we’ve been helping consumers lower their household bills since 2000. As we became one of the UK’s top home services comparison sites, we’ve helped people switch to cheaper SIM only, mobiles, broadband and insurance deals, saving consumers over £2.5 billion off their bills in the process.

If you still have some questions, help is at hand, Take a look at our mobile phone guides, where we cover the big topics in-depth:

How to transfer your mobile number to a new phone: In this guide, we help you switch to your new provider.

How much mobile data do you need? Read our guide on internet data allowances.

How to switch mobile networks: Switching mobile phone providers can seem daunting, but this guide makes it easier: find out more about how to switch your mobile network.

Can I use my mobile phone abroad? Take a deep dive into every UK network’s current roaming policy.

Which mobile network offers the best perks? From freebies to early-access tickets, there are all sorts of perks on offer when you sign up for a new mobile phone deal.

Mobiles experts

Ru Bhikha, mobiles expert at Uswitch.com, comments:

“If you’re nearing the end of your contract, you could reduce your bill dramatically by switching to a SIM Only plan as you’ll no longer pay extra for a handset.”“If you’re happy with your current phone or bought a device outright, SIM Only offerings give you more opportunity to tailor your package - whether you’re a data guzzler or prefer to keep things minimal. ““Plenty of SIM Only offers have no contract, allowing consumers to hang on to their handset for as long as they like and choose the right time to upgrade.”Picture of Ru Bhikha
Ru Bhikha

Mobiles expert at Uswitch.com

FAQs

What is an end of contract notification?

Mobile phone networks must now notify their customers when their phone contracts are coming to an end.

This lets consumers avoid spending more than they need to, as well as giving them a heads up that they are free to find a better deal with them or a new network should they wish to shop around.

Find out more about end of contract notifications.

What mobile contract lengths are available?

You can choose from 30-day (also called no contract), 12-month, 18-month and 24-month plans. You'll likely pay less for a longer deal, but get more flexibility with the 30-day offers.

Will a SIM only deal improve my credit rating?

Yes, passing a credit check for a for 12-month SIM only deal is good for your credit rating. That's because you're committing to paying a set fee for your plan every month on time.

By paying every month on time, you show lenders you can be trusted with larger, regular payments.

Be careful though, because if you miss monthly payments, you can risk affecting your credit score. If you're worried about making monthly payments you could choose a rolling one-month plan, but they might be best so you can cancel or downgrade should you need to with no issues.

Is there a credit check for SIM only deals? What happens if I fail?

When signing up for 12, 18 or 24-month SIM only contracts with a brand new network, you will often need to pass a credit check.

For 30-day plans the credit check isn't as stringent as for longer contracts. So even if you haven't been accepted for a 12-month contract in the past, you can still pass the check.

Compare SIM only deals that don't require a credit check.

How do I get my PAC code from my current network?

Getting your PAC code is easy. You can either just call up your network and request it to be sent to you, or simply text 'PAC' to 65075 and your PAC code will be sent back you as an SMS message.

Can I buy a 5G SIM only deal?

Yes, most of the networks who offer 5G services also offer 5G SIM only deals. You can get one from the likes of Vodafone, O2, Three and more.

Is 5G available throughout the UK?

Yes, you can get 5G in a range of towns and cities around the United Kingdom, if you get a 5G SIM card and have a 5G-compatible phone.

UK locations where 5G is available include: Aberdeen, Barnsley, Basildon, Bath, Bedford, Belfast City, Birmingham, Blackburn, Blackpool, Bournemouth, Bradford, Brighton, Birmington, Bristol, Cardiff, Carlisle, Colchester, Coventry, Derby, Doncaster, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Ipswich, Leeds, Leicester, Lincoln, Liverpool, London, Luton, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Northampton, Nottingham, Oxford, Peterborough, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Preston, Reading, Sheffield, Slough, Southampton, Southend-on-Sea, Sunderland, Swindon, Wigan, York.

Do SIM only deals come with any perks or incentives?

As with other mobile contracts, SIM only deals can include incentives and perks to give customers even more for their money often come with many features and incentives.

For instance, Vodafone and O2 both offer various freebies to their customers via their apps.

How much should I pay for a SIM only deal?

SIM only deals can vary in price. You can pay as little as £6 a month, but the price usually depends on how much data you need.

The more data that's included in the deal, the more you'll often have to pay. You also shouldn't have to pay more for a 5G deal, as most major networks now include 5G as standard at no extra cost.

Are SIM only contracts cheaper?

Yes, SIM only contracts are usually cheaper than pay monthly deals that include a mobile phone as part of the package. That’s because you don’t have to pay off the price of the phone, which makes SIM only deals very attractive if you already have a smartphone you're happy to use.

Do SIM only deals include roaming?

Different networks have different policies on roaming. Many major networks, like Three, Vodafone and O2, offer data roaming with their SIM only deals. If you’d like a SIM only deal that allows you to use your data overseas, take a look at our deals tables and compare our best SIM only roaming deals.