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  5. Is your mobile out of contract? You could save £300 a year

Uswitch Mobiles

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Is your mobile out of contract? You could save £300 a year

Now’s the time to switch, thanks to the biggest ever SIM only sale.
Saving money on your SIM hero image

Customers on expired pay monthly mobile tariffs could save over £300 a year thanks to the biggest ever SIM only sale, which is now on.

Uswitch research shows an estimated 5.5 million mobile users are out of contract on a pay monthly mobile deal, leaving them still paying for a handset they have already paid off. By taking their phone to a SIM Only tariff – which doesn’t offer a handset, just the SIM card that enables calls and mobile data – they could save on average £321 a year.

January always sees plenty of good SIM only deals around. But this year, there are more than ever, thanks to increased demand. Uswitch data shows that 6% more mobile customers will come to the end of their contract this month compared to the same time last year. This has prompted the biggest ever sale on SIM only tariffs.

So what’s on offer? Lycamobile is offering 5GB of data, plus unlimited calls and texts, for £4.90 a month, reduced to £1.90 a month for the first three months. If you need more data, it’s also offering 15GB for £6.90 a month (£2.90 for the first three months).

iD Mobile, meanwhile, offers unlimited data, calls and texts for £17 a month. That also includes Wi-Fi calling and three months’ free access to the Apple TV+ video streaming service.

Never heard of these mobile networks? Don’t worry. They’re known as MVNOs (mobile virtual network operators), but they use the same signals as the four main operators (EE, O2, Vodafone and Three), so the reception should be identical. Lycamobile runs on the O2 network, for example, while iD uses Three’s.

Lots of MVNOs offer rolling contracts that renew each month. This means you can cancel with just 30 days’ notice, rather than being locked into a 12 or 24-month contract.

If you’re out of contract, do a quick comparison to see what deals are available and see how much you could save.

Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at, says this is the perfect time of year to switch.

“The new year is often a time for budgeting after the expense of Christmas and the long wait for the first payday of 2023,” he says.

“January is also when thousands of mobile consumers will go out of contract on their pay-monthly deals. As soon as this happens you now own your phone outright and are in the perfect position to cut your bills dramatically by switching to a SIM Only deal.

“If you’re happy to stand by your current handset, a flexible SIM offer will save you hundreds of pounds. Also, you can find a plan that is perfectly tailored to your usage and choose when you want to upgrade your device.

“The growth of virtual providers means there are plenty of deals to suit your budget or data needs so it always pays to check out the competition. If you’re with a major network and happy with the coverage it offers, research the companies that share its signal to see if you can save by switching to them.”

Check out our best SIM only deals.

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