On some UK networks, you’ll need to pay up to £2/day to use your phone in Europe. Find out how much your mobile network will charge for EU roaming.
If you’re travelling to another European country (including France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain or Portugal), you might need to pay an additional fee for using your mobile phone abroad. Depending on your mobile network, it can cost up to £2 per day to use your phone in Europe.
In this article, we’ll look at the costs of using your mobile phone abroad in Europe, along with the coverage available and the fair usage limit on data. We’ll also look at the best SIM cards for European roaming, allowing you to use your mobile phone abroad from only £2.50 per month.
|Best EU Roaming SIM Card:||Lebara Mobile (UK-based SIM)|
(includes 3 months half price with the KEN3 voucher code)
|Compatibility:||Works with most unlocked smartphones (including iPhone & Android)|
|Free SIM Card:||Get Lebara Mobile SIM (from £2.50 per month) →|
EU Roaming: By Mobile Network
Until January 2022, all UK mobile networks offered roaming in Europe at no extra cost. Since then, a number of UK mobile networks have started reintroducing roaming charges in Europe and it’s now possible you’ll need to pay up to £2 extra each day.
The following table shows the cost of EU roaming on each UK network, along with the coverage abroad and the fair usage limit for data:
|Network||European Roaming Cost||Roaming Coverage||Fair Use Limit For Data|
|ASDA Mobile||No extra cost||4G & 5G||5GB per month|
|BT Mobile||No extra cost||4G||50GB per month|
|EE||£2.29 per day1||4G||50GB per month|
|giffgaff||No extra cost||4G||5GB per month|
|O2||No extra cost||4G||25GB per month|
|iD Mobile||No extra cost||4G||Plan dependent – check here|
|Lebara Mobile||No extra cost||4G||30GB per month|
|SMARTY||No extra cost||4G||12GB per month|
|Sky Mobile||£2 per day||4G||–|
|Talkmobile||£1 – £2.25 per day2||4G & 5G||15GB per month|
|Tesco Mobile||No extra cost3||4G||–|
|Three||£2 per day4||4G||12GB per month|
|Virgin Mobile||No extra cost||4G||Plan dependent – check here|
|Vodafone||£2 per day5||4G & 5G||25GB per month|
|VOXI||£1 – £2 per day6||4G & 5G||20GB per month|
If you’re looking for the ability to use 5G when you travel abroad, this is currently available on ASDA Mobile, Talkmobile, Vodafone and VOXI. If you’re using a SIM card from one of those four providers, you’ll be able to access 5G roaming in Germany, Italy, Spain and the Republic of Ireland.
Your mobile data usage in Europe will be subject to a fair use limit. This limit is between 5GB and 50GB per month, depending on your mobile network. Each month, you’ll be able to use up to your UK plan data allowance or up to the fair use limit, whichever is lower. You’ll also need to spend the majority of your time inside the UK (normally measured as 61 days over a 120-day period).
- EE: On EE, you’ll pay £2.29 per day to use your mobile phone in Europe, unless you have the Roam Abroad add-on or Smart Benefit. You’ll also have access to free European roaming if your EE Pay Monthly plan started before the 7th July 2021.
- Talkmobile: If you’ve joined Talkmobile since the 14th March 2023, you’ll pay £2.25 for a 1-day Euro Holiday Booster. However, you can save when you choose a longer Euro Holiday Booster (either £10 for 8 days, or £15 for 15 days).
- Tesco Mobile: In 2024, Tesco Mobile will introduce charges for roaming in Europe. This applies to all customers who joined or upgraded after the 16th June 2022.
- Three: On Three, you’ll pay £2 per day to use your mobile phone in Europe. This is unless your Three Pay Monthly plan started on or before the 30th September 2021 (if this is the case, you’ll benefit from inclusive roaming in Europe). You’ll also get inclusive roaming on Three’s Pay As You Go plans.
- Vodafone: On Vodafone, you’ll pay £2 per day to use your mobile phone in Europe. This is unless you have a Pay Monthly plan with 4 Xtra benefits, or a Pay Monthly plan taken before the 11th August 2021. Roaming isn’t available on Vodafone Basics plans.
- VOXI: On VOXI, you’ll normally pay £2 per day to use your mobile phone in Europe. However, you can reduce this to as little as £1 per day when buying a VOXI European Roaming Pass.
Best SIM Cards For European Roaming
If your mobile network charges you for European roaming, it might sometimes be worth picking up a different SIM card for your trip abroad. For instance, if your mobile network charges £2 per day, you’ll normally need to pay £14 for a 7-day trip to Europe. This will go up to £28 for a 2-week trip and £60 for a 1-month trip.
As an alternative, consider getting something like Lebara's £2.50 SIM with 3GB of data (this includes 3 months half price when you use the KEN3 voucher code at checkout). On Lebara, you’ll get inclusive roaming in 41 European destinations so you can use your mobile phone in Europe from as little as £2.50 for an entire month.
Lebara offers a Pay As You Go service with no contract, no credit check and no commitment. This means you can cancel at any time. You can use the following plans abroad in Europe from £2.50 per month:
for 3 months, then £5/month
for 3 months, then £6/month
for 3 months, then £7/month
for 3 months, then £9/month
for 3 months, then £15/month
You’ll need to enter KEN3 as your voucher code at checkout to get 3 months half price. This is a special offer for June 2023.
Get Lebara Mobile SIM Card (from £2.50) →
European Roaming Destinations
Most European roaming offers will work in the following EU destinations:
- Czech Republic
- Republic of Ireland
In some cases, you may also be able to use the offer in Guernsey, the Isle of Man, Jersey, Monaco and Switzerland. However, these additional destinations can vary on a network-by-network basis so you should check the exact destinations covered by your network.
For more information about the costs of using your mobile phone abroad, please refer to mobile network’s official website. You can also read our in-depth guide to international roaming.
Your Comments 243 so far
We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. So far, we've received 243 comments from readers. You can add your own comment here.
I know Giffgaff (O2) have a 2 month limit on EU roaming, or at least used to have, is it the same for Lebara/Vodafone?
Thanks for your comment. Yes, I believe all UK mobile networks will look at the balance of your usage in the UK and EU. They’ll look over a 4-month period, of which you’ll need to spend at least 2 months inside the UK.
Hope this helps,
ASDA is cutting the EU roaming allowance to 5GB from 25GB from 26th September 2022, so I think it will be no longer be suited to being the top recommendation for EU roaming any more.
It’s worth mentioning by my experience Lebara worked using Vodafone Germany’s 5G network, so I would suspect any Vodafone 5G roaming countries also apply to Lebara. My friend on O2 also got access to 5G in Croatia (via Telekom) and in Slovakia (via O2 Slovakia) so whilst not advertised it appears to work in some locations. Note it didn’t work on O2 Germany so it is not consistent to where O2 owns the roaming network.
I am travelling to Malta end of August just for a week. I am thinking of using Asdamobile for roaming.
I think 5GB will be more than enough for a week. Would Asda be the best option for me? I dont want to be locked to any contract. Just use it for a week and bin it.
Hotels usually tend to have free wi-fi, but if not, then 5GB will still cover me.
What I am confused about is that I am with Vodafone and they charge extra for roaming. So how come Asda is able to include that in their bundle for free (as they use Vodafone)?
Thanks for your comment. Yes, I think ASDA Mobile would be a great option for you e.g. you could get their £7 bundle with 10GB data (or 5GB data if you don’t want to auto-renew).
With regards to your second question, all of the mobile networks have slightly different roaming agreements & also have different strategies in place with regards to how they make money. For instance, some mobile networks treat international roaming as a profit centre in itself, whereas others use it as a way to upsell you to a more expensive plan (e.g. with EE and Vodafone only including it on their most expensive plans). For others like ASDA Mobile, the inclusive roaming is potentially a feature that attracts people to their service in the first place!
Thanks for your quick reply. I noticed that I could pay a bit extra and avail of the roaming service with Vodafone. Its called the 8-day European Roaming pass.
It does not include picture messages, premium calls or texts. I don’t need any of these anyway because I will be using Whatsapp.
It is a one-off purchase and won’t renew automatically. It is subject to a 25GB fair usage policy but I doubt I will use that much anyway. I also have a 60GB limit on my pay monthly plan.
Should I go for that or you think Asda is still a better deal?
Thanks for your comment. Yes, if you’re a Vodafone Pay As You Go customer, the 8-day European Roaming Pass at £8 can be a simpler option. If you’re a Pay Monthly customer, I believe it’s a flat £2/day instead.
I guess you’ll really need to weigh this up against the potential savings of getting an ASDA Mobile SIM, as well as the possible extra hassle. With ASDA, you’ll get 10GB data to use over one month for a £7 payment, which would be £1 cheaper than the Vodafone Pass. You’ll also be able to use it for a lot longer (as well as when you come back to the UK). On the contrary, you’ll have a new phone number unless you transfer it over to ASDA Mobile.
Hope this helps,
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