Switching from Vodafone to Three? It's a straightforward process to keep your existing phone number.


Step 1: Get a PAC Code from Vodafone

If you’d like to move your phone number from Vodafone to Three, the first step is getting your Porting Authorisation Code (or PAC Code) from Vodafone.

There are three ways to get a PAC Code from Vodafone:

  1. Online: You can get a PAC Code from Vodafone by logging in to the My Vodafone website. Once you've logged in, go to Account settings > Mobile switching.
  2. By Text Message: You can get a Vodafone PAC Code sent to you via SMS text message. Text PAC to 65075 to receive a PAC Code from Vodafone.
  3. By Phone: You can get a PAC Code by calling Vodafone. To do this, call them on 191 using your Vodafone handset. Alternatively, dial 03333 040 191 from any other phone. You'll need to call during Vodafone's opening hours (Monday-Friday 8am-9pm, Saturday 8am-9pm, Sunday 8am-9pm).

Here are some key things to know:

  • A PAC Code is 9 digits long and follows the format ABC 123 456.
  • Your PAC Code is valid for 30 days. If you don't use it during this time, the PAC Code will expire and you'll need to request a new one.
  • You shouldn't close your account at Vodafone: it'll be closed automatically when your phone number is transferred to Three.

Still in contract with Vodafone? If so, you may need to pay an early exit fee on your bill from Vodafone. To find out how much this would be, text INFO to 87075.

Don’t want to keep your Vodafone phone number? You can switch to Three without taking your phone number with you. If you'd like to do this, get a STAC Code from Vodafone instead.

Vodafone STAC Code (Leave Vodafone Without Keeping Your Number)

If you’d like to leave Vodafone without keeping your phone number, you’ll need to request a STAC Code rather than a PAC Code. There are three ways to get a STAC Code from Vodafone:

  1. Online: You can get a STAC Code from Vodafone by logging in to the My Vodafone website. After logging in, go to Account settings > Mobile switching.
  2. By Text Message: You can get a Vodafone STAC Code sent to you via SMS text message. Text STAC to 75075 to receive a STAC Code from Vodafone.
  3. By Phone: You can get a STAC Code by calling Vodafone. Call them on 191 using your Vodafone handset. Alternatively, dial 03333 040 191 from any other phone. You'll need to call during Vodafone's opening hours (Monday-Friday 8am-9pm, Saturday 8am-9pm, Sunday 8am-9pm).

Once you’ve gotten your STAC Code from Vodafone, the rest of the process for joining Three remains the same.

Step 2: Order your new phone or SIM card from Three's website

You should now order your new phone or SIM card using the Three website. Please select the type of tariff you're intending to move to:

If you're looking for a SIM card from Three, the following deals from £7/month are currently most popular:

12 months
12 months
12 months
12 months
12 months

For a full list of available tariffs and the latest Three deals, please refer to this page on Three's website.

Alternatively, if you're getting your Three plan from a reseller, tap on their logo for more information:

Three will assign you with a temporary phone number during the transition process. This will allow you to test out the service before you finally transfer your phone number to Three.

Step 3: Give the PAC Code to Three

Once your new phone or SIM card arrives from Three, switch it on and make sure everything's working properly. If, for whatever reason, you need to return or change the handset or SIM card, it's best to do this before transferring your phone number.

Once you're happy to continue with the phone number transfer, contact Three and provide them with your PAC Code from Vodafone.

Your PAC Code should be entered on Three's online form. Alternatively, you can give the PAC Code to Three by calling 333 on your Three handset. You can also call 0333 338 1001 from any other phone.

If you have a STAC Code from Vodafone rather than a PAC Code, this can be provided to Three in the exact same way.

Providing your PAC Code to Three
The PAC Code should be submitted through a form on Three's website.


  • You must provide the PAC Code to Three within 30 days of it being issued by Vodafone. If the PAC Code has already expired, you'll need to return to step 1 and request a new PAC Code from Vodafone.
  • Vodafone Pay As You Go customers: Try to use up your remaining credit as it can't be transferred to Three.

Step 4: Phone Number Transferred (Next Working Day)

As long as you've submitted your PAC Code to Three before 5pm, your phone number transfer will normally be scheduled for the next working day (Monday to Friday only, excluding English bank holidays). After 5pm, you'll need to wait one extra working day for your number to be transferred.

On the day of the transfer, you'll momentarily lose coverage on both mobile networks. When this happens, restart your handset on Three. You should find that the Three phone or SIM card will now associated with your original phone number.

  • If you see an error message (e.g. "SIM card registration failed"), this means it's time to restart your phone.
  • Once the phone number has been transferred to Three, your account on Vodafone will automatically be closed. You'll receive a final bill from Vodafone for any outstanding charges.

Get the Latest Deals from Three →

Any Other Questions?

In case of any problems during the transfer of your phone number, you should contact your new mobile network (Three) with details of the problem.

If you have any other questions on using a PAC Code, please see my in-depth guide to transferring your phone number between networks. You can also read the comments below from other visitors to this website.

← Full Article: "PAC Codes - How to transfer your mobile number when switching networks"

Your Comments 1,856 so far

We'd love to hear your comments on transferring a phone number from Vodafone to Three. The comments below are from people who've made the same transfer. You can add your own comments here.

To view all 1856 comments about transferring a phone number, please visit the main PAC Code article.

  • Hi I got the PAC code and a message saying the switch (from a Vodafone number to Three) would occur. 24h later my phone is still not working, showing ‘no service’ – is there another step I need to do / anything to activate, etc.?

    Many thanks,

    • Hi Joana,
      Thanks for your comment. Have you lost the coverage on your Vodafone SIM card? If so, it’s now time to switch over to the Three SIM.
      If you haven’t ever had coverage on your Three SIM card, this is a little odd as you should normally always have coverage (including before you move your phone number over)?
      Hope this helps,

  • Hey Ken, really useful set of information.

    For many reasons I have two monthly SIM cards and I’m looking to settle on one provider now.

    PAC typically refers to transferring a number into a new contract or agreement. But I can find no data on if PAC transfers in have a time limit.

    I know PAC codes have a 30-day validity once requested.

    So can you bring over a number to an account that has been running for a long time ?

    In this case its Vodafone to Three

    • Hi JayB,
      Thanks for your comment. As you say, PAC Codes have a 30-day expiry from the date on which you request them (if it’s gone more than 30 days, you can simply request a new PAC). There’s no limit on how long you could have been using the phone number on your old network (whether it’s been 10 days or 10 years, you’re still able to request a PAC Code in the same way to move your phone number to another network).
      Hope this helps,

  • Hello, i ported my vodafone number to three, before couple days receive text restart my phone , and i can make calls and send text but i not able receive incoming call or text, When calling straight goes to voicemail welcome to lyca mobile (vodafone). , i already contacted ree they told me cant see any problems and on system shows everything works fine, they told me i have to wait they will send to technicians to chekc again, maybe someones know why still cant receive calls? Is problem from vodafone or three? Looks like porting done only half. Thank you

    • Hi Paul,
      Thanks for your comment. Sorry – I was a little unclear on your original mobile network: was it Vodafone, Lycamobile or Lebara Mobile? To give a quick overview, Lycamobile actually uses the O2 network (maybe you’re referring to Lebara which instead uses Vodafone as their network coverage provider?).
      Anyway, with regards to the situation, it looks as if the porting is incomplete. The problem could be on either end but your best bet would be to get in touch with Three (dial 333 from your Three handset). They should hopefully be able to resolve the situation (and can liaise with your old network if required).
      Hope this helps,

      • hi Ken,

        sim card is vodafone, but i dont know why voice mail says welcome to lyca mobile please leave your message, i already tryed contact three few times ,they told me wait ,but nothing happends, its 6 days nothing happens, also i was in three store and they gave me new sim card, but thats not help, still cant receive incoming calls and text and my voicemail still lyca but network is vodafone, the sim was brand new i get pac code and fill online form on three website, and on 18 jun get messages to restart my phone, i can make a the calls send text and use data internet, looks like split service, , but not sure why on vodafone network says welcome to lyca mobile. also three send me email to check this, but 4 days no anwser. maybe problem with old network?

        • Hi Paul,
          That’s positively bizarre – was your phone number originally issued by Vodafone or Lycamobile? You can check the spreadsheet here if you aren’t totally sure. If it was originally a phone number issued by Vodafone, I guess the phone number has transferred to the wrong network. If the phone number was issued by Lycamobile, it may have gone back to the original network. Either way, it’s exceptionally bizarre and I’m also at a loss to explain what has happened!

          • well that vodafone sim card was brand new unpacked, i contact vodafone and get pac number, and when sim was unused i tryed to call so before says welcome to lycamobile, i really dont know why on vodafone says lycamobile, dont know where is the problem. but they check the number in vodafone and generated pac code , i dont think vodafone can generate lycamobile pac code ?

          • Hi Paul,
            It is very bizarre – I’m not sure why your Vodafone SIM card would have given that message (but it’s still worth checking the spreadsheet I sent to see if the number was originally from Vodafone). This article from 2009 gives more information on how to use the spreadsheet. Once you know the SABC and D/DE codes, check the company the number was issued to. This should give you some more information when going back to Vodafone/Three.

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