Vodafone Basics SIM-only plans offer unlimited UK minutes & a data allowance from £6/month.

Vodafone offers five basic SIM-only plans that are a cheaper alternative to their Vodafone Red and Vodafone Unlimited plans. Promising to “include only the things you use every day”, the Basics SIM cards are an online-only exclusive for customers that are new to Vodafone. You can only purchase the plans through a special page on Vodafone’s website.

At present, it’s possible to get a Vodafone Basics plan from just £6/month. The plan will come with unlimited UK minutes, unlimited UK texts and an allowance of UK data. For instance, the £6 plan comes with 2GB of data, the £8 plan comes with 8GB of data, and the £10 plan comes with 12GB of data. You can now also get a £15 plan with 30GB of data and a £20 plan with 100GB of data.

Being a cheaper and lower-cost alternative to Vodafone’s other SIM-only plans, there are a number of limitations on Basics. For instance, the Basics plans are limited to 4G – it isn’t possible to access 5G coverage on a Vodafone Basics SIM card. You also won’t be able to use international roaming so your mobile phone will not work outside the UK. International calls and premium-rate calls are barred on the service.

In this article, we’ll review the Vodafone Basics tariff in more detail. We’ll start by looking at the plans available, along with the features of the tariff and how this compares to other SIM-only plans. We’ll then compare the price against rival SIM cards from other mobile networks before looking at the coverage you can expect and how to keep your existing phone number.

About Vodafone Basics

SIM Only Plans

Vodafone Basics is a new range of lower-cost SIM-only plans, available from Vodafone in the UK.

At the moment, there are five price plans available within the Vodafone Basics range:

NetworkMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimited2GB£6.00
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimited8GB£8.00
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimited12GB£10.00
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimited30GB£15.00
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimited100GB£20.00

See all Vodafone Basics deals →

All of the plans come on a 12-month contract and you’ll need to undergo a credit check as part of the application process. You’ll also need to set up a monthly Direct Debit from your bank account to pay for your Vodafone Basics plan.

Limitations

According to Vodafone, the Basics SIM-only plans come with “no fuss, no frills, and none of those extra features that just cost you more”.

It’s worth being aware of the following limitations before you sign up for a Basics plan:

  • You’ll get the fastest available 4G download speeds. On Vodafone Basics, you’re limited to the fastest available 4G download speeds in your area. It isn’t possible to access the 5G coverage. If you’re looking for access to 5G, this is only available when you get a Vodafone Unlimited plan or a Vodafone Red plan with at least 5GB of data.
  • You’ll only be able to use your phone inside the UK. International roaming is not available on Vodafone Basics. This means you won’t be able to make or receive phone calls using your Basics SIM card when abroad. You can still use wi-fi to get online when you’re travelling, or you can use a different SIM card in your phone. On Vodafone’s other price plans (Red and Unlimited), it’s free to use your mobile phone in 51 European destinations. You can also pay £6/day in 104 Roam-further destinations (see Vodafone Global Roaming countries).
  • Many additional paid-for services are barred. This includes international calling, MMS picture messages, premium-rate phone calls (to phone numbers beginning with 09) and premium-rate SMS text messages. You’ll still be able to share photos and videos through instant messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.
  • Wi-Fi Calling and 4G Calling are not available on Basics. Vodafone does not offer Wi-Fi Calling or 4G Calling to customers with a Basics price plan.
  • The Basics plan is only available to new Vodafone customers. In order to get a Vodafone Basics plan, you can’t be an existing Vodafone Pay Monthly customer. If you’re a Vodafone Pay As You Go customer or a customer of a different mobile network, you can sign up for Vodafone Basics.
  • You can only sign up for a Vodafone Basics price plan online. The Vodafone Basics price plan is only available to customers who sign up online through a special page on Vodafone’s website. It isn’t possible to sign up in store or by telephone.

View Vodafone Basics Price Plans →

Comparison to Alternatives

£6 per month plans

For £6/month, Vodafone is offering a Basics plan with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 2GB of data.

Around this price point, there are several other mobile networks also offering competitive SIM-only deals. You’ll also get access to features like international roaming included on other networks.

NetworkMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited4GB£6.00
12 months
iD MobileUnlimitedUnlimited4GB£6.00
1 month
Virgin MobileUnlimitedUnlimited3GB£6.00
12 months
Plusnet MobileUnlimitedUnlimited3GB£6.00
1 month
Sky MobileUnlimitedUnlimited2GB£6.00
12 months
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimited2GB£6.00
12 months
TalkmobileUnlimitedUnlimited3GB£7.00
1 month
SmartyUnlimitedUnlimited2GB£7.00
1 month

£8 per month plans

Vodafone is currently offering a Basics plan with 8GB of data for £8 per month. You’ll also get unlimited minutes and unlimited texts included in your plan.

The following table shows some alternatives to Vodafone’s £8 Basics plan:

NetworkMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
O2UnlimitedUnlimited10GB£8.00
12 months
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited8GB£8.00
12 months
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimited8GB£8.00
12 months
Virgin MobileUnlimitedUnlimited8GB£8.00
12 months
Plusnet MobileUnlimitedUnlimited7GB£8.00
1 month
TalkmobileUnlimitedUnlimited9GB£9.00
12 months
giffgaffUnlimitedUnlimited9GB£10.00
1 month

£10 per month plans

At the £10 per month price point, Vodafone is offering a £10 Basics plan with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 12GB of data.

Several other mobile networks are also offering unlimited minutes and a comparable amount of data for £10 per month.

The following table shows some alternatives to Vodafone’s £10 Basics plan:

NetworkMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimited12GB£10.00
12 months
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited12GB£10.00
12 months
Plusnet MobileUnlimitedUnlimited10GB£10.00
1 month
VOXIUnlimitedUnlimited12GB£12.00
1 month
giffgaffUnlimitedUnlimited10GB£12.00
1 month
O2UnlimitedUnlimited10GB£12.00
18 months
Sky MobileUnlimitedUnlimited10GB£12.00
12 months
Virgin MobileUnlimitedUnlimited10GB£14.00
24 months

£15 per month plans

On Vodafone’s £15 Basics plan, you’ll get unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 30GB of data.

Around this price point, there are several other mobile networks offering comparable plans. For instance, you could also get a SIM card from Talkmobile (which uses the Vodafone network) or from Three.

NetworkMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited30GB£14.00
24 months
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimited30GB£15.00
12 months
O2UnlimitedUnlimited30GB£15.00
18 months
Virgin MobileUnlimitedUnlimited30GB£18.00
24 months

£20 per month plans

Vodafone’s £20 Basics plan comes with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 100GB of data.

For the same price, various other mobile networks currently offer an unlimited data plan. For instance, you can get unlimited data for £16 per month on Three. This also includes international roaming and 5G at no extra cost.

NetworkMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
SmartyUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£18.00
1 month
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£18.00
12 months
EEUnlimitedUnlimited160GB£20.00
24 months
O2UnlimitedUnlimited120GB£20.00
12 months
Virgin MobileUnlimitedUnlimited100GB£20.00
24 months
TalkmobileUnlimitedUnlimited100GB£20.00
12 months
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimited100GB£20.00
12 months

For a full comparison of SIM-only deals available in the UK, please see our full comparison of Pay Monthly SIM cards.

Network & Coverage

2G, 3G & 4G UK Coverage

Customers with a Vodafone Basics plan can access 99% population coverage on Vodafone’s 2G, 3G and 4G networks in the UK.

Before signing up for a Vodafone Basics plan, we’d strongly recommend checking the coverage in your area. You can do this by entering your postcode on Vodafone’s online coverage map:

Check Vodafone Coverage (vodafone.co.uk) →

It isn’t possible to access 5G coverage, Wi-Fi Calling or 4G Calling on a Vodafone Basics price plan.

For more information about mobile phone coverage in the UK, please see our guide to UK mobile network coverage. You can also read our in-depth guide to coverage on Vodafone.

No International Coverage

International roaming isn’t available on Vodafone Basics.

One major limitation of Vodafone Basics price plans is you’ll be unable to use your mobile phone outside of the UK. Whereas on most other plans, you’ll have access to international roaming, this is barred for all customers using a Vodafone Basics plan.

Because there’s no international coverage available on Basics, you won’t be able to make or receive phone calls when you’re outside the UK. You also won’t be able to send or receive SMS text messages, or access mobile data when abroad. It’s still possible to call the emergency services, and to access the internet using wi-fi (e.g. in hotels, coffee shops and airports).

On Vodafone’s other SIM-only plans, you’ll benefit from free European roaming. You can also benefit from Vodafone’s £6/day Global Roaming offer which allows you to use your UK allowances in 104 Roam-further destinations. Customers with an Unlimited Max price plan from Vodafone will get inclusive roaming in 81 destinations.

Tethering & Personal Hotspot

Tethering or personal hotspot refers to the process of sharing your smartphone’s internet connection with another device (e.g. with your laptop or tablet). It’s often used as a convenient way to get your other devices connected to the internet through mobile broadband.

On Vodafone Basics, you can tether and share your mobile data allowance with other devices. If you like, you can even share your entire monthly data allowance this way through tethering and personal hotspot.

Keeping Your Phone Number

If you’re moving from another mobile network to Vodafone, it’s easy to bring your phone number with you.

Start by asking your current mobile network to give you a PAC Code. You can normally get one through your mobile network’s website or app, or by texting PAC to 65075.

Once you’ve gotten a PAC Code from your current network, order your new Basics SIM card from the Vodafone website. When your new SIM card arrives in the post, place it inside your mobile phone and then enter your PAC Code on Vodafone’s online form. After you do this, your phone number transfer will normally take place on the next working day.

For a step-by-step guide on transferring your phone number to Vodafone, please select your current mobile network from the drop-down menu below:

PAC Code Finder: Transfer Your Phone Number to Vodafone

Select your current mobile network:

  More Options

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Vodafone Basics plan?
Vodafone Basics is a no-frills SIM-only plan which, according to Vodafone, “only includes the things you use every day”. You can get a Vodafone Basics SIM card from £6/month with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and an allowance of UK data (between 2GB and 100GB per month).
What allowances will I get with Vodafone Basics?
You’ll get 2GB of data for £6/month, 8GB of data for £8/month, 12GB of data for £10/month, 30GB of data for £15/month or 100GB of data for £20/month. All Basics price plans also include unlimited minutes and unlimited texts. A 12-month contract applies on Vodafone Basics plans.
What are the key restrictions on Vodafone Basics?
The main restriction on a Vodafone Basics SIM card is you won’t be able to use it outside the UK. This is because international roaming is not supported on Basics SIM cards. In addition to this, some paid-for services like international calls and premium-rate calls are not available. You’ll have access to Vodafone’s 4G network and coverage (but no access to 5G coverage, Wi-Fi Calling or 4G Calling).
Who can sign up for Vodafone Basics?
Vodafone Basics is only available to new Vodafone customers. You can sign up online through this special page on their website. It’s an online-only exclusive so you won’t find it in Vodafone stores.
What type of coverage is available on Vodafone Basics?
In the UK, you’ll get 99% population coverage on Vodafone’s 2G, 3G & 4G networks. However, unlike Vodafone Red and Vodafone Unlimited plans, you won’t get access to Vodafone’s 5G network. Wi-Fi Calling, 4G Calling and international roaming coverage are also not available on Vodafone Basics plans.
Can I keep my current phone number?
Yes. It’s a straightforward process to keep your current phone number. Ask your existing mobile network to provide you with a PAC Code. You can get one free of charge through your mobile network’s app or website, or by texting PAC to 65075. You should then provide Vodafone with this PAC Code during or after ordering your Vodafone Basics SIM card.

More Information

For more information about Vodafone Basics, please see the official Vodafone website.

Your Comments 17 so far

We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. So far, we've received 17 comments from readers. You can add your own comment here.

  • Hi,

    I have 2 Basics Contracts, which are both expiring soon. Vodafone are saying I can’t get off those deals and move to the newer, cheaper £6 / 3GB package. Have you any experience of changing to a new 12 month contract at the end of a 12 month Basics contract?

    • Hi John,
      Thanks for your comment. Technically speaking, I believe all of the Basics contracts are new customer deals which is possibly why they’re not offering it to you as an upgrade. You potentially have three options:
      1) Consider switching to another mobile network that also uses coverage from Vodafone – for instance, something like Talkmobile which is owned by Vodafone.
      2) Ask them to switch you to a Pay As You Go plan. Once you’ve done that, it might then be possible to sign up as a new Basics customer, as I believe the plan is still open to current Pay As You Go customers. Note that I haven’t actually tried this, so no guarantee that it’ll work.
      3) The only sure-fire way would be to leave Vodafone for another network e.g. to a Pay As You Go network such as giffgaff. Once you’ve done that, and once you’ve ported your phone number out, you’ll be able to re-join Vodafone as a “new customer”.
      Obviously, this all involves a little bit of hassle, which is a shame as Vodafone could easily arrange it all for you if they wanted!
      Ken

      • Hi Ken,

        Many thanks for getting back to me so quickly and for taking the time to answer my questions. Excellent reply. Everything I need to know!

    • Hi Dani,
      Thanks for your comment. Yes, the Vodafone Basics plans should allow you to do this, subject to coverage being available in your area 🙂 You can access average download speeds of 23-35Mbps on Vodafone Basics. This compares to a minimum speed requirement of around 0.1Mbps for a voice call and about 0.8Mbps for a video call.
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

  • Hi all,
    Some great news! As of today (the 2nd October 2020), you’ll now get the fastest available 4G speeds on all Vodafone Basics plans. Previously, these plans were limited to a maximum download speed of 10Mbps. I’ve updated the article above to reflect these changes.
    Ken

Load more comments (11)

Leave a Reply