On Vodafone’s Pay As You Go 1, you’ll pay £1 per day for unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 500MB of data.

In the UK, Vodafone offers a plan called Pay As You Go 1 where you can use your mobile phone from time to time and ‘never pay more than £1 per day’.

Designed for customers who don’t use their phone every day, Pay As You Go 1 has no regular monthly charges and no minimum daily spend. When you use your mobile phone, you’ll pay up to £1 per day. When you don’t (or when you only use wi-fi), you won’t pay anything for that day.

To start with you’ll pay 20p/minute, 20p/text and 20p for 5MB of mobile data on the plan each day. However, once you reach a £1 daily spend cap, you’ll unlock unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 500MB of data for the remainder of the day. This is available without paying anything more.

In this article, we’ll review Vodafone’s Pay As You Go 1. We’ll start by looking at how the price plan works, how much it’ll cost you and what the £1 spend cap includes. We’ll then compare it to Vodafone’s Pay As You Go bundles and the price plans available on other networks. Finally, we’ll look at the coverage on Vodafone and how you can keep your current phone number.

Order Vodafone Pay As You Go 1 SIM Card (Free) →

Vodafone Pay As You Go 1

Pay As You Go 1 Charges & Rates

On Vodafone’s Pay As You Go 1 price plan, there are no regular monthly charges. You’ll only pay for what you use on your mobile phone.

Each day, you’ll start by paying 20p per minute, 20p per text and 20p per 5MB of mobile data. These charges, however, are capped at a maximum of £1 per day. This is illustrated in the following table:

Calling Rates:
Voice Calls 20p/minute (£1 daily spend cap applies)
Calls to Voicemail 20p/minute (£1 daily spend cap applies)
Calls to Special Rate Numbers 45p/minute access charge
+ service charge from the company you’re calling
(the spend cap does not apply)
Messaging Rates:
Text Message (SMS) 20p (£1 daily spend cap applies)
Picture Message (MMS) 20p (£1 daily spend cap applies)
Internet Rates:
Mobile Data 20p per 5MB (£1 daily spend cap applies for 500MB data)
Additional Data £1/day for an extra 500MB (maximum once per day)

As usual, you won’t be charged for accessing the internet over wi-fi. You also won’t be charged for receiving incoming phone calls or text messages. If this is all you use your phone for during a given day, you won’t be charged anything for this by Vodafone.

Because there’s no minimum daily charge or required monthly top-up, this makes Pay As You Go 1 ideal for light users who don’t use their phone every day.

Order Vodafone SIM Card (Free) →

£1 Daily Spend Limit

One of the key features of Vodafone’s Pay As You Go 1 is the £1 daily spend limit. Once you trigger this £1 daily limit, you’ll get unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 500MB of data to use for the rest of the day at no extra charge.

Only standard UK phone calls, text messages, MMS picture messages and mobile data usage will count towards your £1 daily spend limit. Other things such as special-rate phone calls and international phone calls are charged for as an additional service, outside of the £1 daily spend limit.

If you use more than 500MB of data in one day, you’ll be offered Vodafone’s £1 Data Extra add-on. This gives you an additional 500MB of data to use the same day. You can buy the Data Extra add-on a maximum of once per day. For this reason, the amount of mobile data you can use in one day is capped at a maximum of 1GB.

Pay As You Go Bundles

As an alternative to Pay As You Go 1, Vodafone also offers a number of Pay As You Go Big Value Bundles. These bundles will sometimes work out to be better value if you use your mobile phone for more than 10 days each month.

The Pay As You Go bundles give you a monthly allowance of minutes, texts and data starting from £10/month:

NetworkMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
Vodafone250Unlimited3GB£10.00
Vodafone250Unlimited6GB£15.00
Vodafone1,000Unlimited10GB£20.00
Vodafone3,000Unlimited20GB£30.00

For a better value alternative, we’d recommend getting a Pay As You Go bundle from VOXI instead. VOXI is a low-cost sub-brand of Vodafone offering better value bundles and larger amounts of data. For instance, you can get unlimited minutes, unlimited texts, 6GB of data and endless social media for £10/month on VOXI:

NetworkMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
VOXIUnlimitedUnlimited6GB£10.00
VOXIUnlimitedUnlimited12GB£12.00
VOXIUnlimitedUnlimited15GB£15.00
VOXIUnlimitedUnlimited45GB£20.00
VOXIUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£35.00

On VOXI, you’ll benefit from the same coverage as customers on Vodafone. It’s also possible to access 5G coverage on plans costing £15/month and more, with endless video streaming on YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, My5, TVPlayer and UKTV Play.

Get VOXI Pay As You Go SIM Card (Free) →

In the past, Vodafone also offered a range of Freebie deals on Pay As You Go, where you’d get a 30-day allowance every time you topped up your phone by £10 or more (e.g. Freebie Minutes, Freebie Texts, Freebie Data and Freebie International Minutes). Unfortunately, the Freebie deals are no longer available to new customers.

Changing To Pay As You Go 1

If you’re an existing Vodafone Pay As You Go customer, dial 41146 for free on your phone to opt-in to the Pay As You Go 1 plan. By opting-in, you’ll lose any benefits associated with your current plan (including your current Big Value Bundle or your Freebie allowance if you have one).

If you’re not currently a Vodafone Pay As You Go customer, you can join by ordering a free SIM card from the Vodafone website.

Minimum Usage Requirement

On Vodafone’s Pay As You Go 1, there’s no need to top-up every month. Your credit also won’t expire providing your SIM card remains active. To keep it active, you can top-up your phone or make a chargeable outbound activity at least once every 9 months.

Comparison to Alternatives

On Vodafone’s Pay As You Go 1, you’ll pay £1/day for unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 500MB of data (or 20p per minute, 20p per text and 20p per 5MB until you reach the £1 daily threshold).

If you’re a light user who only uses their phone from time to time, it’s possible you’ll get good value from Pay As You Go 1.

The plan is particularly well suited if you only use your mobile phone for a few days each month (e.g. on trips away from home or for emergency usage). This is especially the case if you use it a lot on the days when you do (e.g. for making long phone calls or browsing lots of web pages). For instance, someone using their mobile phone for 4 days each month would only pay £4 for their monthly usage on this plan.

The plan isn’t well suited for people who use their phone every day. For instance, you’ll pay around £30 per month if you use your phone every day (even for a relatively small amount of usage each day).

On rival networks, lower Pay As You Go charges are available. For instance, 1pMobile (which uses coverage from EE) charges just 1p/minute, 1p/text and 1p/MB. Alternatively, ASDA Mobile charges 8p/minute, 4p/text and 5p/MB. This may or may not work out to be cheaper than Vodafone, depending on how you use your phone each day.

If you use your mobile phone for more than 10 days each month, you’ll normally be better off getting a Pay As You Go bundle. This gives you an inclusive allowance of minutes, texts and data. For instance, you can get unlimited minutes, unlimited texts, 6GB of data and endless social media for £10/month on VOXI:

NetworkMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
giffgaffUnlimitedUnlimited9GB£10.00
ASDA Mobile600Unlimited7GB£10.00
giffgaffUnlimitedUnlimited6GB£10.00
O2UnlimitedUnlimited6GB£10.00
VOXIUnlimitedUnlimited6GB£10.00
EE100Unlimited4GB£10.00
Vodafone250Unlimited3GB£10.00

Please see our guide to Pay As You Go bundles for more information and for a full in-depth comparison.

Handsets

There are two ways to join Vodafone Pay As You Go 1.

If you already have a mobile phone that you’re happy to keep, order a Pay As You Go 1 SIM card from the Vodafone website. You can top it up from as little as £5 to get started. Depending on where your mobile phone was purchased from, it might be necessary for you to unlock your phone.

If you’d like a new mobile phone, you can buy one from the Vodafone website. At the time of writing, you can get a new Pay As You Go phone for as little as £10. There’s also a minimum initial top-up of £10 required when you buy the phone.

Network & Coverage

2G, 3G & 4G Coverage

Customers on the Pay As You Go 1 price plan can access Vodafone’s 2G, 3G and 4G networks in the UK. At present, 99% of the UK’s population is covered by Vodafone on 2G, 3G and 4G.

Before you join Vodafone Pay As You Go, 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) →

For more information, see our detailed guide to coverage on Vodafone or our overview of mobile coverage in the UK.

5G Coverage

Unfortunately, 5G coverage isn’t currently available to Vodafone Pay As You Go 1 customers.

If you’d like to access Vodafone’s faster 5G network, you should choose a Vodafone Pay Monthly plan instead. On Pay Monthly, you’ll get access to 5G coverage on the Red 5GB plan and above. You’ll also get 5G coverage on Vodafone’s unlimited data plans.

In addition, 5G coverage is also available on VOXI price plans costing £15 per month or more.

Vodafone currently offers 5G coverage in the following UK towns and cities:

Now Live57 towns and cities are live on Vodafone 5G (December 2020)
Ambleside, Bebington, Belfast, Birkenhead, Birmingham, Bishopbriggs, Bolton, Bootle, Bournemouth, Bristol, Cardiff, Cheadle, Cheltenham, Clitheroe, Crosby, Droylsden, Eccles, Edinburgh, Gatwick, Glasgow, Great Shelford, Guildford, Horwich, Huyton-with-Roby, Isle of Scilly, Kingswood, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, Llandudno, London, Manchester, Mangotsfield, Newbury, Oldbury, Paisley, Penarth, Pendlebury, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Prestwich, Reading, Rochdale, Salford, Solihull, Southampton, Stockport, Stoke-on-Trent, Stranraer, Stretford, Sutton Coldfield, Swansea, Swinton, Urmston, Wallasey, Warrington, Wolverhampton
Planned &
Announced
1 towns and cities planned
Blackpool (2020)

For more information, see our guide to 5G coverage in the UK.

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).

On Vodafone’s Pay As You Go 1, it’s possible to use tethering or personal hotspot without any restrictions. This makes it a convenient option for getting connected on multiple devices on the go, especially as you get 500MB of data for just £1 per day.

For more information, see our guide to tethering on UK mobile networks.

International Roaming

On Vodafone’s Pay As You Go service, it’s possible to use your mobile phone in 51 European destinations at the same price you’d normally pay in the UK. The £1 daily spend limit also applies in Europe, giving you unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 500MB of data per day.

If you’re travelling outside Europe, it’s still possible to use your mobile phone abroad. However, the £1 daily charge does not apply outside of Europe. Instead, you’ll need to pay Vodafone’s standard international roaming rates. It isn’t possible to benefit from the Roam-further offer as you can when using Vodafone Global Roaming on a Pay Monthly plan.

Keeping Your Phone Number

If you’re moving from another mobile network to join Vodafone Pay As You Go, it’s a straightforward process to keep your current phone number.

Start by getting a PAC Code from your current mobile network. You can get one through your mobile network’s website or app, or by texting PAC to 65075. This nine-digit code authorises Vodafone to take control of your phone number.

Once you’ve gotten a PAC Code from your old network, order a free Pay As You Go SIM card from Vodafone’s website. When the new SIM card arrives, place it inside your mobile phone and then provide your PAC Code to Vodafone through this form on their website.

After you provide your PAC Code to Vodafone, your phone number transfer will normally take place on the next working day. Unfortunately, it isn’t possible to transfer Pay As You Go credit from your old network to Vodafone so you should try to use it up before moving your phone number over.

For a step-by-step guide on how to transfer 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 Vodafone Pay As You Go 1?
Vodafone’s Pay As You Go 1 is a price plan for people who only use their mobile phone from time to time. There are no regular monthly charges on Pay As You Go 1, and you’ll never pay more than £1 per day for standard UK phone calls, text messages and up to 500MB of mobile data.
What are the charges on Vodafone Pay As You Go 1?
You’ll start each day paying 20p per minute, 20p per text and 20p per 5MB of data. These charges are capped at a maximum of £1 per day.

When you reach the £1 daily cap on Pay As You Go 1, you’ll unlock unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 500MB of data for the rest of the day at no extra charge.

Can I use Vodafone Pay As You Go without topping up every month?
Yes. There’s no need to top-up every month on Vodafone Pay As You Go 1. The only requirement is you’ll need to keep your SIM card active by topping it up or making a chargeable outbound activity every 9 months.
How does Pay As You Go 1 compare to Pay As You Go bundles?
Vodafone also offers a range of Big Value Bundles from £10/month on Pay As You Go. In general, Pay As You Go 1 works out to be better value if you use your mobile phone less than 10 days per month. If you use your mobile phone more often than this, a Big Value Bundle or VOXI bundle may work out to be better value.
What coverage will I get on Vodafone Pay As You Go 1?
You’ll get access to 99% population coverage on Vodafone’s 2G, 3G and 4G networks in the UK. Unfortunately, 5G coverage isn’t currently available to Pay As You Go 1 customers.
Can I keep my current phone number?
Yes. It’s a straightforward process to keep your current phone number. Simply ask your current mobile network to provide you with a PAC Code. You can get one through your mobile network’s website or app, or by texting PAC to 65075. After activating your new Vodafone SIM card, you can submit the PAC Code through this page to get your phone number moved over.

More Information

For more information about Vodafone Pay As You Go 1, please see the official Vodafone website.

Your Comments 81 so far

We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. So far, we've received 81 comments from readers. You can add your own comment here.

  • Ken just discovered on Vodafone t&c’s that from 12/1/21 their minimum rates on their PAYG 1 tariff is increasing substantially. Cost of call up from 20p per minute to £1per call. Cost of a single text will be £1 and also data will reduce to only 50mb per day with £1 daily charge made after first kb. This mean minimum charge for using the service will change to £1 per day and whilst that still allows unlimited calls and texts the data is going to be reduced to one tenth of the current tariff allowance.
    Also a chargeable call/text will be required after 90 days then 2 SMS reminders will be sent by vf after 90/135 days and if you have not used the service you will be disconnected after 180 days.
    I have a vodafone sim in as a second sim in my phone for emergency use in case of no reception on primary sim so these changes mean that to make a call/text/data minimum daily charge will be £1. When were vodafone planning on advising their customers of these changes? You will need to update your article on this tariff.
    Time to part company with vodafone I think!

    • Hi Sam,
      Very interesting, thanks for letting me know about that! I suspect they’re trying to push customers towards the bundles instead (e.g. the £5/month bundle with 500MB of data, or the Big Value Bundles from £10). I’ll make a note to update this page with details of the new pricing.
      Ken

  • If I have moble data switched off and I am away from home and need it how long does it take to re-enable if I switch it on in settings?

    • Hi John,
      Thanks for your comment. It’s usually pretty instantaneous turning mobile data back on (one or two seconds I’d imagine).
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

  • I don’t know if it was mentioned in the article, but PAYG 1 is Vodafone’s default tariff for Vodafone PAYG customers, for example, automatically after 7-days of failing to renew a BIG VALUE BUNDLE or non-prepaid SIM purchase.

    Whilst in my personal opinion their UK coverage and network quality is second to none, their bundles are not at all competitive, taking into consideration EE’s £5 bundle with 250 minutes and 500Mb data, as well as O2’s £10 bundle with unlimited minutes and 6Gb of data.

    The problem with PAYG 1 is that to derive the full benefit you’d have to unlock the £1 cap just after midnight and conclude your activities before midnight on the same day.

    Essentially it’s a light user solution, which can be maintained cost-effectively for about £10 per annum given Vodafone’s 9 month inactivity clause, I currently maintain one on a dual SIM handset for emergency contact

    • Hi Jake,
      Thanks for your feedback! Yes, I agree, the Big Value Bundles from Vodafone aren’t looking very competitive at the moment. Partly, this is also because they’re pushing people towards VOXI where you’ll get a lot more data for the same price (at the moment, 12GB for £10 per month).
      The Pay As You Go 1 plan is a good option for people who use their mobile phone for less than 10 days each month. If you’re at home and only using Wi-Fi (and not making calls) for the other 20+ days, it won’t cost you a penny to use your phone on those days.
      Ken

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