Vodafone’s £1 per day “Pay As You Go 1” tariff gives you unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 500MB of data.

In the UK, Vodafone’s “Pay As You Go 1” tariff allows you to use your mobile phone occasionally and to “never spend more than £1 per day”.

Designed for customers who don’t use their phone very often, there are no regular monthly charges or minimum daily spends. You simply pay up to £1 per day whenever you use your handset, and nothing on the days when you don’t use your mobile phone.

The £1 daily spend limit covers unlimited standard UK phone calls, unlimited text messages and up to 500MB of mobile data. Before you reach the £1 daily spend limit, usage is charged at 20p/minute, 20p/text and 20p for every 5MB of data.

In this article, we’ll review Vodafone’s Pay As You Go 1 tariff. We’ll start by looking at how much it costs and how it compares to other Pay As You Go tariffs on Vodafone. We’ll also compare Pay As You Go 1 to what is available on other mobile networks, the type of handsets available and the level of coverage you can expect. Finally, we’ll look at how you can keep your existing phone number when moving from another mobile network to join Vodafone Pay As You Go.

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Pricing

Pay As You Go 1

Vodafone’s Pay As You Go 1 tariff: unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 500MB data for £1/day.

In the UK, Vodafone’s latest Pay As You Go tariff is called Pay As You Go 1. Designed for customers who don’t normally use their phone every day, the tariff charges £1/day for unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 500MB of data. The charge is only paid on the days when you actually use your phone, and there are no regular monthly fees to be paid on the service.

Before you reach the £1/day threshold, the following charges will apply for your usage:

Calling Rates:
Voice Calls 20p/minute (capped at £1/day*)
Calls to Voicemail 20p/minute (capped at £1/day*)
Calls to Special Rate Numbers 45p/minute access charge
+ service charge from the company you’re calling
Messaging Rates:
Text Message (SMS) 20p (capped at £1/day*)
Picture Message (MMS) 20p (capped at £1/day*)
Internet Rates:
Mobile Internet 20p per 5MB (capped at £1/day for up to 500MB*)
Additional Internet £1/day for 500MB (maximum once per day)

* A daily spend cap of £1 applies for standard UK phone calls, text messages and mobile internet usage. Other activities do not count towards this daily spend cap (e.g. special-rate phone numbers, picture messages, international calls, roaming outside of Europe, etc).

Only standard UK phone calls, text & picture messages and mobile internet usage will count towards your £1 daily spend limit on Pay As You Go 1. Anything else including phone calls to a special-rate number or international phone calls will be charged as a separate service and will not be included within the £1 daily spend limit.

Standard UK phone calls, text messages and mobile internet count towards your £1 daily spend limit.

As usual, you’re not charged for using the internet over wi-fi on your smartphone. You’re also not charged for receiving an incoming phone call or text message. None of these things will trigger the £1 daily charge.

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If you were to use more than 500MB of data during one day, you’ll be offered Vodafone’s £1 Data Extra add-on. This will give you an extra 500MB allowance for use by midnight the same day. It’s only possible to buy the add-on a maximum of once each day so your data connection will be disabled if you were to use 1GB in one day.

A single day is defined by Vodafone as being midnight-to-midnight (UK time). It’s important to remember this when using your mobile phone in Europe as the difference in time zone needs to be considered when working out how much you’ll pay.

Opting In To Pay As You Go 1

If you’re an existing Vodafone Pay As You Go customer, call 41146 for free on your handset to opt-in to the Pay As You Go 1 tariff. By opting-in, you’ll lose any benefits associated with your current tariff (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 the tariff by ordering a free SIM card from the Vodafone website.

Other Pay As You Go Tariffs

As an alternative to the Pay As You Go 1 tariff, Vodafone also offers Big Value Bundles on Pay As You Go. These Big Value Bundles are designed for customers who use their phone more regularly, as your credit is automatically converted into a one-month allowance (e.g. £10/month for 250 minutes, unlimited texts and 2GB of internet). Customers with a Big Value Bundle can also benefit from ‘Total Rollover’ of unused allowances.

Unfortunately, it isn’t possible to benefit from Pay As You Go 1 rates at the same time as buying a Big Value Bundle. You can easily change between the two tariffs at any time but you’ll lose the benefits of the other tariff when you do so.

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.

Comparison to Alternatives

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

Light Users

If you’re someone who only uses their phone occasionally, it’s possible you’ll get good value from Vodafone’s Pay As You Go 1 tariff. This is especially the case for customers who don’t use their phone very often, but who’ll use a lot of minutes or mobile data on the days when they do (e.g. emergency usage, or usage on trips when you’re away from home).

The key thing to compare is Vodafone’s £1 daily charge against how much you’d typically pay on other mobile networks. For instance, O2’s Classic Pay As You Go and Three’s 321 tariff charge 3p/minute, 2p/text and 1p/MB. On these plans, you’ll be able to use either 33 minutes, 50 text messages or 100MB of data with your £1 of credit.

The following table shows a comparison of Vodafone’s Pay As You Go 1 to rates from rival mobile networks:

Network Calls (per minute) Texts (per SMS) Data (per MB)
1pMobile 1p/minute 1p/text 1p/MB
ASDA Mobile 8p/minute 4p/text 5p/MB
EE 35p/minute 15p/text
giffgaff 15p/minute 5p/text 5p/MB
O2 3p/minute 2p/text 1p/MB
Tesco Mobile 25p/minute 10p/text 10p/MB
Three 3p/minute 2p/text 1p/MB
Vodafone £1/day for unlimited minutes, unlimited texts & 500MB data

For more information, see our full comparison of Pay As You Go rates in the UK.

Regular Users

If you’re likely to use your mobile phone for more than 10 days per month, you’ll normally be better off buying a Pay As You Go bundle. This is because Vodafone’s £1 daily charge will quickly add up over the course of a month (you’ll pay about £30 per month if you use your smartphone every day).

For instance, giffgaff offers unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 3GB of data for £10/month on Pay As You Go. For someone using their smartphone every day, this is about one-third of the price.

The following table shows Pay As You Go bundles available for £10/month:

NetworkMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
giffgaffUnlimitedUnlimited6GB£10.00
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited4GB£10.00
ASDA Mobile600Unlimited4GB£10.00
O2UnlimitedUnlimited3GB£10.00
Vodafone250Unlimited3GB£10.00
EE250Unlimited1GB£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 on the Pay As You Go 1 tariff.

If you already have a mobile phone that you’re happy to keep, order a free Pay As You Go 1 SIM card from the Vodafone website. You can top it up from as little as £5 to get started, with usage then costing £1/day on the days you use your mobile phone. Depending on where your handset was originally purchased, it might be necessary for you to unlock your handset before it will accept a Vodafone SIM card.

If you’d like a new mobile phone, you can buy one from the Vodafone website on the Pay As You Go 1 tariff. At the time of writing, you can get a new mobile phone from around £2.50 or a new smartphone from around £40 on Pay As You Go. There’s a minimum initial top-up of £10 when buying a new Vodafone handset.

Network & Coverage

2G, 3G & 4G Coverage

Vodafone offers 98% population coverage across the UK.

Customers on Pay As You Go 1 can access 98% population coverage from Vodafone’s network across the UK. This includes 96% population coverage on 3G and 97% population coverage on 4G.

Before joining 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 about mobile phone coverage in the UK, please see our in-depth guide to UK mobile coverage.

Tethering

Tethering or personal hotspot refers to the process of sharing your smartphone’s mobile broadband internet connection with another device (e.g. with your laptop or tablet).

You can tether without any restrictions on Vodafone’s Pay As You Go 1 tariff. This makes it a fairly good choice if you occasionally want to get other devices connected to the internet on-the-go (especially given the large 500MB data allowance for £1/day).

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

International Roaming

On Vodafone Pay As You Go, it’s possible to use your phone in 50 European destinations at no extra charge. The same £1 daily spend limit applies when you’re travelling in the EU, giving you unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and up to 500MB of data.

Outside of Europe, it’s still possible to access international roaming. However, the £1 daily charge will not apply for this activity – instead, higher international roaming rates will apply.

For more information, see our full guide to using your mobile phone abroad.

Keeping Your Phone Number

If you’re moving from another mobile network to join Vodafone Pay As You Go 1, it’s a straightforward process to keep your current phone number.

To do so, you should start by contacting your current mobile network and asking them for a PAC Code. This is a nine-digit code that authorises Vodafone to take control of your phone number.

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

After providing your PAC Code to Vodafone, your phone number will normally be transferred on the next working day. Please be aware that it isn’t possible to transfer Pay As You Go credit from your old network to Vodafone, so you should try to use up your credit 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

More Information

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

Your Comments 59 so far

We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. So far, we've received 59 comments from readers. You can add your own comment here.

  • I would like to see if Vodafone are faster than Three on my 4G mobile broadband router. Vodafone’s mast is much nearer to our property, so in theory should be better.

    If I get a PAYG SIM, is the speed throttled or limited in any way? Would it be a fair test or do I need to take out a contract for unlimited data when the time comes?

    Apologies, I couldn’t see this question already answered. Thank you Ken for a fantastic website!

    • Hi Michael,
      Thanks for your comment. I think the best way to test this out is probably to get a VOXI SIM card with endless data. You’ll pay £30 for a one-month bundle with unlimited data, and it works on a Pay As You Go basis so there’s no need for a credit check. That SIM card definitely shouldn’t be throttled as they offer 5G download speeds on it. If you’re happy with performance, you can either decide to stay on VOXI’s £30 plan, or you can switch to Vodafone’s £30 Unlimited Max data plan which has a 12-month contract (along with some extras like VeryMe Rewards and Vodafone Global Roaming Plus).
      With regards to Vodafone Pay As You Go, unfortunately I don’t know whether this is throttled. It definitely doesn’t have access to the fastest speeds available on Vodafone’s Pay Monthly SIM cards or VOXI’s £30 plan. Therefore, using a SIM card from VOXI might be a more accurate test 🙂
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

  • ON PAYG1 you are charged the daily amount If you switch your phone on and don’t make calls / receive calls / whatever.

    That’s unreasonable – other providers don’t charge until you actually user their services.
    Mebe that’s how Voda make their service economic…..
    I think that’s a pain….

    • Hi Henry,
      Thanks for your comment. You shouldn’t automatically be charged the £1 daily amount if you don’t use your phone for calling, texting or mobile data. I think what’s potentially happening is that your phone might be using data automatically in the background (e.g. for email notifications, other app notifications, instant messages via WhatsApp, etc). You could try disabling the “Mobile data” feature on your smartphone to see whether this stops you from being charged automatically.
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

      • Thanks for answering – not to be argumentative / disingenuous – BUT I checked with Voda’s CS and a nice gentleman (in the UK not Egypt!) stated that it was “broken as designed” – and that if I just switched my device on – in this case a MiFi it would trigger the daily charge. I challenged him, but he was firm with his statement.
        Other companies (well, I only use Three) don’t charge until you start to send traffic.
        Having ‘suffered’ with Voda’s diabolical systems for many years now I cynically think that they have taken the lazy way out / don’t know whether you’re sending traffic or not – so the charge gets triggered.
        ‘suppose I shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth – the rates are very good for low volume web browsing – irritating as Voda doesn’t seem to keep a record of when I’ve used the service which can mean a disconnection / deletion of my details and account for which I then can’t produce a record. A case of Big Brother bullying the customer.

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