Vodafone offers three types of price plan: Red, Unlimited and Basics. Find out how the different price plans compare.

If you’re choosing a new mobile phone or SIM card from Vodafone, there are currently three different types of price plan you’re able to choose from.

Comparing the Red, Unlimited and Basics price plans, you’ll need to decide whether you want unlimited data or a gigabyte allowance, the maximum download speeds you want on your plan and whether you need inclusive international roaming.

The cheapest available SIM cards are available on Vodafone Basics, where you’ll pay as little as £6/month for data at a download speed of up to a 10Mbps (equivalent to a basic 4G connection). Vodafone Red gives you a larger allowance of data along with 5G on most plans, with inclusive roaming when you travel abroad in Europe. Meanwhile, at the top-end, Vodafone Unlimited starts from £22/month for unlimited data at a range of different download speeds.

In this article, we’ll compare the three types of price plan from Vodafone. We’ll look at Vodafone Red, Vodafone Unlimited and Vodafone Basics in more detail. We’ll then showcase some of the best value SIM cards in each range before looking at the coverage available and how to keep your existing phone number.

Vodafone Basics vs Red vs Unlimited: At A Glance

In the UK, Vodafone offers three types of price plan: Basics, Red and Unlimited. The following table summarises the key differences between the three types of plan:

Basics Red Unlimited
Monthly Price From £6/month From £11/month From £22/month
Minutes Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Texts Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Data 2GB – 100GB 1GB – 60GB Unlimited
Contract Length 12 months 30 days
12 months
24 months
30 days
12 months
24 months
Other New customers only
SIM card only
Network & Coverage Features
5G Coverage * (5GB+ plans) *
Download Speed Up to 10Mbps Uncapped 4G/5G Uncapped 4G/5G (Max)
Up to 10Mbps (Unlimited)
Up to 2Mbps (Lite)
Tethering
Wi-Fi Calling
4G Calling
International Roaming
Roaming Supported? UK-only use
Inclusive EU Roaming 52 destinations 52 destinations
Inclusive non-EU Roaming 29 destinations (Max)
(Unlimited & Lite)
Roaming Data Limit
1GB – 20GB 25GB
Inclusive Entertainment
Entertainment Plan Add £7/month
(20GB plan only)
Add £7/month
(Unlimited & Max only)
Entertainment Services
Choose one:

  • Amazon Prime Video
  • Spotify Premium
  • NOW TV
  • Sky Sports Mobile TV
Choose one:

  • Amazon Prime Video
  • Spotify Premium
  • NOW TV
  • Sky Sports Mobile TV
Entertainment Length 12-24 months 12-24 months

* Vodafone’s 5G coverage is subject to coverage in your area and having a 5G-ready smartphone.
Wi-Fi Calling and 4G Calling are only available on compatible smartphones. Android devices may need to be purchased directly from Vodafone.

Prior to July 2019, Vodafone offered a slightly different line-up consisting of Essential, Red Extra and Red Entertainment plans. The features from these old plans have since been consolidated into Vodafone Red and Vodafone Unlimited (e.g. Entertainment is now available as an add-on to both Vodafone Red and Vodafone Unlimited).

Price Plans & Features

Basics Plans

If you’re looking for a low-cost SIM card that only includes “what you need for everyday use in the UK”, Vodafone offers a choice of five Basics price plans. Starting from just £6/month, the Basics price plans include unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and an allowance of data (e.g. the £10 plan includes 10GB of data per month).

On Basics, you’ll get the same 3G and 4G coverage as other Vodafone customers but the download speed is capped at a maximum of 10Mbps. This is equivalent to a basic 4G connection and should be enough for almost everything you’d want to use on your smartphone (including streaming HD-quality video, music, video calling, sharing photos and using social media apps). It may not be suitable for streaming Ultra HD (4K) video or tethering to lots of devices at the same time.

Some lesser-used features are not available on Vodafone Basics. For instance, a Basics SIM card cannot be used outside the UK. Additionally, things like international calls, premium-rate calls and MMS picture messages are barred on the service.

TariffMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
Basics
UnlimitedUnlimited2GB
10Mbps max
£6.00
12 months
Basics
UnlimitedUnlimited9GB
10Mbps max
£8.00
12 months
Basics
UnlimitedUnlimited10GB
10Mbps max
£10.00
12 months
Basics
UnlimitedUnlimited25GB
10Mbps max
£15.00
12 months
Basics
UnlimitedUnlimited100GB
10Mbps max
£20.00
12 months

Vodafone Basics is only available to new customers, and must be purchased through a special page on Vodafone’s website. For more information, please read our in-depth review of Vodafone Basics.

Red Plans

5G coverage is available on Vodafone Red plans with more than 5GB of data.

If you’d like a more fully-featured price plan, Vodafone Red starts from £11/month. This is sometimes also known as a “Gigabyte plan”.

On Vodafone Red, you’ll normally get a data allowance of either 1GB, 5GB or 20GB per month. Occasionally, larger data allowances may also be available on a promotional basis.

Access to Vodafone’s 5G network is possible on the 5GB and 20GB plans, subject to 5G coverage in your area and having a 5G-ready phone. There are no download speed limits on Vodafone Red so you can access the fastest available speeds supported by your phone and network coverage.

You’ll get inclusive roaming on Vodafone Red when travelling to 52 European destinations. If your handset supports it, you can also use Wi-Fi Calling and 4G Calling capabilities.

TariffMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
Red
UnlimitedUnlimited1GB£11.00
24 months
Red
UnlimitedUnlimited1GB£12.00
12 months
Red
UnlimitedUnlimited5GB£15.00
24 months
Red
UnlimitedUnlimited5GB£16.00
12 months
Red
UnlimitedUnlimited1GB£16.00
1 month
Red
UnlimitedUnlimited60GB£20.00
12 months
Red
UnlimitedUnlimited20GB£20.00
24 months
Red
UnlimitedUnlimited5GB£20.00
1 month
Red
UnlimitedUnlimited40GB£25.00
24 months
Red
UnlimitedUnlimited20GB£25.00
1 month
Red
UnlimitedUnlimited40GB£27.00
12 months
Red
UnlimitedUnlimited20GB£27.00
24 months
To show you the most relevant plans, 7 similar but more expensive plans have been hidden. .

You can also get a Vodafone Red price plan on contract with a range of different handsets, either directly from Vodafone or from retailers like Mobiles.co.uk and the Carphone Warehouse.

For an extra £7/month, an optional Entertainment package can be added to the Vodafone Red 20GB plan. This will give you access to Amazon Prime Video, Spotify Premium, the NOW TV Entertainment Pass or Sky Sports Mobile TV.

Unlimited Plans

At the top end, Vodafone’s flagship offer is their range of unlimited data plans. Starting from £22/month, you’ll be able to download as much as you like on these plans.

There are three unlimited data price plans to choose from:

  • Unlimited Lite (from £22/month) gives you download speeds of up to 2Mbps.
  • Unlimited (from £26/month) gives you download speeds of up to 10Mbps.
  • Unlimited Max (from £30/month) gives you the fastest available speeds on Vodafone. In theory, this can go all the way up to 1Gbps (1,000Mbps). More realistically, however, it’ll normally be around 150-200Mbps on 5G and 25-35Mbps on 4G).

You’ll be able to use up to your 25GB of your data abroad at no extra charge on Vodafone Unlimited. You’ll get inclusive roaming in 52 European destinations, plus an extra 29 destinations outside Europe if you choose the Unlimited Max price plan.

TariffMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
Unlimited
UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
2Mbps max
£22.00
24 months
Unlimited
UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
2Mbps max
£24.00
12 months
Unlimited
UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£26.00
24 months
Unlimited
UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
10Mbps max
£26.00
24 months
Unlimited
UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
2Mbps max
£28.00
1 month
Unlimited
UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
10Mbps max
£28.00
12 months
Unlimited
UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
10Mbps max
£32.00
1 month
Unlimited
UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£33.00
12 months
Unlimited
UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£37.00
1 month
To show you the most relevant plans, 6 similar but more expensive plans have been hidden. .

The table above shows Vodafone Unlimited SIM cards on a 24-month contract. You’ll need to pay a little bit extra to get the SIM cards on a 12-month contract or 30-day rolling contract. Alternatively, you can get a new smartphone with unlimited data on Vodafone, either directly from their website or from retailers like Mobiles.co.uk and the Carphone Warehouse.

An optional £7/month Entertainment package can be added to the Unlimited and Unlimited Max plans. If you choose to add an Entertainment package, you’ll get inclusive access to either Amazon Prime Video, Spotify Premium, NOW TV or Sky Sports Mobile TV.

For more information, please read our full review of Vodafone’s unlimited data plans.

Coverage

2G, 3G & 4G Coverage

In the UK, Vodafone offers 99% population coverage on their 2G, 3G and 4G mobile network.

Regardless of whether you choose a Basics, Red or Unlimited price plan, you’ll have access to the exact same level of 2G, 3G and 4G mobile coverage. You can use Vodafone’s online coverage map to ensure there’s coverage available where you live:

Check Vodafone Coverage (vodafone.co.uk) →

With 4G coverage, you can typically get download speeds of around 25-35Mbps from Vodafone. A forecast of the download speeds available in your area can be found within Vodafone’s coverage map (tap on the Data speed info button once you’ve entered your postcode).

For more information, see our full guide to coverage on Vodafone or how mobile network coverage works in the UK.

5G Coverage

If you have a 5G-ready smartphone and price plan, you can access Vodafone’s 5G network in towns and cities where coverage has been switched on.

Access to 5G coverage is available on Vodafone Red price plans with at least 5GB of data per month and on all Vodafone unlimited data plans.

Vodafone’s 5G network is currently available in the following UK towns and cities:

Now Live45 towns and cities are live on Vodafone 5G (July 2020)
Ambleside, Bebington, Belfast, Birkenhead, Birmingham, Bishopbriggs, Bolton, Bootle, Bristol, Cardiff, Cheadle, Droylsden, Eccles, Edinburgh, Gatwick, Glasgow, Guildford, Horwich, Huyton-with-Roby, Isle of Scilly, Kingswood, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, Llandudno, London, Manchester, Mangotsfield, Newbury, Paisley, Penarth, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Prestwich, Reading, Rochdale, Salford, Solihull, Southampton, Stockport, Stoke-on-Trent, Stretford, Wallasey, Warrington, Wolverhampton
Planned &
Announced
2 towns and cities planned
Blackpool, Bournemouth (2020)

Check 5G Coverage on Vodafone →

If you’re not able to access 5G coverage on your phone, you’ll still be able to access 2G, 3G and 4G coverage from Vodafone. For more information, see our full 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 other devices (e.g. with a laptop or tablet). It’s often a convenient way to get a mobile broadband connection without buying a separate device.

On Vodafone, it’s possible to use tethering and personal hotspot regardless of which price plan you choose. This means you can tether the entirety of your data allowance on Vodafone Basics, Red and Unlimited.

If you’re likely to tether fairly regularly from your phone, we’d recommend the £30/month Unlimited Max price plan. This gives you unlimited data with full 4G & 5G download speeds, and you can tether as much as you like to share the data with other devices. We wouldn’t recommend tethering on Unlimited Lite as the 2Mbps download speed is likely to make this a frustrating experience.

International Roaming

On Vodafone Red and Vodafone Unlimited, you can use your mobile phone abroad in other countries at no extra charge. This is available as part of Vodafone’s Global Roaming service.

  • With Vodafone Basics, roaming is not available as Basics is a UK-only plan.
  • With Vodafone Red, you can use your normal UK allowance at no extra charge in 52 European roam-free destinations.
  • With Unlimited Lite and Unlimited, you can use up to 25GB of data abroad at no extra charge in 52 European roam-free destinations.
  • With Unlimited Max, you can use up to 25GB of data abroad at no extra charge in 81 destinations as part of Vodafone Global Roaming Plus. This includes most of Europe, the USA, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and more.

For more information, see our guide to Vodafone Global Roaming or Vodafone’s official website.

Keeping Your Phone Number

If you’re switching from another mobile network to Vodafone, it’s a straightforward process to keep your existing phone number.

To do so, start by contacting your old mobile network and asking them for a PAC Code. This is a nine-digit code that authorises the transfer of your phone number to Vodafone. You can get a PAC Code 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 mobile phone or SIM card from the Vodafone website. After your new phone or SIM card arrives in the post, you can provide the PAC Code to Vodafone through this online form. They’ll then schedule the transfer of your phone number, normally for 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

How does Vodafone Red compare to Vodafone Basics and Vodafone Unlimited?
Vodafone offers three types of Pay Monthly plan:
  • Vodafone Basics (from £6/month): Low cost SIM-only plans, with a maximum download speed of 10Mbps (4G speed) and UK-only usage. Some lesser used features are not available on Basics.
  • Vodafone Red (from £11/month): Fully-featured Pay Monthly and SIM-only plans, with a data allowance up to 60GB per month. Has access to most features on the Vodafone network, including 5G coverage on plans with at least 5GB of data and inclusive roaming in 52 European destinations.
  • Vodafone Unlimited (from £22/month): Vodafone’s flagship price plan with no limits on how much you can download. Has a choice of three different download speeds, with 5G coverage available on all plans. Global Roaming Plus is available in 81 destinations on the Unlimited Max plan.
What download speeds are available on Vodafone price plans?
The maximum download speeds available on Vodafone’s price plans are as follows:
  • Vodafone Basics: Up to 10Mbps
  • Vodafone Red 1GB: Uncapped 4G speeds
  • Vodafone Red 5GB+: Uncapped 4G & 5G speeds
  • Vodafone Unlimited Lite: Up to 2Mbps
  • Vodafone Unlimited: Up to 10Mbps
  • Vodafone Unlimited Max: Uncapped 4G & 5G speeds
Which Vodafone price plans come with international roaming?
You can use your mobile phone abroad on any Vodafone Red or Vodafone Unlimited price plan. Most plans come with the Vodafone Global Roaming service, where there are 52 European Roam-free destinations. On the Unlimited Max price plan, you’ll have access to Global Roaming Plus with a total of 81 Roam-free destinations (including 29 destinations outside Europe). Unfortunately, international roaming is not available on Vodafone Basics.
How does the coverage compare across Vodafone price plans?
In the UK, Vodafone offers four types of coverage: 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G. All Vodafone Pay Monthly customers are able to access 99% population coverage on Vodafone’s 2G, 3G and 4G networks. To get access to Vodafone’s 5G network, you’ll need a Vodafone Red plan with at least 5GB of data per month or a Vodafone Unlimited plan.
Which Vodafone price plans come with inclusive Entertainment?
You can add a Entertainment package for £7/month to the Vodafone Red 20GB, Unlimited and Unlimited Max plans. The Entertainment package gives you access to either Amazon Prime Video, Spotify Premium, the NOW TV Entertainment Pass or Sky Sports Mobile TV for the duration of your contract.
Can I keep my current phone number when joining Vodafone?
Yes. It’s easy to keep your current phone number when moving to Vodafone. Start by asking your current mobile network for a PAC Code, either through their website or app, or by texting PAC to 65075. You should then provide this to Vodafone after you sign up.

More Information

For more information, please see Vodafone’s official website. You can also read our in-depth reviews on Vodafone Basics, on Vodafone Unlimited and on Vodafone’s network and coverage.

Your Comments 13 so far

We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. So far, we've received 13 comments from readers. You can add your own comment here.

  • Hello,
    I theory yes, however Vodafone does it somehow that GBs disappear very quickly even if all attachments closed and you do literally nothing. My previous comment was that 1.3GB disappeared just browsing linkedIn, news, and checking emails with no video or music in 5 days. So I was keeping the only one app opened Vodafone writing that comment, and 0.1GB has just been written off! Miracle by Vodafone! So to do anything and listen to music it’s a must to have unlimited. Thinking about leaving Vodafone though.

  • Hello,
    Just moved from Basic 5GB plan (I paid £18+ for some reason) to Red 5GB plan which is £15.
    Recently noticed, even being on the previous plan, GB started disappearing very quickly even if you don’t do anything but browsing LinkedIn, etc. 5 days and 1.3 GB has gone. No music, no film watching, nothing, very basic stuff like reading news and checking emails, not downloading anything huge.
    I have no idea how Vodafone does that … I’m not saying they are cheating but that’s interesting how they do it anyway.

    • Hi Tony,
      Thanks for your comment. Out of interest, what does the data usage monitor on your smartphone say and how does this data usage differ from what Vodafone is reporting? I’d personally be really surprised if they’re measuring your data usage incorrectly. Instead, it’s often the case that something’s running in the background (e.g. background app updates, cloud sync & backup services, etc) meaning data is consumed on your device in the background without you knowing.
      Ken

      • Hi Ken,
        Thank you. Probably I went to the wrong forum. Sorry. I meant what I said. I don’t do sync or cloud services as I simply don’t use it. My phone is not backed up for ages, that’s what my phone says. How it can be running in this case.
        I just don’t need to back up. Nothing on it literally. What can be run without me knowing. All apps closed. Switched off and on. Looked a couple of times on LinkedIn and Facebook. 0.1 Gb have gone. I think Vodafone is trying to trick us burning our Gbs somehow thinking we are going to go for more allowance paying them more. They are wrong. When my Gbs finish I’ll turn mobile data off.

        • Hi Tony,
          That’s very strange – I’m not quite sure why that’s happening. If you were to contact Vodafone, they should be able to give you more details on the charges including how they were calculated if you’d like to interrogate it further.
          Ken

  • Hi.. I am coming to the end of a Vodafone Red Entertainment pack, which had 25gb + Spotify/Sky and Global Roaming included.
    It seems that the new policies on offer will not have Global Roaming included, rather, they will charge £5/day usage for North America. Or am I wrong?
    I was told by a representative that if I stay on my contract, I will only lose the ‘Entertainment Option’ ie. Spotify/Sky, but will still have Global Roaming included..

    I travel to North America once a month and would like to have North America included in my price plan, as opposed to paying a ££ daily rate.

    Any help or suggestions for another carrier?

    Many thanks,

    • Hi there,
      It’s still possible to get Global Roaming Plus, which gives you up to 25GB of data each month for use in 77 destinations including the USA, Canada and Mexico. To get it, you’ll need to choose the Unlimited Max price plan which starts from £30/month on a SIM-only basis. Entertainment will cost you an extra £6/month so the total package with Entertainment starts from £36/month.
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

    • Hi there,
      The speed limit only applies when you’re using Vodafone’s network for data. If you’re using a Wi-Fi network (e.g. at home or outside), the speed limits will not apply.
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

  • Miss I don't know said:

    Hi Ken, thank you for the summary. I currently use a red plan with Vodafone and am due to upgrade. I’m just not sure which plan, red again or unlimited lite? Am worried if I choose lite my Internet browsing will be significantly slower? Is this the case? Or does it only matter when you download? Will it be significantly slower watching videos? Please help! Thank you! Miss I don’t know 🤷‍♀️

    • Hi there,
      Thanks for your comment. Do you know how much data you currently use? If it’s a lot less than 20GB per month, I’d probably recommend going for the Red plan. This is because you probably don’t need the unlimited data allowance, can save a couple of pounds every month and have uncapped download speeds. If you often use more than 20GB per month, the Unlimited plans would be more worth considering.
      With regards to how much of a slowdown you’ll see, I’ve written a bit more about this here. Unlimited Lite should probably be fine for most day-to-day usage (browsing, email, instant messaging, etc) but online video streaming will essentially be limited to standard definition.
      Ken

  • Really good summary – have just been trying to decide on whether to switch from BT to Vodafone Red plan and speaking to them via instant message was told that the Red plans are limited to 2-5Mbit/s download speed?

    Your summary seems to suggest this isn’t the case (which would make sense – the unlimited plans seem to be price-pointed based on the data download speeds whereas the red plans are price-pointed based on total data. It would be odd if the red plans were speed and capacity limited).

    Can I ask where you got your information from?

    • Hi there,
      The Vodafone Red price plans aren’t speed limited (the 1GB plan gives you uncapped 4G speeds, whereas the 5GB and 20GB plans give you uncapped 4G/5G speeds). This is stated on the Vodafone website, but you can also check with them directly via their web chat if you’d like to make sure! This should be accessible through a little pop-up on the right hand side of this page.
      Hope this helps,
      Ken
      Ken

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