The cost of using your cell phone when on vacation or abroad should be considered, since some carriers have reinstated roaming costs in the aftermath of Brexit.
As a result of the UK’s exit from the European Union, the EU’s 2017 prohibition on roaming charges is no longer in effect.
The UK government has established a roaming restriction of £45 per month in Europe for each phone, which means you cannot use mobile data services when travelling unless you deliberately want to pay more.
Phone companies in the United Kingdom are now required by law to continue sending you notifications when your data use reaches 80% or 100%.
So, if you’re going to Europe this summer, how much should you expect to pay for phone service, and should you do anything in before to guarantee you’re paid the least amount possible?
Let’s find out.
If your EE plan started after 18 August 2021 then you will pay a daily charge of £2.29 a day for roaming.
You don’t have to do anything to opt in: if you use your allowances, you’ll pay £2.29 for that day; if you don’t, you won’t be charged.
All of your allowances function the same as they do at home, and you may purchase extra data if necessary.
You may add a Roam Abroad pass to your plan if it includes “included extras.”
Anyone can add this Roam Abroad pass for £10 a month – so if you’re going to be away for longer than four days it’s a cheaper option.
If your plan doesn’t include inclusive roaming in Europe (Vodafone classes this as Zone B) you’ll pay £2.25 a day to roam in these European destinations.
You can reduce this cost with a Vodafone European Roaming pass, available as £10 for 8 days or £15 for 15 days.
O2 prides itself on being ‘the only major network that isn’t bringing back EU roaming charges for up to 25GB’.
So, if you’re on O2, you can use your phone exactly like at home.
If your O2 data allocation exceeds 25GB in the UK, it will be capped at that amount in Europe; you can use more, but you will be charged for it.
However, if you use it in Europe for more than 63 days in any four-month period, this is classified as ‘permanent roaming,’ and you will be warned if you continue; if you do, you will be charged.
Giffgaff plans can be used in the EU and selected destinations just like you use them at home and at no extra cost.
However, in Europe, use is limited to 5GB.
If you have a Giffgaff ‘goodybag’ with an unlimited UK data allotment, you will be charged 10p per MB after you have used more than 5GB of data in Europe.
Sky’s Roaming Passport Plus (£2 per day) allows you to use your UK data, voice, and text limits in over 55 vacation locations.
These include the EU/EEA, the United States, Australia, and others (with the exception of the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man).
For all of 2023, Tesco Mobile’s Home From Home means you can use your phone in 48 destinations including the EU as you do at home.
You may continue to use your minutes, messages, and data as usual. If you go above your limit, you’ll be charged 10p per MB.
If your Three plan started on or after 1 October 2021, you can unlock your data allowances – and call and text the UK and other Go Roam in Europe destinations – for a daily roaming charge of £2 a day in Europe.
That said, if you’re on a Three Your Way plan, it comes with up to 56 days of roaming included. If you run out – or you’re on a Standard plan – you can also buy 3, 7, or 14-day Go Roam Passes. All are subject to a 12GB fair usage limit.