There's no need to break the bank just to get a new mobile - even if you want a brand new iPhone or a stunning Samsung Galaxy. By comparing everything you can get and looking out for the right deal, it's possible to find a bargain phone plan, whatever it is you're looking for. Here's how you can save money on your mobile.
How to find a cheap mobile phone plan
Whether you're after a contract deal or a SIM-only plan, here's what you can do to get it at a nice low cost.
Compare your options
The best way to find a great value mobile deal is to use our comparison tool.
Pick everything you want from a deal - including things like your chosen handset, monthly allowance, networks you like, and contract length - and then sort the results by cost. This will show you the cheapest ones first, so you can grab something great value without having to compromise.
Look out for special offers
Providers and retailers often put out special, limited time offers - sometimes they're for events like Cyber Monday, sometimes they're online-only, and sometimes they're exclusive just to us. We'll call these out right there in the grid so you can see which deals are cheaper than usual right now.
Choose a budget network or MVNO
Some networks have lower operating costs than others, and that means they can offer you cheaper deals.
Most of these are MVNOs, or mobile virtual network operators. Instead of running their own networks, they piggyback on bigger ones (EE, O2, Three, or Vodafone), and offer cheaper plans as a result. Examples include Virgin Mobile, iD Mobile, giffgaff, and Tesco Mobile.
You don't usually get as many extras or bonuses as you would with a more costly network, but it's fine if you want a cheap plan.
Existing customer deals
Many providers like to reward their current customers by giving you access to exclusive deals. O2, EE, and Three have all been known to offer special upgrade deals.
And it's not just mobile networks - some companies offer deals or extra benefits on mobile plans if you have their broadband or TV services. BT broadband customers get £5 per month off all BT Mobile plans, for example - and Sky TV users get unlimited calls and texts on Sky Mobile.
Sell your old phone
Moving onto mobile pastures new? Sell your old handset for the most money by comparing offers with us. You'll get more cash to put towards your new plan, and you'll be helping the environment.
Cheap pay monthly phone deals
Contract deals mean you can get a new phone, perhaps even the latest all-singing all-dancing shiny flagship, without paying a bomb all in one go. It can push up your monthly bill though, so it's best to compare deals to find the cheapest options.
Cheap iPhone deals
Apple iPhones can run quite costly - especially the latest versions - but luckily they're available on lots of networks with loads of choice over tariffs. That includes low-cost networks, and sometimes special offers too, so keep a beady eye out.
Older iPhones are much cheaper than the newest ones, and they're far from obsolete - it can't hurt to go back a generation or two if you're looking for a bargain.
Cheap Samsung Galaxy deals
Like iPhones, the top-end Samsung Galaxy mobiles can be pretty expensive too - but you can still find one at a reasonable cost.
Again, it's worth looking at deals on older models, such as the Samsung Galaxy S7, and at phones from the budget end of the manufacturer's range. Galaxy A models are far lower in cost than Galaxy S ones, for instance, and have surprisingly high-tech features.
Tips for finding a cheap phone contract
Whatever kind of handset you want, here are a few more things to try to get your hands on a bargain mobile phone deal.
Low cost mobiles - Budget-range smartphones, and even mid-range ones, have some good tech going on these days. You may not get all the features you do with the big flagships, but you can still find HD screens, high-spec cameras, secure fingerprint scanners, and fancy designs for a fraction of the price.
Refurbished phones - These are previously-owned handsets that have been fixed up so they're good as new. It means you don't get a brand new phone, but they have a much cheaper price tag.
Resellers - Look out for deals from companies like Carphone Warehouse, E2save, Direct Mobiles, and more. They buy phones and SIM deals in bulk, then sell them onto you at a lower price than a lot of networks. You get the same great handset, and the same benefits from the network you pick - the only real difference is the reduced price.
Cheap SIM-only deals
Already got a phone you like, and want to get the cheapest possible monthly bills? You'll want a nice low-cost SIM-only deal.
It's almost always better value to get a pay-monthly plan than pay-as-you-go, so we recommend comparing contract SIMs. 12-month deals often cost less per month than 30-day ones, too - if you're happy to commit, it can save you money on the whole.
You can find a good value SIM-only deal by using our comparison tool. Enter the allowance you want, along with any other factors you reckon are important such as contract length, then sort the lot by monthly cost.