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Cheapest Tariff
  • 500 mins
  • Unlimited txts
  • 250 MB data
  • £3.99 per month*
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Why choose a phone contract through us?

Choosing a new mobile phone contract is a big deal. We love mobile phones, but more importantly we love helping our visitors find the best possible phone contract for their needs. At Best Mobile Contracts you will not find any high pressure sales tactics, just the facts that you need to choose the deal that´s right for you. Below are 3 reasons why you should choose a contract through us:

  • We compare over 2 million deals
  • Our results are 100% unbiased, best deal always wins.
  • Save up to £598 when you compare

 

 

Mobile Phone Contract Information

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  • What is a mobile phone contract?

    A contract is a an agreement between you and the network operator whereby you agree to pay a set monthly amount in exchange for a set number of minutes, texts and sometimes, data. You will always receive a mobile phone with a mobile phone contract on this site; this will normally be free or discounted depending on the monthly cost.

    You can get contracts that do not require you to have a free or discounted mobile phone, but we will always refer to these deals as sim only contracts on this site. You can find out more about sim only deals here.

    A mobile phone contract is for a set period of time. Typically mobile phone contracts are available for 12, 18 and 24 month periods. As of 25th May 2011, Ofcom ruled (in conjunction with EU regulations) that the maximum duration for a mobile phone contract in the UK should be 24 months, meaning previous 36 month contracts may no longer be offered. Ofcom also ruled that mobile phone operators must offer at least one 12 month contract as a point of entry to its services. However section 7.24 of the following document states that sim only contracts that are typically available from between 1 and 12 months would satisfy this requirement. Therefore mobile phone operators are not required to offer a mobile phone with a contract for 12 months.

  • Why choose a contract?

    If you use your phone regularly to call, text and browse the internet, a mobile phone contract is often the cheapest way to stay connected. You can grab a contract with 100 minutes and texts as well as data and a free phone from as little as £10.00 per month. If you’re willing to do a bit of legwork and grab some cashback by redemption , you can even get a phone with all of the above cashback deals.

    When you sign up for anything between 12 and 24 months you will often receive a phone that is free or heavily discounted compared to its sim free price. This is a particularly advantageous for some of the more expensive smartphones that are currently available, with some costing over £500 brand new.

  • What’s included in a mobile phone contract?

    In return for a set monthly fee starting from £5.00 per month, you will receive an “inclusive number” of minutes, texts, an amount of data or a combination of all three and a mobile phone. The contract will run for a set period of time and will be stated on Best Mobile Contracts and on the retailer’s website.

    If you go over your inclusive amounts you will be charged per minute, per text or per MB of data that you use. If you are calling mobile phones on other networks this can add up, so it’s important that you make sure that you are on a tariff with an inclusive allowance that is large enough.

    Mobile phone insurance is not normally included in the basic contracts, however some mobile phone retailers may offer you one month free. Remember if you don’t want to continue this beyond the initial month you will need to cancel it yourself.

  • Is a mobile phone contract right for you?

    Mobile phone contracts, when used sensibly can be a great way to use your phone in the most cost efficient way. However before you sign up for a long term agreement, it is worth asking yourself a few questions to determine whether or not a contract is right for you

  • How frequently do you use your mobile phone?

    If you use your mobile phone on a daily basis to make calls, text and even use the internet, then a contract could be the best way forward. The tables below provide you with a quick insight into just how quickly your usage can add up.

    Minutes / Texts:

    minutes or texts
    per day
    minutes or texts
    per month
    10 300
     20 600
    30 900

    Data Allowance:

      100 MB 500MB 1GB
    downloading or streaming music 20 songs 100 songs 200 songs
    downloading or streaming video 20 minutes 1 hour 2 hours
    basic webpages
    (text or mobile versions)
    1,000 5,000 10,000
    rich webpages
    (containing, rich images & flash)
    300 1,500 3,000
    text emails 100,000 500,000 1,000,000
    emails with images or attachments 200 1,000 2,000

    If you don’t use your mobile phone very often, or use it for emergencies only (when you go out in the car for example), then a pay as you go deal is probably going to be the better option. Also if you are somebody who sends mostly texts and rarely calls, there are some great unlimited texts pay as you go options available.

  • Are you over 18?

    Mobile phone contracts are only available to people over the age of 18. This is because you are entering into a legally binding contract and the minimum age for doing this in UK is 18 years old. If you are under the age of 18 and want a mobile phone contract, you will need to find an adult who is willing to take responsibility for the contract and all the responsibilities that are associated with it.

  • Do you have a good credit rating?

    The mobile phone operators will carry out a credit check before you take out a mobile phone contract. This is because they are usually subsidising what can be an expensive handset. If you already have a number of direct debits setup and pay things on time you should be fine. If you don’t have a good credit rating, don’t worry, you still have plenty of options, such as pay as you go and sim only, as well as these tailor made packages. You can read more about mobile phone contracts for people with poor credit ratings here, in our dedicated section.

  • Do you want the latest smartphone?

    As the amount that smartphones can do for us keep on rising, so does the cost of them. A mobile phone contract is a great way of reducing the up-front cost that we have to pay for this technology. A few years ago, the mobile phone retailers realised that the price of mobile phones was rising rapidly. To ensure that they could still offer the customer a free mobile phone, they introduced 18 and 24 month contracts, over and above the original 12 month contract. Today 18 and 24 month contracts are the norm, with very few 12 month mobile phone contracts on offer.

  • Can I keep my number if I change networks?

    By law the mobile phone networks must let you take your number with you if you want to switch to a different operator. This is known as number porting and to do this you will need to get a pac code from your existing network. To find out how to do this, check out our guide on how to port your number

  • Can I change my contract once I have signed up?

    People’s mobile phone usage can change throughout the duration of their contract. You can change your tariff at any time if you want to increase your inclusive allowances (thus increasing the monthly cost). However if you would like to downgrade your monthly tariff there are limitations set by the various networks. See the table below

    When can I downgrade my mobile phone tariff?

    Mobile network
    When you can downgrade
    How far can you downgrade?
    Vodafone
    Your Plan´ customers cannot downgrade, other plans after 9 months
    the next cheapest tariff
    Orange
    during the second half of your contract
    the next cheapest tariff
    T-Mobile
    You can´t downgrade while in contract
     
    Three
    during the second half of your contract
    the cheapest - £10 admin fee
    Talk Mobile
    on month 11 of a 12 month contract, or month 18 on a 24 month contract
    the next cheapest tariff
    Tesco Mobile
    you cannot downgrade
     
    Virgin Mobile
    you cannot downgrade
     

  • Can I get out of my mobile phone contract early?

    There are certain times when you can get out of your contract early. This is normally the case when Ofcom stipulates that networks must change certain elements of the contracts that they offer to customers. When the changes take place, Ofcom can state that current customers are given the option to cancel their contract.

    You may also have the right to cancel your mobile phone contract early if the operators change their terms and conditions mid-way through your contract that will put you at a financial disadvantage. That said, they are allowed to raise prices by a “reasonable” margin of up to 10%.

    If neither of these applies, there are other ways of getting out of your contract early for little or no cost. Check out our guide on how to change your mobile phone contract early for more information.

  • Do I always get a better deal by taking out a new mobile phone contract?

    Whilst we can’t guarantee that you will definitely get a better deal by swapping to a new mobile phone contract, it is generally recognised that new customers get the best deals. This is because the networks are willing to spend more to acquire new customers, than retain them. The best thing to do is see what you are offered when the upgrades team calls you and then compare it to what we have on offer here at Best Mobile Contracts.

    Because we show deals from internet only retailers like Mobiles.co.uk (a division of Carphone Warehouse), we often have market leading deals that you won’t find on the high street or over the phone, which can produce huge savings

  • I already have a mobile phone contract; can I take out a new contract on the same network?

    Generally speaking the mobile phone networks will not let existing customers take advantage of contracts for new customers. However we have come up with a clever way that can help you take advantage of new contract offers from the retailers, it’s a little long winded, but could get you a fantastic deal in the long run. Check out our guide on how existing customers can take advantage of new mobile phone contracts

  • Do I need to give my mobile phone back once my contract ends?

    No, once you have completed your contract period, the mobile phone is yours to keep. Some people keep their handset and switch to a sim only deal, which are often cheaper giving you more minutes, texts and data for your money.