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SIM-only contract prices are rising: How to avoid the hike with a deal from an MVNO

The major UK mobile networks are increasing SIM-only prices mid-contract every spring. Now is the perfect time to jump ship to an MVNO

The four biggest mobile networks in the UK – EE, Three, O2 and Vodafone – introduce mid-contract price rises for their customers every spring. That means the price you pay at the beginning of a SIM-only contract will increase by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rate plus an extra 3.9% every March or April. That’s a significant hike.

For instance, if you’re currently paying £25/mth from Three on a two-year plan, the price will rise to £27/mth every April and then again the following year. The mobile networks claim that this extra charge reflects their ongoing financial pressures and that it will be invested in maintaining standards or improving performance, but you certainly don’t have to grin and bear it.

If you’re reaching the end of your SIM-only contract or are willing to pay an early exit fee, it’s an ideal opportunity to switch to a rolling, 30-day plan from a mobile virtual mobile operator (MVNO). These piggy-back on the main networks and offer pay-as-you-go deals that you can cancel at any time, with no nasty surprises.

Read on to see our two favourite, mobile-network-price-hike-busting offers below.

READ NEXT: The best pay-as-you-go SIM deals

1. The best rolling, pay-as-you-go SIM plan: Voxi

Price: £12/mth | Data: 60GB (was 20GB), plus unlimited social media and music app usage | Plan: 1 month

View deal at Voxi

The worthy winner of five stars out of five and an Expert Reviews Best Buy award in our in-depth Voxi review, the Vodafone-powered MVNO was also crowned the overall winner in our latest Mobile Network Awards.

In particular, we lauded its commitment-free, 30-day rolling plans, distinctive unlimited extras, rock-solid reliability and consistently high performance. That makes it our number-one choice if you’re jumping ship to avoid a price hike at another network.

This deal nabs you 60GB of 5G data for just £12/mth on a 30-day plan, which is up from the usual allowance of 20GB. However, the best part is you’ll get unlimited use of social media and music apps such as Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter/X, Spotify and Apple Music – so you can kill time by scrolling or blasting your favourite tunes without worrying about denting your data allocation.

View deal at Voxi

2. The best alternative rolling, pay-as-you-go SIM plan: Smarty

Price: £10/mth | Data: 60GB (was 40GB) | Plan: 1 month

View deal at Smarty

We’ve been fans of Smarty for a long time and, although its throne was usurped by Voxi last year, it remains an excellent choice if you’re after a no-fuss, no-strings-attached SIM-only plan to beat the price rises.

In our most recent Smarty review, we awarded the MVNO four stars out of a possible five and an Expert Reviews Recommended award for its compelling mix of value for money, terrific 5G performance, free EU roaming up to a fair-use limit of 12GB and impressive customer satisfaction scores.

The deal we’ve singled out here gets you 60GB of 5G SIM-only data for a bank balance-pleasing £10/mth on a 30-day plan, which you can cancel whenever you like. That’s up from the usual 40GB. It’s a top-tier alternative, if you’re not bothered about the social media and music-streaming extras of the Voxi offer above.

View deal at Smarty

For more information on the leading SIM contenders, head over to our best mobile network roundup or explore our best pay-as-you-go SIM deals page for more plans that you can cancel whenever you like.

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