Find the best mobile phone contract deals and SIM only deals with CompareDial
CompareDial aims to take the struggle out of finding your perfect mobile phone contract deal or SIM only contract deal. Our large dataset and advanced algorithms allows you to filter and narrow down to the cheapest possible deals for your specific requirements, finding you the perfect match, everytime. Whether you are looking for the cheapest deal to own the latest Apple iPhone or Samsung Galaxy, or the best SIM only deals between dozens of networks, we’ve got you covered.
We constantly monitor the industry to ensure we cover the majority of UK networks, providing you with a large range of choices.
What is the best mobile phone contract deal?
There is no perfect or best contract deal that suits everyone - it entirely depends on your requirements and how you use your phone.
If you stream a lot of music or videos, you will most likely want a contract that offers a large or unlimited amount of data per month. However, if you mainly use your phone for social media or browsing the internet, the amount of data you require may not need to be a top priority.
Most mobile phone contracts offer unlimited (or large) amounts of minutes and texts.
When looking for the best mobile phone contract deal for you, take notice of the five following tariff metrics:
- Data allowance - the amount of mobile data you can use per month
- Monthly cost - the amount you need to pay each month, usually via direct debit
- Contract length - the duration you will have to make monthly payments and complete your contract
- Upfront cost - the amount you have to pay for your phone at the start of your contract
- Total cost - The total amount you will have to pay over the contract length, minus any cashback
By taking note and understanding these five tariff metrics, you will have a better chance of finding the perfect match for your new contract deal.
What is the best SIM only contract deal?
In order to find the best SIM only deal, you must figure out your usage patterns and the network coverage in your area. If you watch a lot of Netflix and listen to hours of Spotify, you will want a SIM only contract that offers enough data per month to ensure you do not reach or go over your monthly allowance.
Generally, the longer the contract length, the cheaper the monthly cost will be.
You must also choose a network with good coverage in your area. Smaller networks may not have the best coverage outside of major cities, particularly if you live in remote areas. All networks will offer a coverage map on their websites, where you can input your postcode and see the network strength and signal type (3G, 4G or 5G) you will receive.
How can I find the cheapest mobile phone contracts?
Our comparison tools allow you to filter and sort from thousands of deals across most UK networks. The cheapest mobile phone contract deal can vary from person to person - you may be looking for a contract that offers a free phone upfront, or a contract that requires minimum monthly payments.
If you’re simply looking to own a phone for the cheapest possible total cost, generally speaking you will have to pay a larger upfront cost compared to deals that offer a free phone or smaller upfront cost.
In addition to cheap monthly payments and cheap upfront costs, you should also look for deals that offer free gifts and cashback. Such deals may appear more expensive over the contract term, however taking into account the additional benefits, you may end up paying significantly less or gain free gifts at an overall cost less than market price.
Make sure to take advantage of our filters and sorting tools to find the cheapest mobile phone contract deals for your budget and requirements.
Do I own the phone after a contract ends?
Yes, once you have paid all your monthly payments for the contract length, you entirely own your phone. At this point, you can choose to end your contract with no further payment obligations, or you can continue your contract and upgrade to a new phone. In most cases when you upgrade, you can keep your existing phone, however some networks now allow you to swap your existing phone for a new phone in exchange for a cheaper upfront cost or monthly cost.
It’s always best to get in contact with your network once your contract ends. They usually will offer your better deals available to the public in exchange for your loyalty. You can also haggle for a further reduction of your monthly payments or for an even better phone. See our guide on How to upgrade your phone and get a better contract deal.
Are mobile phone contracts more expensive compared to buying a phone outright with a SIM only plan?
You can find plenty of mobile phone contract deals with a lower total cost of ownership over the contract length compared to buying a phone outright with a SIM only plan. In addition to a cheaper total cost of ownership, a mobile phone contract helps you to spread the cost over several months or years, whereas buying a SIM free phone requires you to pay for the whole phone upfront - this can be a significant amount, particularly for flagship phones such as the Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy, with retail prices hovering around the £1000 mark.
On the other hand, a mobile phone contract comes with the burden of monthly payments. You technically do not own the phone until you have paid all your payments over the agreed contract length. If you are unsure of your financial situation in the near future, a mobile phone contract may negatively affect your credit score down the line if you miss payments. A network or retailer will carry out a credit check before you can start a mobile phone contract to minimise the risk of missed payments. It’s important that you read the terms and conditions of a contract to understand the penalties of missed payments.
What’s the difference between a SIM free phone and a mobile phone contract?
With a SIM free phone, you buy the phone outright at the retail price. You are entirely free to do what you want with the phone - you can get a separate SIM only contract to use with your phone, or you can use a pay as you go SIM card. The phone is also network free, meaning you can choose to use any network you wish. There is no contract or monthly payments.
A mobile phone contract requires monthly payments over a specified contract term. You must pay the amount every month, without any missed payments. Some networks may choose to lock the phone down to their network only, meaning you will not be able to use another SIM on a different network with your phone unless you pay a fee to unlock your phone. A mobile phone contract is a legal obligation and must be fulfilled in accordance with the terms at purchase.