Our cookies

We use cookies, which are small text files, to improve your experience on our website and to show you personalised content. You can allow all or manage them individually.

⚙ Manage cookies individually

You can view our cookie policy and update your preferences any time here.

Choose which cookies to allow:

Vodafone Basics SIM only plans explained: are they any good?

Vodafone logo and a SIM cardVisit vodafone.co.uk

The retailers featured on this page may compensate us when our readers follow links to their websites and make a purchase. More

We look at the advantages and disadvantages to Vodafone's Basics SIMs to see if they'd be right for you. Here's what you do and don't get. Last updated: 24th October 2022.

Order a Vodafone Basics SIM only plan

Ready to join? Order via Vodafone’s hidden page

Screenshot of Vodafone's hidden Basics SIM page

Basics SIM aren’t listed directly on their websiteOrder a Basics SIM

at vodafone.co.uk
(opens in new window)

If you don’t know what Vodafone’s Basics SIMs are or if you were considering buying one, then you’ll find all the ins and outs you need to know further down this page.

Vodafone don’t list their Basics SIMs directly on their website and you can’t find the page where you buy them by just looking it up on Google. It’s not as simple as just taking a regular SIM.

If you’re absolutely sold on one of Vodafone’s Basics SIMs, you can take one at Vodafone.co.uk if you follow the link below.

Useful link: Order a Basics SIM card now

Vodafone Basics vs regular SIM only deals

All there is to know about Vodafone’s Basics SIMs

Vodafone Basics banner

These SIMs can only be taken from a hidden pageSee hidden page

at vodafone.co.uk
(opens in new window)

We rated Vodafone highly as a network in our review of them. But one of the things we didn’t like about them was their steep costs, especially when Talkmobile, ASDA Mobile and VOXI offer lower prices on the same network.

Vodafone use their Basics SIMs as a way of competing with other networks on price. These are low-cost deals that come without some of the features you usually get as a way of keeping down the price.

Here are the deals you can get with Vodafone’s Basics plans:

All of these plans include unlimited UK minutes and texts and an allowance of 4G data. And that’s essentially it. These Basics SIMs come with basically no extra benefits except the lower prices. They’re all on 12-month contracts.

Before buying your new SIM it’s best to know what you will and won’t get included with it. We’ll go over all the missing features from Vodafone’s Basics SIMs further down the page.

Useful link: Get a Vodafone Basics SIM now

Basics SIMs do now work abroad but not for free

Global Roaming on Vodafone

Use your Basics SIM abroad at a daily rateRead roaming guide

at vodafone.co.uk
(opens in new window)

It used to be the case that if you tried to take your Basics SIM abroad it wouldn’t work at all. But Vodafone have recently changed this, so you can now use your Basics SIM abroad. But you will pay extra to do so.

That gets rid of one of the biggest weaknesses there was of being on a Basics SIM and means you won’t have to take out a separate plan or rely on WiFi only to use your phone abroad.

However EU roaming isn’t inclusive on Vodafone. This means you’ll have to pay their daily roaming rate, which last time we checked was £2 a day. Or you can take a temporary European Roaming Pass to reduce that effectively to £1 a day.

And if you want to roam beyond the EU you’ll have to pay £6 for every day you’re there. For roaming in the EU and beyond you’ll be limited to 25GB of your regular UK allowance. Vodafone’s roaming isn’t great, but at least you can use your Basics SIM abroad now.

Useful link: Vodafone’s roaming rules on Basics plans

You get identical 4G speeds as on a regular SIM, but no 5G

Vodafone 5G location map

No access to Vodafone's 5G networkSee latest locations

at vodafone.co.uk
(opens in new window)

All of the main UK networks have been rapidly expanding their 5G networks, and Vodafone are no exception. But Vodafone don’t offer 5G access on their Basics SIMs. In fairness, we think 4G is good enough for most users.

Vodafone used to limit data speeds on Basics SIMs at 10 Mbps. These days you get the same speeds as you would on their regular SIMs. Independent network testers Opensignal measured average 4G speeds on Vodafone at about 21.6 Mbps.

You can watch HD videos on Youtube and other streaming apps fairly comfortably with those sorts of speeds, and you shouldn’t have any issues with your typical browsing needs. It might take some time to download files, however.

If you want to switch to a regular SIM only deal mid-contract you’re free to do so. But that does mean you’ll start paying more per month as their regular SIM only deals cost a lot more than their Basics SIMs.

Useful link: More about Vodafone's 5G

You don’t get WiFi calling or 4G calling on their Basics SIMs

Vodafone's WiFi calling

Vodafone’s regular plans include WiFi/4G callingHow it works

at vodafone.co.uk
(opens in new window)

While you get both WiFi calling and 4G calling on Vodafone’s regular pay monthly plans at no extra cost, you don’t get these benefits on a Basics plan. So what are you missing?

If you struggle to get call signal indoors then WiFi calling and 4G calling are important for helping with this. And 4G calling also improves overall call coverage. Use Vodafone’s coverage checker here to see if these features will be a necessity for you.

But Vodafone don’t support every model. So if you’re already on a model that isn’t in Vodafone’s supported devices list, then it doesn’t make a difference if you take a Basics SIM anyway.

They’ve likely done this to offer different pricing tiers to their customers, while also offering extra value on their regular plans by reserving benefits that aren’t included on their Basics plans.

Useful link: About Vodafone’s 4G calling and WiFi calling

Basics plans cost a lot less than Vodafone’s regular plans

Vodafone reasons to buy

Get more data for your money on a Basics SIMOrder a plan now

at vodafone.co.uk
(opens in new window)

Vodafone’s regular SIM only deals are typically some of the most expensive of all UK networks. So there will be customers looking to join Vodafone on a deal that won’t put them out of pocket.

By clicking the dropdown below you’ll find we’ve directly compared the costs of their Basics SIMs vs their regular contracts with similar allowances. They don’t all offer the same data amounts, but it gives you a general view of their value.

Over-the-phone customer service offered on Vodafone

Vodafone reliable network banner

Many smaller networks don’t let you call themHow to contact them

at vodafone.co.uk
(opens in new window)

Whether you’re on a Basics or a regular SIM plan you’ll get access to the same customer service on Vodafone. There are lots of ways to get help, which is one advantage of joining a main network. So what is their service like?

Well, Vodafone have their call centres open from 8am - 8pm every day of the week. You do have to go looking through their website a little bit to find their number, and it seems they’d rather you used their online chat-bot.

Taking results from Ofcom’s latest report we can see Vodafone received 3 complaints per 100,000 customers. That’s more than the industry average of 2 per 100,000. It’s not abnormally large, but it does show their service isn’t outstanding.

Still, if you can’t get your issue resolved that way, Vodafone have many more ways of getting help. Many of the alternative providers don’t offer nearly as many, so it’s one advantage Vodafone hold over them.

Useful link: See our rankings for the best customer service networks

Alternatives to Vodafone Basics

Talkmobile have the cheapest plans on Vodafone’s network

Simple affordable plans banner

Cheaper deals than Basics SIMs with more featuresFind out more

at Talkmobile.co.uk
(opens in new window)

If you like the extra value you get with Vodafone’s Basics SIMs, we’d say Talkmobile are actually a much better alternative. They offer shorter contract options, WiFi and 4G calling as well as EU roaming as standard.

Talkmobile now offer 5G and WiFi calling, which is something you don’t get on Vodafone’s Basics (read our Vodafone vs Talkmobile review here). They’re also typically cheaper than Vodafone’s Basics SIMs.

You will have to pass a credit check to get onto Talkmobile, just like with Vodafone’s Basics SIMs. But Talkmobile offer 1-month contracts that you can change or leave every month (if you give 30-days notice).

In all, we’d say you’re better off joining Talkmobile than taking a Basics SIM. They offer more features, full access to Vodafone’s network and typically lower monthly costs.

Useful link: Read our Talkmobile review

VOXI have additional benefits to help you hold onto your data

VOXI's unlimited social media data

Using social media apps won’t eat into your allowanceSee how it works

at VOXI.co.uk
(opens in new window)

VOXI are certainly worth looking at if you want to get onto the Vodafone network. They’re cheaper than their hosts (a bit pricier than Basics SIMs) with some brilliant benefits on top (see our full guide to VOXI here).

Using these social media apps on any VOXI plan won’t come out of your allowance, and on bigger data plans you get unlimited data streaming for certain apps. And you get WiFi/4G calling on every plan, but EU roaming is no longer included.

VOXI’s 1-month deals tend to offer larger data allowances (Talkmobile offer some smaller plans). These let you change your plan every month, or leave when you want without giving notice.

You won’t need to pass a credit check to join VOXI and their infamous age-restrictions are long gone. What that means is it’s incredibly easy to join VOXI.

Useful link: Order a free VOXI SIM card here

ASDA Mobile also offer low-cost, flexible plans

ASDA mobile no contracts, no limits

Low-cost 1-month SIM only dealsRead our review

at simsherpa.com
(opens in new window)

Another option is ASDA Mobile who offer a low-cost, low-frills experience but still offer WiFi/4G calling, 5G-access and EU roaming in these countries. Their deals are typically cheaper than Vodafone’s&nsbp;Basics SIMs.

Like VOXI, all their SIM only plans are on 1-month deals, meaning you can leave or change plans at the end of each month. And there’s no credit checks to get onto their network.

In terms of value, they tend to be a little pricier than Talkmobile. But they do offer unlimited data plans, with different speed caps on these depending on which deal you choose.

Overall, they’re a cheaper, much more flexible option when compared to Vodafone’s Basics SIMs and we reckon they’re worth a look if that all sounds appealing to you.

Useful link: Compare ASDA Mobile SIM only deals

Lebara are a flexible alternative with inclusive international calls

Lebara international minutes countries

International minutes included on every planSee their deals

at mobile.lebara.com
(opens in new window)

Lebara are the final provider who offer a good alternative to Vodafone’s Basics SIMs. They offer either 1-month deals or 12-month contracts that are a bit cheaper per month. Their deals are similar value to Vodafone’s Basics SIMs.

But they offer a lot more benefits. Their unique selling point is the international minutes that are included on every plan. You can get between 100 - unlimited international calls to these 42 countries with your deal.

On top of that you get WiFi calling and 4G calling, inclusive EU roaming to these destinations and access to Vodafone’s rapidly growing 5G network on every Lebara plan. While they’re similar in price, Lebara’s plans get you more for your money.

Useful link: Our full Lebara network review

Compare Basics vs all SIM only deals

Compare all SIM only plans

Use the filters to find the best plan for you



1p Mobile logo
Three logo
ASDA logo
Boshhh Mobile logo
Coop Mobile logo
EE logo
Genius logo
giffgaff logo
Honest logo
ID logo
IQ logo
Lebara logo
Lycamobile logo
O2 logo
Sky logo
spusu logo
Talkhome logo
Talkmobile logo
Tesco logo
Vodafone logo
VOXI logo


Data: (0MB+)

Minutes: (0+)


Maximum length: (Any)

Added features

Other Vodafone articles