Smart Living | Everything you need to know

Roaming with Vodafone in 2023: Everything you need to know

Whether you’re travelling to an EU country or further afield, here are the facts about charges for using your phone abroad.

In August 2021, Vodafone announced that roaming charges would be changing for its UK customers. While those changes are now coming into effect, they won’t apply to everyone at the same time. Plus, there are still plans that provide inclusive roaming, as well as ways to keep roaming charges under control – helping to ensure that you won’t get any  unexpected bills when returning from your next holiday or work trip.

Here’s what UK customers need to know about Vodafone roaming charges.

When are they changing?

Changes to roaming charges come into effect on 31 January 2022.

Which plans will be affected?

For anyone with a Vodafone Pay Monthly plan that started before 11 August 2021, there are no changes to roaming on your plan.

On a number of Pay Monthly plans, that started on or after 11 August 2021, there may now be a charge for using your plan’s allowances in most European countries depending on which ‘zone’ you are in. Vodafone still provides plans that have roaming included – across SIM-only and alongside a new smartphone with Vodafone EVO.

Which countries are affected and what are the charges in each country?

Zone A: the Republic of Ireland, the Isle of Man, Iceland and Norway. As long as you don’t exceed the 25GB fair usage limit, no roaming charges apply.

Zone B: 47 destinations, most of which are in Europe and are EU member states. For anyone with a Vodafone Pay Monthly plan that started on or after 11 August 2021, roaming costs £2.25 a day.

Zone C: 32 destinations, from Australia and Barbados to the US and South Africa. For anyone with a Vodafone Pay Monthly plan that doesn’t include Zone C, and started before 11 August 2021, roaming costs £6 a day. For such plans that started on or after 11 August 2021, roaming costs £6.85 a day.

Zone D: 75 destinations, from Afghanistan and Argentina to Uzbekistan and Vietnam. For anyone with a Vodafone Pay Monthly plan that started before 11 August 2021, roaming costs £6 a day. For plans that started on or after 11 August 2021, roaming costs £6.85 a day.

For the lists of countries in each Zone, please refer to the Vodafone UK website.

How can I stay in control and limit my spending?

Roaming passes for European destinations, lasting eight and 15 days, are available.

You can also set spending limits with the Spend Manager, or even disable roaming entirely, by logging in to your account on the Vodafone UK website or by using the My Vodafone app.

For new and upgrading customers who choose a capped data Vodafone EVO plan with 3 Xtra benefits, roaming in Zone B (Europe) is included at no extra charge. New and upgrading customers that take an Unlimited Data EVO plan with ’83 inclusive destinations’ can additionally roam in Zone C at no extra charge. That’s a total of 83 inclusive roaming destinations.

Roaming: How to control your mobile data usage

No matter where you're going on holiday, or which Vodafone UK plan you have, here's how you can control your smartphone's data usage - and any extra charges - while travelling.

Are there any conditions on how I can use mobile data while roaming?

Please note that a fair usage limit of 25GB applies when using mobile data while roaming.

Are there any countries not covered by Zones A-D?

Yes. Several countries are in Rest of World Zones 1-4. This includes destinations such as Belize, Nepal and Angola. While roaming in these Zones, data usage is charged for each megabyte (MB) used. In Belize, Nepal and Angola, for example, the cost is now £1.20 a MB. This is down from £7.20 a MB at the beginning of 2023. Calls and texts are also charged for in these zones.

I’m still not sure which countries are in which zones and which ones are covered by inclusive roaming in my plan. How can I double check before I depart on my trip?

You can use the Roaming Charge Checker on the Vodafone UK website to double check if there are any roaming charges in your destination and, if so, how much they’ll be.

Can I use my phone as a portable hotspot while roaming?

Yes, you can.

Why has Vodafone introduced these changes?

Fewer than half of our customers roamed beyond the Republic of Ireland in 2019. Rather than have all our customers bearing the additional costs of roaming by including it in all of our plans, customers will be able to choose a plan that comes with roaming included or purchase an additional roaming pass. Eight day and 15 day roaming passes for European destinations will be available at £1 a day, or customers can pay a daily rate.

This article was first published in January 2022 and was last updated in August 2023.

Stay up-to-date with the latest news from Vodafone by following us on Twitter and signing up for News Centre website notifications.

Roaming in the US and 3G switch-off: Everything you need to know

3G will soon be retired in the US, which will affect some Vodafone UK customers while roaming – to see if you’ll be affected, check now before you fly.