Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Vodafone follows EE in bringing back mobile roaming charges in Europe

Links on Head for Points may support the site by paying a commission.  See here for all partner links.

Vodafone has followed EE and become the second UK mobile phone company to bring back roaming charges in Europe.

We covered EE’s introduction of roaming charges here.

From 6th January, Vodafone will charge to use your existing minutes and data allowance in Europe.

Vodafone introduces EU roaming charges

The changes are outlined on the Vodafone website here in a press release euphemistically entitled ‘a fairer way to charge for roaming in Europe’.

The charges will be:

  • £2 per day (the same as EE charges)
  • £8 for an 8-day bundle
  • £15 for a 15-day bundle

Data will be capped at 25GB per month for those on unlimited data plans, which will make it harder to do very lengthy streaming sessions whilst away.

If you are currently under contract with Vodafone, the charge will not begin until your contract is renewed. Some of Vodafone’s more expensive monthly ‘Xtra’ packages will include European roaming, in the same way that they currently including roaming in countries such as the US.

The new rules will come into effect on 6th January for all Vodafone contracts, new or upgraded, agreed from 11th August. This gives you a couple of days to upgrade your plan if you wish.

O2 has said that it has no plans to reintroduce roaming charges but is introducing a ‘fair use’ cap of 25GB per month in the EU, with additional charges for any usage above this level.

Under the Brexit trade agreement, it was stated that the UK and EU would “co-operate on promoting transparent and reasonable rates” for mobile charges but no guarantees were made on roaming charges. At the time, the four major UK mobile networks said that they had no intention to introduce roaming charges which may have influenced the Government in deciding not to push for including it in law.

Rhys did a full comparison of the roaming packages offered by the major networks in this article, although the Vodafone information is now out of date following this announcement.

You can read more on the Vodafone website here. The detailed pricing data is here.

Comments (248)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Harrier25 says:

    As well as 02, I don’t think Three have announced any changes to EU roaming charging yet, but sure that it’s only a matter of time before both do.

    • Lord Doncaster says:

      Three offers free roaming in far more places than just the EU… it’s their main benefit

      • Harrier25 says:

        If that remains as is, then I shall be renewing my Three contract when it expires in November.

        • Matty says:

          Three changed their T&Cs on 1 July. You can only use your phone abroad for 2 months in any 12 month period. The days are cumulative.

  • Lady London says:

    Those are serioua ripoff rates.

    Disappointed that the mobile network industry v
    basically got away with it by lying about their intentions.

    European roaming charges have begun to be reintroduced too rapidly not to have always been planned by the networks.

    Cross-network charges are generally incredibly low and a lot of country combinatons are netted further reducing any actual cost amongst the networks so it’s just another monster suck-off of consumers’ money by the networks, for an incredibly, incredibly low amount of marginal cost for what they’re taking disproportionate sums for.

    • Callum says:

      What do you think Vodafone’s profit margin was last year?

      • Chris Heyes says:

        Callum Don’t you call Vodafone ! We have hell of a lot of Vodafone shares
        including Grandchildren, invest in them every Month, Christmas, Birthdays, Easter as well re-invest dividends
        Vodafone have to make a lot of money Just look at it this way you are helping my Grandchildren hope that makes you feel better ? lol

        • Callum says:

          I’m pretty sure this is sarcasm, but please tell me I’m right!

          To answer my own question for all the bandwagon joiners on here (not directed at you Chris!), it was less than 2%. The profit margins of all telcos are razor thin, so the profiteering nonsense spouted whenever one of them raises a price is just nonsense.

        • JDB says:

          Vodafone shares are unfortunately a classic value trap that have underperformed for years together with other ex growth businesses like GSK. The latter is in a growth sector and very belatedly taking some action and has an activist on the case. I’m not sure what the catalyst will be for Vodafone to perform.

          • David S says:

            Vodafone is in what is now a commodity business. Hence low margins and stagnant share price. Difficult for any major service provider to truly innovate or outperform the market

      • Mike says:

        Callum – VOD v profitable thanks and pays an awesome dividend that more than offsets a sound business decision to charge for roaming

        • Callum says:

          Their margins are tiny, and they’ve lost money this year… I’m not pretending they are poor – far from it – merely that they aren’t making huge profits and ripping everyone off like so many on here blindly assume they are.

          Are you saying that Vodafone should cut their dividend and instead subsidise EU roaming with it?

  • Samuel says:

    This is scandalous. It is a charge that costs them (almost) nothing so it’s free money to them. What a way to alienate your customers and what a way to demonstrate that Brexit is only having negative effects.

    • Rui N. says:

      I’m sure Brexiteers will say it’s the EU fault. Like they’ll be very shocked when they have to pay for the “visa” to enter the Schengen area, despite the UK supporting the policy when we were still in the EU.

      • AJA says:

        Why do you say that? It’s no different to paying the US government USD14 for an ESTA. It will be €7 for 3 years (at least to start with) so hardly going to break the bank

        As for the roaming charges just buy a PAYG sim in the first EU country you holiday in to pay for calls. Most people use WhatsApp or other social media to contact friends and family “back home” anyway so connecting to wifi in a hotel should also work just fine.

        • Rui N. says:

          #AJA because I’ve been following since the 1990s what UK eurosceptics say about the EU. You don’t actually need to leave this website to see plenty of examples of people complaining about EU policies that the UK championed (some that the UK even proposed). So yeah, they’ll say that the EU just wants to take revenge on the UK, despite the fact that the charge has been in the work since before the referendum.

          • Lord Doncaster says:

            So Rui N… you’re blaming all of the EU’s shortcomings on the UK? Despite the UK no longer being a member?

          • Will says:

            It’s often a little more subtle than that Rui, for example freedom of movement was implemented when broadly similar economies were in the free movement area and few objected.

            It was the unrestrained flow of migration from Eastern Europe driven by the fact that a min wage job in the U.K. paid more than professional occupations back home,

            Now leaving the merits of this aside, the U.K. public were mislead by the then Labour gov on expected numbers arriving, no one actually accurately counted the arrivals as they happened and no one thought to build houses, train doctors or invest in infrastructure to support a growing population.

            So that’s an example of where it’s entirely reasonable to be ok with freedom of movement on inception but object to it when it fundamentally is not what it originally was.

            I’m fine with calling BS on govs on the day btw and saying they should have built more infrastructure. But they didn’t, and so anyone of modest means wanting to live in a house now has to compete with overcrowded house shares where the occupants are willing to live often as a family in a single room.

      • Pete says:

        What is scandalous is that 13 million didn’t vote for or against the EU vote

      • Lord Doncaster says:

        It’s not like remainers haven’t stopped blaming everyone else for the EU’s problems for the past 5 years, Rui N…

    • Yorkie Aid says:

      Why is it scandalous? If you don’t like it then change provider. If Vodafone lost all their customers because of this do you not think they might change their minds? Jeez!

    • Callum says:

      I’m curious – what made you believe it costs “almost nothing” (it doesn’t) so strongly you felt no need to check whether it’s accurate or not?

      I pay £10 month for 12GB. If I use that in the EU (and don’t make/receive a single call/text) then the network would have been billed £30. Your argument is that it’s “scandalous” for the network to not swallow that huge loss?

      Not to mention this is under the EU wholesale caps. I’m not sure whether we’re still covered by them or not – the only thing I could find about it talked about “hopes” and “aspirations”, so I guess it’s pretty likely we soon will not be covered by it (if it hasn’t happened already).

      • Rob says:

        Vodafone owns networks in much of Europe though ….

        • Callum says:

          In 12 countries out of 32 as far as I can see…

          And roaming isn’t restricted to partner networks so you can still rack up a bill in those countries…

  • Pete says:

    Is this such a bad thing?
    We shop around for various other utilities prices, just remember to renew contract or swap to another provider

    • Mark says:

      The problem with excessive roaming charges is that people generally don’t think about them when choosing / renewing a contract and are then surprised when they go somewhere and it costs a fortune. Not so much the £1/£2 a day we’re talking about here, but particularly some of the ridiculous call/text/data charges applied to non-EU countries. Personally I’ll continue to use Three in Go Roam countries and everywhere else it will be hotel WiFi / offline maps etc. or a local data SIM if there’s a decent deal.

  • TimM says:

    Just as terrestrial TV and optical medial are giving way to streaming, mobile calls are the next to fall. It will be a nonsense to charge per unit time. These gross roaming charges will hasten that end. Data is on the verge of becoming an international public utility and we will be able to shop around globally. In fact my gas and electric in Yorkshire are coming from South Africa after my most recent energy switch!

    In the meantime there are many mitigating strategies: free wi-fi, VOIP, local SIMs, global SIMs etc.. These mobile providers will move with the times or die out.

    • Callum says:

      There is no way in hell you could ever shop around globally for data – the cost to provide that data varies far too hugely to make it remotely viable. I’m especially confused as to why you think this is something that’s on the verge of happening?

      And what do you mean you get your energy from South Africa?

      The best you’re going to get in this area is slightly better roaming packages, or more competition in the “global sim” market.

    • David S says:


  • BJ says:

    Probably the worst sequence of OT comments in the history of HfP! I need a drink! Congrats to the tiny handful who remained on topic.

    • Aston100 says:

      BJ, I think some of Shoestrings late night drunken homophobic, sexist and racist rants were worse.

      • BJ says:

        My comment related only to the number and propotion of OT comments Aston, not to their content.

        • Harrier25 says:

          An article like this was always going to end up with a Brexiteers v Remainers thread because there is only a limited amount that can be said about a has-been mobile phone company, such as Vodafone.

      • Mike says:

        I miss Harry

  • Aston100 says:

    One major takeaway from this thread is confirmation that Brexiteers definitely voted that way “cos flippin’ immigrants stealin’ are jobs innit?”.

    • David says:


    • bafan says:

      +1. It’s very sad and a little ironic on a travel website.

    • bazza says:

      And if they did?
      Are the low skilled and unemployed of Yorkshire and Wales etc wrong to think that less competition for jobs might be a good thing for them?

    • Lord Doncaster says:

      Actually, Brexit was about rebalancing the scales. Why are you biased against non-EU citizens…many of whom have far greater ties to the UK than any EU countries. Taking away freedom of movement provides fairer opportunities for everyone.

      • chabuddy geezy says:

        It disingenuous to argue that this is about making it fairer for non eu immigrants. There is political pressure to lower immigration full stop, that’s why you have a hostile environment policy at the Home Office. A cohort of people who voted for brexit do not want any immigration. Have a look at pro brexit groups on social media, how do you think they reacted when Bojo announced more visas for Indians because he wanted a trade deal?

        • Lord Doncaster says:

          Erm… actually I would imagine nobody has qualms about admitting immigrants who have passed all the vetting checks and who will contribute valuably to society. With all immigrants coming to work treated fairly.

          Before EU withdrawal, we had large numbers of international students in this country, paying top whack, who had little to any prospect of employment because employers were incentivised to employ foreigners from the EU over non-EU ones.

          It is far fairer now that all foreigners have to go through the same steps.

          • chabuddy geezy says:

            You can imagine that nobody has qualms about admitting certain immigrants, but then you would have to ignore the people who don’t want any immigration. I am guessing you are doing that as it contradicts your argument.

      • Teekay says:

        Having to pay over £4k (application fee + NHS surcharge) for a 2.5 year UK visa for a non eu person, is hardly fair.
        I doubt any UK citizen can afford/will pay this type of fees for a visa anywhere on the planet, but you’ll never hear the fees collected from non eu Immigrants but they are constantly scapegoated by the ignorants out there. This is not about fairness

        • Lord Doncaster says:

          It’s fair now that people from the EU have to go through the same process as non-EU nationals.

          You are all moaning about the disappearance of discrimination.

          • Optimus Prime says:

            Discrimination imposed by the UK. You’re the ones ripping non-EU citizens off.

      • Yolo says:

        Far greater ties as in once invaded and looted by the British Empire?

        • Lord Doncaster says:

          I fail to see what ties Britain has with Bulgaria and Romania, for example?

          • Lord Doncaster says:

            Optimus Prime

            It was EU mandated discrimination against non-EU nationals. Now everything is far fairer. You can paddle across to Calais if you prefer life in the glorious EU

  • Cheshire Pete says:

    I find Vodafone always fast speeds abroad, non of this data speed capping which seemed to plague Three, last time I used them anyhow, pretty much useless as it’s like being on GPRS. Why I left them years ago! Anyhow, back to Vodafone. I do wonder, however, whenever I’ve been in Spain on VodafoneES, and in Greece in VodafoneGR, it always resolves as if I’m in the UK, ie I can still stream BBC iPlayer for instance, and always get and not, etc….. Obviously this isn’t really true ‘roaming’ as Vodafone are obviously resolving all my data as if it originates in the UK, after they back haul it. In which case as a whole Group across countries, what is their actual business justification for trying to make out it cost them more when your on VodafoneXX. They are ultimately in full control of their network across borders. So I’d question if in that situation they should waiver what is in effect Faux Roaming.

    • Tariq says:

      Isn’t that just because you’re still using the Vodafone UK APN?

    • Mark says:

      It will likely be because it is presenting your traffic as being from a UK IP address, which isn’t a reliable indicator of where you are (e.g. you can defeat it using a VPN). It may mean they are back hauling the data via the UK, but I can’t see how that saves them money – they must have local internet peering in those locations.

      • Mark says:

        In fact I suspect that may be normal in data roaming cases to allow for home network metering etc. Not something I ever recall checking, but the point remains there is still an infrastructure cost in providing the back haul capacity over and above normal internet peering.

      • Anuj says:

        Actually they do route your traffic through their U.K. servers, all mobile providers do that.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.