Mobile Phone Roaming Charges: UK – EU

UK-based mobile phone companies are no longer subject to the ban on additional roaming charges in EU countries.

With the UK now out of Europe, both UK and EU mobile phone operators have been obliged to review their policy on roaming charges.

As a result, 3 of the 4 main operators have either introduced or are planning to introduce roaming charges for new and upgrading customers. Existing customers will not be impacted by the new charges until they update their contract.
In addition to any new roaming charges, ‘fair use’ limits will also apply (as they did before Brexit).

These limits mean that, as UK mobile phone companies design their packages for permanent residents in the UK, if phone usage seems to show a significant amount of time spent or data used in European countries, roaming services may increase in cost or be suspended altogether. You should be notified by your mobile provider if you are approaching this limit.



In order to offer some protection to consumers, the UK government has passed legislation to ensure that customers are not surprised with huge roaming bills. There is a cap of £45 on the amount that can be charged for using mobile data abroad. Beyond this, customers will have to ‘opt in’ to further use. Companies are also required to inform customers when they have used 80% and 100% of their data allowance.

Which Networks are now Charging for EU Roaming?


Customers who joined Three or upgraded their Three contract after 1 October, 2021, will be charged £2 per day to activate their UK allowance in EU countries.
These fees will come into effect from 23rd May, 2022.
No changes are expected to pay-as-you-go plans.
Three now has a fair use data limit of 12 GB for customers when roaming in the EU. Surcharges will apply above this limit. Three may also suspend international services for customers who spend more than two complete months in a destination outside of the UK within a rolling 12-month period.


Customers who joined EE or upgraded their EE contract after 7 July, 2021, will be charged £2 per day to activate their UK allowance in the EU.
These fees will come into effect from 3rd March, 2022.
For longer stays, EE’s ‘Roam Abroad Pass’ will now be extended to cover the EU. It costs £10 and provides customers with 30 days of access to their UK plan while abroad.
Pay-as-you-go plans have not changed.
EE’s fair use limit allows customers to use up to 50 GB of their data allowance when roaming in Europe.


Customers whose Vodafone plan includes ‘4Xtra’ benefits will not be charged additional roaming fees in Europe. All other customers who took out or upgraded their Vodafone contract after 11th August, 2021, (or after 29th September, 2021, if via an indirect partner) will be charged £2 per day to activate their UK allowance in the EU. For longer trips, Vodafone is offering European Roaming Passes, available for £8 for 8 days or £15 for 15 days. These changes are in place as of 31st January, 2022. Pay-as-you-go costs have not changed. Vodafone’s fair use limit allows customers to use up to 25 GB of their monthly data allowance in EU countries. Additional charges may apply for customers who spend 62 days or more outside of the UK during any 4-month period AND whose corresponding roaming usage exceeds usage within the UK.

Which Networks are not Charging for EU Roaming?

Virgin Media & O2

In January, Virgin Media and O2 announced that it would not be charging any additional fees for Virgin Mobile and O2 customers using their UK plans in the EU.
Fair use limits will however apply. For O2 customers this means a data limit of up to 25 GB per month while roaming. Customers using their phone abroad for over 63 days in any four-month period may also face surcharges.
Similarly, Virgin Mobile customers are required to use their phone more in the UK than they use it overseas in any four-month period. Virgin Media’s website provides an online calculator for fair use data limits.

Smaller Providers

Although smaller mobile providers in the UK all have links to one of the 4 major networks, they are not necessarily following the same policies when it comes to European roaming charges.
As of February 2022, Tesco Mobile, Giffgaff, Sky Mobile, TalkTalk Mobile, BT Mobile, iD Mobile, and ASDA Mobile are not introducing EU roaming charges, although fair use rules do also apply for most of these networks.

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