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How/Where to get an inexpensive cheap cell phone in the UK

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San Diego
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How/Where to get an inexpensive cheap cell phone in the UK

I will be driving in England and Scotland in August. Does anyone know the least expensive way to buy a cell phone to use while I'm there?

London, United...
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1. Re: How/Where to get an inexpensive cheap cell phone in the UK

Just go into any mobile phone shop and ask for their cheapest 'pay as you go' phone - it should cost you around £20 or so. Some shops such as Carphone Warehouse offer phones on all the UK networks, some are owned by particular brands like Orange, Vodafone and Virgin. They offer varying amounts of initial credit, virgin tends to give the most. You can also find them in many supermarkets and other stores, like Woolworths or Tesco, which even has its own virtual network. They can be topped up at the till in most supermarkets and newsagents.

Columbia, SC
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2. Re: How/Where to get an inexpensive cheap cell phone in the UK

KNRB is correct. To point out my own "for instance", on the day I arrived in England I went to the Carphone Warehouse store in Waterloo station (having just taken a train into London from Dorking, Surrey) and asked for their cheapest phone. Since I was going to be calling back to the USA often they set me up with a Nokia phone and a Mobile World SIM chip.

The phone costs 20 pounds and I purchased an initial 20 pounds of airtime on the SIM. Mobile World charges 15p/minute for calls to UK mobile phones and 5p/minute for calls back to the USA. If you were primarily going to be making within-UK (especially landline) calls you would choose something other than Mobile World to get a slightly better rate.

My particular SIM was reloadable by calling a certain phone number, following a voice menu and then giving a charge-card number with which to purchase additional chunks of 10 pounds, 20 pounds or whatever. No need to revisit a store. Also, my phone came with a substantial charge already on the battery so I was able to use it extensively the first day (calling home to straighten out a problem with my ATM withdrawals) without having to charge it overnight or anything. I still have about 7-8 quid of airtime on it but it will expire in another few weeks and I'll need a new SIM when I go back.

Canada
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3. Re: How/Where to get an inexpensive cheap cell phone in the UK

Do a search of the forum and you will see lots of tips on how and where to buy a cell phone. Following the advice of others I bought one at a Virgin Megastore for about 20 pounds, which included some air time. I bought an extra 10 pounds' worth of time, which sufficed for the two weeks I was in the UK.

Detroit, Michigan
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4. Re: How/Where to get an inexpensive cheap cell phone in the UK

I got mine at Virgin Mobile, too. I had looked around at the other stores, but they were all suspiciously out of the cheapest phones. If you don't see one on display, ask the salesperson for the cheapest pay-as-you-go phone - they don't always have the cheapies on display.

Land of Enchantment
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5. Re: How/Where to get an inexpensive cheap cell phone in the UK

We used Virgin for our recent trip. Decent prices and the call rates to the US weren't bad.

San Diego
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6. Re: How/Where to get an inexpensive cheap cell phone in the UK

Thanks so very much for the great advice from all those who reponded.

San Francisco...
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7. Re: How/Where to get an inexpensive cheap cell phone in the UK

If you have a suitable phone that is unlocked you could just go for the SIM kit option.

Also don't forget UK is not relaxed about driving and using the phone unless it is with a car fitted handsfree kit - if the Police do see you there is a good chance they will stop and fine you! (Though you will see people doing this best advice is not too - don't let it spoil your trip)

8. Re: How/Where to get an inexpensive cheap cell phone in the UK

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