Rent or buy a cell phone when in Europe

Travel Forums General Talk Rent or buy a cell phone when in Europe

1. Posted by kamkimaita (First Time Poster 1 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Hi All,
I am headed to Europe again in a few months. On this trip, I want to have a mobile with me. My phone will not work in europe, so I want to get one there. My question is this, Do I rent or buy? And, has anyone done this and what advice can they give me.

2. Posted by bentivogli (Respected Member 2398 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Hi Kim,

Depending on how much you think you'll call, I'd buy a prepaid in country #1, and buy new sim-cards everytime you move to another country. That way, you'll always only pay national rates for international calls (and nothing at all to receive calls from abroad!), and not also ridiculous roaming fees.

Only if you forsee to call A LOT, renting could maybe be an option, since you cannot get a subscription phone yourself as a foreigner. But then, renting also requires you to leave from the same place where you arrived...

Niels (Amsterdam)

[ Edit: Edited at Jun 8, 2006 12:50 AM by bentivogli ]

3. Posted by Jase007 (Respected Member 8870 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Pre-pay phones are quite cheap.
There are sim cards that will allow you to call various countries relativly cheap (compaired to the usual roaming costs).
Depending on how you intend to use your phone, text, call or just for emergency purposes.

4. Posted by Clarabell (Travel Guru 1696 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

You can't rent a phone (ie get a contract phone) unless you have proof of a permanent address in the country, a credit rating, and even then the contract would usually be minimum 12 months.

Here in the UK, the cheapest Pay As You Go phones are ones you buy as a package, which includes a sim with some credit to start you off. This can even be as cheap as £40 for a v basic handset, but you'd have to check the handset is good enough to use in other countries. Altho nowadays they probably will be.

Whether its worth getting a sim card in each country obviously depends how long you are there.
Three is is one of the cheapest mobile companies here, O2 is also ok.

[ Edit: Edited at Jun 8, 2006 2:53 AM by Clarabell ]