How to save money on your broadband bill

broadband bills
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Finding the best way to save on your broadband deal is more important than ever. Thankfully, there are lots of ways that you can save money on your broadband deal that won't require any technical know-how and can even help you save on other devices such as your mobile phone. 

Whether you're looking to reduce the current rate you're paying or you'd like to make sure that you don't overpay on your next package, here are six top tips for saving some much-needed cash. Plus, if you're looking to save on your broadband bill right away, we've collected today's best broadband deals further down the page to help you find the right way to save. 

1. Don't pay for more speed than you need

As a general rule, the faster a broadband package is, the more it will cost. Nowadays, most providers will try to upsell you when you take out a new deal. This means they'll tell you that a 100Mbps package that's twice as quick as a 50Mbps deal only costs a couple of pounds more per month. 

This is true (and it actually is a good deal), but it's only useful if you actually use those speeds. If your usage demands aren't that high, then you're simply paying for something you don't need. 

Has this happened to you? Well, you're in luck. In June 2022, UK broadband providers agreed to waive early exit fees for any customer looking to downgrade their package to a cheaper plan from their provider while mid-contract.

So, if you want to start paying less immediately, contact your provider and change your package for one that's slower. This should reduce your monthly cost. 

However, before you do this, it's worthwhile conducting a broadband speed test and ensuring that you're not going to eliminate speeds that you do actually need. After all, if you downgrade to a speed that's too slow, you may struggle to do everything that you usually do online. 

Read more: Broadband speeds explained

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2. Choose the right contract length 

When it comes to selecting a new broadband contract, choosing the right length is key. Broadband contracts come in all shapes and sizes, from one-month rolling contracts through to two-year commitments and everything in between. 

If you value flexibility and don't want to commit to one particular provider for a long time, then you may be tempted to opt for a short-term commitment or even a rolling contract. Although these do offer you greater flexibility, they often come with high monthly fees. They can also come with big upfront charges, too. 

This isn't to say that certain people don't benefit from short-term contracts. For example, these contracts can be really useful for students with short tenancy agreements. They can also be great for people who are moving house soon, because they can help you avoid any potential early termination fees that may arise as part of the move. 

Generally speaking, moving home doesn't lead to complications or unexpected payments. But, in some cases, it can. For example, if you're currently with Virgin Media but you move to a new area where you can't connect to their network, you may need to end your contract early and pay the termination fee. 

If you're not planning on moving home and you're looking to save money on your broadband bill, then the best tactic is usually to sign up for either an 18-month or a 24-month contract. This is because, when you sign up for a long-term deal, many providers will lower their prices and waive or substantially reduce any upfront fees. If you're looking at the right time, you may even be able to snag a gift card or a reward card as an incentive for signing up, too. 

Read more:

broadband when moving home

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3. Consider bundling your package 

If you already pay for other services, such as a landline, a mobile phone contract or a TV package, then you could save money by 'bundling' these services together and receiving either some or all of them from the same provider. 

Today, many of the UK's most popular broadband providers offer bundles that include broadband, home phone and pay-TV services all in one plan. This means you make one monthly payment for all three services. As an added bonus, not only is this much more convenient, but you also get a discount for choosing this option. 

Although BT and Virgin Media offer a great range of bundles, Sky is the pioneer of this option and still offers the widest range of packages. 

With Sky, you can usually pay for Sky TV (including the company's popular Cinema and Sports channels), Sky Broadband, and Sky Talk for a single, discounted monthly fee. So, if you currently pay for Sky TV but get your broadband from a different provider, it'll be well worth looking at streamlining your bills into a Sky TV and broadband bundle when your current contract expires. 

Discover more:

Sky Sports Fanzone

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4. Keep an eye out for price increases

In the 'good old days', you could leave your contract early if your provider increased their prices. Sadly, this is no longer the case and now the majority of providers have added a minimum annual price increase to their T&Cs.

If you're with one of these providers, you will have agreed to a yearly price increase when you signed up. This means you won't be able to leave your contract when they raise the fee (unless they try to increase it by more than the agreed amount). 

Ofcom says that you can leave your contract early for free if your provider increases its prices by an amount higher than inflation, and doesn't mention any additional price increase amount in its terms. This means that if your provider doesn’t have price increases built into its contract, but it still hikes your bills by more than inflation, you should be able to leave penalty-free.  

For context, broadband providers with price increases in their contract terms include: 

  • BT (level of inflation plus 3.9%)
  • Plusnet (level of inflation plus 3.9%)
  • EE (level of inflation plus 3.9%)
  • Vodafone (level of inflation plus 3.9%)
  • TalkTalk (level of inflation plus 3.9%)

Added to this, both Sky and NOW Broadband both mention price increases in their contract terms, but not annual ones. 

By contrast, providers with fixed prices include: 

  • Hyperoptic 
  • Trooli 
  • Zen Internet 
  • Voneus
  • Connect Fibre

These providers often aren't the cheapest because many of them specialise in very quick Full Fibre packages. But, at least if you partner with one of them, you'll have peace of mind knowing that the price you pay for your broadband won't increase mid-contract. 

Read more: Can I leave my broadband contract early?

An Accept button agreeing to Terms and Conditions

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5. Contact your provider and haggle

Haggling with your provider isn't a surefire way to lower your bills. After all, you signed a contract when you took out your current deal and your provider is within their rights to hold you to it. 

However, if you need to reduce your bills, then this tactic can work wonders. And hey, you only find out if it'll work by trying it. 

So, if you're struggling to afford your current payments, or you don't think you're getting a good deal, then call your provider and negotiate with them directly. They may offer you a small reduction in your bills or the opportunity to switch to a different package that presents better value for you. For example, they may allow you to bundle your TV package into your current deal or let you upgrade your speed for free. 

At the very least, doing this will let your provider know that you're not happy with the service you're receiving. Hopefully they'll do what they can to improve your experience and keep you as a customer. 

Woman on a customer service call

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6. Switch when your current plan ends

The vast majority of providers will significantly increase the price you will pay monthly when your current deal ends. This is because your agreement has finished and you're no longer under contract. 

But, although this provides a benefit for them, it also provides one major benefit for you: you're welcome to leave without paying a penalty as long as you give 30 days' notice. 

To make sure you don't get stung by price rises, you should make note of the date your contract is due to end. This should be simple, as your provider is required to send you an end of contract notification around 40 days before your deal is due to expire. This will formally let you know that you can switch to another provider or re-contract to a new deal.

It's more than likely (although not guaranteed) that you'll be able to save money by switching provider. The easiest way to do this is by putting your postcode into our widget below. 

Using this information, we can then show you all of the best broadband deals in your area. You'll then be able to compare these to your renewal quote and see exactly how much you could save by switching. The whole process only takes a couple of minutes too, so what are you waiting for? 

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Tom Brook

Tom is a freelance copywriter and content marketer with over a decade of experience. Originally from an agency background, he is proud to have worked on campaigns for a number of energy providers, comparison sites and consumer brands.

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