person counting money and using phone calculator

Phone rental: Should you rent a phone to save money?

If you're in the market for a new phone, you may be wondering what your options are. Luckily, signing up for a phone contract for 24 months (or longer) isn't the only upgrade option available to you – you can now rent a phone, and it could be the better option for you!

In this blog post, we'll explore the benefits and drawbacks of phone rentals, phone contracts with network providers and other options, to help you make the best decision for yourself. Let's take a closer look!

In this blog:

How phone rental works

Looking to rent a phone? Here's how it works!

Here at musicMagpie, our rental agreements are for 12 months and you can choose to rent from a huge range of phones, including iPhone and Samsung devices.

Our phone rental contracts come with no upfront fees and a price guarantee, meaning that your monthly repayments will stay the same for the entire duration of your contract. You'll also get a lifetime warranty with your rental phone to cover any technical or manufacturing faults.

When you are near the end of your agreement, you will be given a few options to choose from. You can carry on renting the phone for a further 12 months, upgrade to a different device or cancel the agreement and return the phone.

To apply, you'll need to make sure you meet the following criteria:

  • You are a UK resident aged 18 or older
  • You have a good credit history (you can check your credit report for free with Experian)
  • You have not recently been declared bankrupt
  • You do not have an active County Court Judgment (CCJ)
  • You are employed or self-employed
  • You can afford the monthly repayments

Advantages when you rent a phone

Shorter contracts

man signing a contract to rent a phone

Although phone contracts with network providers are popular, there are still plenty of advantages to phone rental offers. One of the biggest advantages is the length of your contract.

Rental contracts are typically much shorter than traditional phone contracts provided by a network, which can be an advantage for people who like to upgrade their phones more frequently. With musicMagpie, you can rent a phone for just 12 months, meaning you can upgrade free of charge every year!

Shorter contracts mean you're free to leave your agreement earlier than traditional phone and SIM contracts that usually last two, three or even four years in some cases.

Freedom to choose

person using their phone to browse network providers

When you rent a phone, you're only paying for the phone itself. This means that you have the freedom to choose your network provider and SIM package.

This is an advantage because it allows you to tailor your service to your specific needs without running up your monthly costs. For example, if you need a lot of data, you can choose a provider with an unlimited data plan. Or, if you travel frequently, you can select a provider with international roaming coverage.

When you sign a phone contract with a network provider, you are locked into a specific provider and plan. So, if your needs change over time, you may be stuck paying for services that no longer suit you.

No payment increases

person paying for a phone rental

Due to inflation, network providers up their prices every year, increasing your monthly contract payments to higher than what you originally agreed to. But when you rent a phone with musicMagpie, there are no payment increases – you pay exactly what you agreed to and not a penny more!

With renting, there are no payment hikes, so you always know exactly how much you need to pay each month. This can help with budgeting and ensure that you don't get any nasty surprises when it comes to your phone bill.

Plus, if you decide you want to keep the current phone you're renting after your contract ends, you can enter another 12-month contract with us and we'll guarantee your payments will be even lower!

Sound good? Shop second hand phones with musicMagpie today!

How phone contracts with network providers work

Want to know what a phone contract with a network provider is and how it works? It's pretty straightforward!

To enter this kind of contract, you'll head to a network provider and select the phone you want. Once you've selected your phone, you'll have an option of SIM packages with that provider, with some SIM packages costing more than others.

Once you've chosen your SIM package, you'll be able to see how long your contract is for and how much your monthly repayments will be (and any upfront costs you might need to pay).

One thing to note with these contracts is that your network provider can increase your monthly repayments, which they usually do around March each year, and you have to pay these new prices – that's right, you can't cancel your contract.

However, usually, you own the device at the end of your contract, so you have something to show for your payments.

Perks of phone contract packages with network providers

You'll own the phone

woman using her phone rental

One perk of phone contract packages with network providers is that you'll own the phone at the end of your contract. This is an advantage because, unlike when you rent a phone, once your contract period is up you can keep the phone for free or sell it for a cash payout.

With a phone rental, you have to return the phone at the end of your contract. This means you would have to find a new phone and sign a new contract unless you plan to extend your current agreement.

SIM and phone payments are combined

man paying for him phon rental with his bank card

Many people choose phone contracts with network providers as they can be more convenient than buying a phone outright or renting a phone and then finding a SIM-only package.

When you choose a phone contract with a network provider, your monthly fee covers both the cost of the phone and your SIM contract. This can be a great way to keep your outgoings simple and on the same date each month.

Which costs less?

Want to know which costs the least? Unfortunately, it's not as black and white as you may think. It all depends on your monthly payments and how many years you will be paying them.

Rental payments are usually cheaper than phone contracts and finish sooner, but you own the device at the end of your phone contract with a network provider, so it's best to weigh the pros and cons and decide which is right for you.

Phone rental is best for…

  • People who like to upgrade each year
  • People who don't care about owning a phone
  • People who like to shop around for the best SIM packages and deals
  • People on a budget

Phone contract packages with network providers are best for…

  • People who want to own their phone
  • People that want to keep their phone and SIM package for multiple years
  • People who want to pay for their phone and SIM package together

Are there any other options?

There are other options if you don't want to rent a phone or enter a contract package with a network provider.

If you have the money available, you can buy your phone outright. There are cheaper ways of purchasing your phone outright if you can't afford to pay the high prices for a brand-new phone.

Refurbished phones are a good option if you want to buy but don't want to pay full price. At musicMagpie, we grade all our phones: Good, Very Good, and Pristine. This way, you'll know the condition of your device.

Plus, all our phones are certified refurbished and have been put through a 90-point check to ensure they're in perfect working condition. And if that wasn't enough, you'll get a 12-month warranty with every tech item!!

When you buy a phone outright, you benefit from not being locked in with a network provider and owning the phone. So if these benefits are something you care about and you can afford the upfront cost, it's definitely worth considering.

Shop refurbished phones and cheap iPhone models with musicMagpie today!

Save extra money on your next phone when you buy or rent refurbished phones and used iPhone models from the musicMagpie Store. We have plenty of models to choose from, including cheap iPhone 11, refurbished iPhone 12, refurbished iPhone 13 and refurbished iPhone 14 models. Plus, you can also buy and rent other tech with us like refurbished iPad and MacBook models! 

Whether you're renting your next phone or choosing a package with a network provider, make some extra money to put toward your monthly phone payments by selling your old phone with us!

Wondering "where can I sell my phone for quick cash?" Look no further than musicMagpie! You can sell iPhone, Samsung and Google Pixel phones with us, plus a whole range of other tech items, and get paid instantly for them.