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Data Sim for UK, Austria and Germany

Hi All,

We have hired a car to drive through England for a few days and also in Austria and Germany for a week, we have looked at GPS costs and they are quite hefty so I am thinking of using Google Maps and purchasing a Sim card that has calls but also around 20GB. Does anyone know if you can buy these in England and then they would also work in Germany/ Austria? We have been told you should be able to get some type of sim in Tesco.

Thanks in advance

Posted by
8889 posts

Yes, any SIM card purchased in an EU country will work in all EU countries, and handle calls to or from anywhere in the World.
The SIM card will have a phone number from the country you bought it in.

You can buy SIM cards in many places, including Tesco supermarkets. Make sure you can add credit to the card over the internet, as once you leave the UK you will not be able to visit a Tesco store.

An alternative is an App that does not rely on a data connection. For example maps.me, this allows you to download the maps ahead of time, for example by WiFi, and does not need data while you are travelling.

I hope you are not planning to hire a car in England and return it in Germany. That would be very costly.

Posted by
20 posts

Hi Chris,

Thank you for the info, we are driving in England from London to Manchester then down to Stonehenge, Bath and Brighton and back to London. Car dropped off then pick up in Munich and drive through Austria.
Can maps.me show with no data where the potential car is on the map, or does it just give you the way?

Thanks Steve

Posted by
7726 posts

In the UK, a Carphone Warehouse is also a good place to get a SIM. There you will have someone be able to install it, verify it works, and answer any questions. There tend to be multiple deals and packages all the time, they can point you to what you need. Also, for just GPS and some browsing, 20 gigs is way more than you need for a couple weeks. You could get by with a gig, 2 would be better, if a package has maybe 4 gigs that would be fine, but you will likely not see packages for more than 10 Gigs. Amount of data will drive the cost, expect to pay as little as 10 Pounds on up to 40 or 50. If you plan on calls to the US, make sure you explain that, you will need a cash balance on the account to cover the charges.

Posted by
8889 posts

scdc, maps.me will show current position without using data. It just uses the phone's GPS receiver. When you view an area, it automatically downloads the maps for that area. So if you plot the route and pan through it while you are on your home (or hotel) WiFi, you will already have the maps loaded when you hit the road.

I was worried you were planning to drive a UK right-hand-drive car on the "wrong" side of the road all the way to Germany and Austria. Glad you are not.

Posted by
1 posts

AT&T offers a Day Pass for International Travel that costs US$10/day when used. There are no additional costs when the phone is used in the specified countries, including the UK. Would this be competitive with a purchased Sim Card?

Posted by
1856 posts

Wgoii2,

It depends on your usage. I got a Vodafone UK SIM this past May. 1GB data for use in UK, .5GB to use while roaming in EU including Switzerland plus minutes and texts. All for around roughly £17. So for me that’s a better value vs ATT. Plan was good for 30 days.

Posted by
4353 posts

Wxe have used offline Google maps in both England and Scotland and the directional feature worked well. No data required (just some preparation) since it works by satellite. Have not yet tried it in Germany or Austria.

Posted by
20 posts

thanks to all,

travelmom what prep do you need for google maps offline?

Thanks

Posted by
11496 posts

We bought SIMs from 3 Cellular in London, 12GB for 30GBP. Waaayyyyy more that I needed, but such a comfort to not run out! Good service everywhere we have been throughout the continent, so far.

Posted by
37 posts

I have no idea if you're old enough, but TMobile has a senior plan if you're 55 or over. Two phones for 60 bucks a month unlimited in 140 countries.

Posted by
5687 posts

T-Mobile's plan is unlimited DATA (and data slowed down to 2G speeds), not unlimited CALLING in all those countries. Instead, it's 20 cents/minute for calls while roaming in other countries. Still, it is a good deal if you qualify AND you can use two lines - not everyone can.