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Although UK consumers are increasingly savvy when it comes to price comparison, there are still billions of pounds wasted every year on the wrong mobile contracts.

Choosing the right deal: 90 per cent of people are currently on the wrong phone contract.

Source: Getty

Mobile network charges are not always clear-cut, and as a result we estimate 90 per cent of people are currently on the wrong contract.

This comes down to people paying for an allowance that doesn’t match their needs, as well as paying over the odds for their handset. Furthermore, there’s also a general reluctance to switch mobile network providers due to concerns over poor coverage or switching difficulties.

With the UK mobile phone market reaching 54.5 million mobile phone contracts by the end of 2016, now is the best time to address how the increasing number of consumers can make the best savings.

Match your allowance to your actual mobile usage

The first step to take when you’re purchasing a new handset or renewing an existing contract is to make sure to match your allowance to your mobile usage. More savings can be made this way than by simply guessing one’s data before signing up.

Do you really need a new phone?

Keeping your old phone obviously saves money. So do you really need a new handset?

If the answer is yes, then try and purchase it directly from the manufacturers, or consider units that have been returned or refurbished. Companies such as Unshackled are able to help finance a new handset. You should avoid contracts with companies that prolong payment for a new phone, even after the minimum contract length is over.

Choose your contract carefully

Going SIM only is a great way of achieving larger savings on an existing mobile contract. This year we’ve seen Smarty, a new SIM-only mobile network that announced it would pay customers back for any data they didn’t use.

Check your coverage before changing provider

Make sure you will still be able to use your phone at home. Online postcode coverage checkers, as well as service provider switching guides, are really helpful tools. There are also websites that can inform you which services providers use which networks. For instance GiffGaff and Tesco Mobile both run on the O2 network, while BT, Plusnet Mobile and Virgin Mobile run on the EE Network and most other service providers run on the Three network.

Check your recent phone bills

To get an accurate measure of usage, check your bills, or use a tool like the one on ctrlio’s website to do it for you. Matching products to an individual’s particular requirements is what guarantees the best possible deal when it comes to mobile contracts. Ultimately, there are more flexible options available in the market today than ever before, so no one should find themselves paying over the odds for their mobile.

Article originally published on CityAM.

Dominic Strowbridge

Dominic is passionate about creating products that solve problems and delight users. For the past 20 years, he’s been designing and building first-class consumer products for the mobile industry.