A smartphone contract in the Netherlands: how does it work?

A smartphone contract in the Netherlands: how does it work?

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If you are going to be in the Netherlands for a while, it’s a good idea to get a Dutch mobile phone - it will surely save you some money. But what's the best option for you? Will you go for a Sim Only deal or is a phone contract the way to go?

Whether you have just arrived in the Netherlands, or you have been living here for a while and just looking to get a new smartphone, you have two options: You can buy a phone yourself and get a Sim Only subscription with the provider of your choice, or you can choose a provider and make use of their mobile phone contracts. Both options have pros and cons. Is a smartphone contract the best option for you? Let’s find out!

So, how does it work exactly, a smartphone contract in the Netherlands?

When you opt for a smartphone contract, you get a phone from your provider. You pay for your phone per month during your contract period, on top of your standard sim costs. Generally, your contract period lasts from one to two years. During this period, you can increase the amount of data and the number of minutes of your plan but can't decrease them.

A smartphone contract: the pros

Thinking about getting a smartphone contract? Here are the pros!

Pay per month

If you are looking to buy a new smartphone and you are on a budget, getting a smartphone contract is ideal. This way, you don’t have to pay a large amount of money in one go to get the phone you want because, let’s face it, smartphones are not exactly cheap. At least not if you really want the latest iPhone, for instance. Many people simply can’t afford to put down 1.000 euros for a phone without saving for a while.

Always the latest smartphone

Also, if having the latest smartphone is important to you, a smartphone contract is the way to go. After all, when you have a pay monthly contract, you can get a new phone every one to two years, depending on the length of your phone contract.

A smartphone contract: the cons

Of course, there are also a few cons when it comes to getting a smartphone contract.

Less flexibility and freedom

When you have a phone contract, you are “stuck” with it for one to two years. If you want to end your contract before this time, you will have to pay for your remaining months. So, make sure you choose a deal that fits your needs.

BKR registration

The Dutch government considers smartphone contracts to be a loan. What this means is you'll have to carry out a mandatory BKR registration and income test. BKR stands for Bureau Krediet Registratie (Credit Registration Office), and this office keeps track of any loans you may have taken out. This could result in a lower maximum mortgage if you are looking to buy a house, for example. If you want to prevent this, make sure your device contribution is a maximum of 10 euros per month with a two-year contract, or a maximum of 20 euros per month with a one-year contract.

What’s best for you?

What’s best for you - Sim Only or a smartphone contract - is ultimately up to you! Some questions you may want to consider:

  • How long will you be in the Netherlands for?
  • How important is having the latest smartphone for you?
  • Can you pay for a smartphone in one go or would pay-per-month suit your budget better?
  • Do you have any other loans (BKR registration)?

Interested in getting the Apple iPhone 13? Vodafone offers amazing deals, from Sim Only to contract iPhones. Get one now.



Leave a comment

IbrahimAbdulkarim3 11:39 | 18 August 2022

Excuse me?? How did you NOT mention that to get a phone via installments you NEED to have a Dutch ID which can I say, MAKES ZERO SENSE. Why do I need to be Dutch to get a “loan”????

DIPENKUMARBHADRA2 14:59 | 14 November 2023

Hi, I need help in taking new phone on contract. As I am expat, any day I might have to go back to my country, if then within contract I move out of Netherlands then what will happen and if I am unable to pay the remaining contract amount then what could happen?