Primus line rental: can it cut broadband costs?

broadband line rental

Primus are the undisputed kings of budget calls: if you're with a big provider, their cheapest home phone deal could cut the cost of line rental by about 70%.

But there's a big problem with running off to Primus: broadband.

Almost all ISPs now ask their customers to go all in - that is, to take their home phone as well as their broadband - which means that, if you want an internet connection, Primus may not be the cheapest option all things considered.

In this guide, we take a closer look at getting Primus line rental and broadband. Can it save money, or have the big ISPs got the market sewn up?

Primus and broadband: the options

Having a home phone now costs almost £16 a month, around £190 a year, with big providers like BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Virgin Media and EE.

The cheapest Primus deal, with no inclusive calls, knocks about 70% off that price. Even with inclusive evening and weekend calls Primus is about 30% cheaper than the big brands.

But, as we said above, it's tough to be with Primus if you want broadband, since many ISPs only offer their home internet deals to those that also take calls.

ISPs that are closed off to Primus customers

TalkTalk Tesco Post Office

However, it is possible.

Here are some ISPs that will allow customers to take their broadband with Primus line rental and the details of their standalone deals.

Broadband deals that can be paired with Primus line rental

Package Speed Usage Price
(not inc. phone!)
plusnet Unlimited Up to 17Mb Unlimited £29.48 Visit Plusnet
plusnet Unlimited Fibre Up to 38Mb Unlimited £34.48 Visit Plusnet
virgin media 50Mb broadband Up to 50Mb Unlimited £28.50 Visit Virgin Media
virgin media 100Mb Broadband Up to 100Mb Unlimited £33.50 Visit Virgin Media
virgin media 152Mb Broadband Up to 152Mb Unlimited £41 Visit Virgin Media

Note that these prices are without line rental so Primus home phone customers will need to add in the cost of their deal.

If you were thinking of signing up to Primus now that would be an extra:

Package Inclusive calls Cost/month
Primus home phone
(only available through Broadband Choices)
None £5.99 Only available through Broadband Choices
Primus Saver Evenings and weekends £11.39 Sign up
Primus Home Phone Max Anytime £18.38 Sign up

Note: prices above were correct as of the byline date of this article but may have changed since. Check out the Primus site to be sure.

As you can see, however, even the cheapest standalone broadband option plus the cheapest Primus option is more than bundling broadband and calls with one provider.

Now more than ever, the broadband providers really have got the phone market stitched up.

For those that want broadband and a cheaper deal, then, it's worth looking at other options.

Goodbye to Primus?
Other options for cheap broadband and calls

And one of the other options might look rather familiar.

Saying goodbye to the cheapest Primus line rental doesn't have to mean saying goodbye to this budget provider altogether: their broadband and calls deal is among the UK's cheapest deals.

Package Broadband Price Line Rental Total Price Setup Cost
sky Broadband Unlimited (for existing Sky TV customers) Up to 17Mb
for 12 mths,
then £7.50
£16.40 £16.40
for 12 mths,
then £23.90
Free Visit Sky
sky Broadband Unlimited + Talk Weekends Up to 17Mb
for 12 mths,
then £7.50
£16.40 £16.40
for 12 mths,
then £23.90
Free Visit Sky
talktalk SimplyBroadband Up to 17Mb
for 12 mths,
then £3.50
£16.70 £16.70
for 12 mths,
then £20.20
Free Visit TalkTalk
tesco Broadband + Evening & Weekend calls Up to 16Mb
for 12 mths,
then £6
£15.40 £15.40
for 12 mths,
then £21.40
Free Visit Tesco
ee Broadband + Weekend calls Up to 17Mb
for 12 mths,
then £9.95
£15.75 £15.75
for 12 mths,
then £25.70
Free Visit EE

The moral of the story is that the cheapest home phone deals aren't necessarily a good deal if you also want a home internet connection.

As well as the options above, see more budget broadband and calls options in our cheapest deals guide.

Those worried about the high cost of line rental costs could also take a look at our home phone cost cutting guide here.

Although the standard cost of line rental is very high, for example, many providers have pay upfront for a year options that can cut the cost of having a home phone down to around £10 a month, still more than Primus but a much more competitive rate than the headline advertised cost.


31 August 2012

Currently trying to purchase O2 Broadband with Primus Line Rental Saver. So far taking over 1 month and still don't have internet. After many hours of phone calls over a month, O2 tells me that I have an incompatible product and Primus tells me there shouldn't be anything stopping my purchase.

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