As Hungarian mobile phone price plans do not give value for money in terms of minutes, text and data, compared to in the UK, you should shop around.
Vodafone has a wide variety of price plans, English web pages, and is a favourite with Hungarians.
Below you will find information on 'How To Get A Vodafone Hungary WebsiteVodafone SIM Card' and Vodafone P.A.Y.G Plans Web PageVodafone Price Plans. If you decide to live in Hungary (on/off) and/or rent out your Hungarian property, you should find the information on this web page and its linked web pages helpful.
We take it for granted that in the UK you can walk down the high street and buy a mobile phone sim card, but in Hungary this is not possible. You must first visit a mobile phone shop (i.e. T-Mobile or Vodafone), present your ID and then sign paperwork before getting a simple P.A.Y.G / Prepaid SIM Card. If you want a monthly contract you will need to show your Hungarian Address Card or have a Hungarian who can act as your guarantor (if you do not have a Hungarian address card).
An address card is issued by the government to Hungarians and by the immigration office to "Foreigners" who have a right/reason to live/work in Hungary. Without an address card you are limited to doing certain things. You cannot buy a car without an address card for example or have a monthly mobile phone contract, which can make life tricky!
One of the better Vodafone P.A.Y.G price plans is the MAX M price plan. You initially pay 2,946 HUF (£8.41), plus 500 HUF (£1.42) for the SIM Card, and 3000 HUF (£8.57) Credit whereby the 3000 HUF credit is used on a P.A.Y.G basis. So if you use 200 HUF, your credit will go down to 2,800 HUF. You might find the additional credit useful if you make short calls to other EU countries for example.
The good news is that any remaining credit stays on your Vodafone account until you use it. So you could have the remaining 2,800 HUF on your Vodafone account for up to one year if you do not use it. In other words: There is no obligation to keep topping-up your Vodafone account, with 3,000 HUF at a time, if you have existing/unused credit on it.
On the MAX M price plan: For each 3,000 HUF top-up, you get 100 calling minutes to local (Hungarian) numbers and 100 MB of Internet data. Calls to the UK are a separate tariff (top-up) and very expensive per minute, but on the plus side Hungary Vodafone to Hungary Vodafone calls are free - You will hear a special jingle/sound when a call is free.
Watch out for special price plans. In Szeged I am on Vodafone's Net+ price plan whereby each time you top-up 3,000 HUF you automatically receive 500 MB of free internet data. The beauty of this plan is that your existing credit remains on your Vodafone account if you do not use it, even though you have used up your 500MB of internet data.
Vodafone's monthly SIM Card price plans (monthly contracts) have improved over the years and their Red EU+ plans are testiment to that. Their 9,439 HUF (£26.97) monthly price plan, called Vodafone Monthly Price Plans Web PageRed Smart, gives you Unlimited Texts & Calls (in Hungary and within the EU) and 2GB of Internet Data (in Hungary and within the EU).
To get the above offers, sim packages and price plans you will need proof of your permanent address in Hungary (such as a current utility bill in your name), your passport and Hungarian address card (or other proof of residency). And if you are a temporary resident (i.e. student), a Hungarian guarantor will be needed.
NOTE WELL - The above mentioned offers, sim packages and price plans are subject to change at any time.
P.A.Y.G top-ups can be made by visiting a Vodafone Shop, using an ATM Cash Machine (credit/debit card payment), topping up Online or by purchasing a Top-Up Voucher from a newsagent or supermarket. Monthly contracts are paid for by direct direct. Vouchers will require activation via a Hungarian speaking menu system, which you might find daunting to say the least, so I recommend visiting a Vodafone Shop or topping up Online (using Google Translate if need be).
Vodafone and T-Mobile websites are mainly in Hungarian with many English web pages being useless through lack of full information or not being available (i.e. page not found!). Before you get frustrated though you have to remember many English websites do not cater for other languages either, such as Hungarian, in which case Google Translate soon becomes a welcome friend. If you live in Budapest or Szeged for example, you should find English speaking staff in Vodafone shops anyway.