It's easy to lose track of how long you have left on your phone contract. You might have not been paying attention when you signed up, or maybe you can't remember how many months you committed to.

Either way, it's worth knowing when it expires. This means you can prepare for a potential switch or upgrade, without risking losing service while you figure everything out. it will also avoid a situation where you keep being charged for a phone that you've already paid for. 

The choice can be overwhelming, so we'd recommend taking a look at our best phone networks article to help with the decision.

Most contracts combine a payment for the SIM and a payment for the phone, so once you've finished paying off the phone (at the end of your contract) you should be able to reduce the cost of your contract significantly if you decide not to upgrade. As you can see from our comparison tool at the bottom of the page, you can get a SIM-only deal for as little as £5pm

Here is how to tell how long you’ve got left on your phone contract.

If you’re an EE customer

Login to ‘My EE’ and check your upgrade status. This will tell you the exact date when you’re next eligible for an upgrade. For EE customers, upgrades become available exactly 45 days prior to the contract end. So simply add 45 days to the date shown and you’ll get your contract’s end date. You can also text 'UP' to 150 to find out your upgrade date and follow the same process.

If you’re a Vodafone customer

There are three ways to check how long you have left on your contract for Vodafone customers. You can login to ‘My Vodafone’ and go to ‘Upgrade or change plan’. Your contract’s end date will appear.

You can also find out the end date through the Vodafone app. Go to ‘My product and services’ and then click ‘My plan’. It will tell you when your contract ends.

The final way is to call 191 and ask customer service, or to check your bill or welcome email on which your contract’s start date will appear. You can figure out how long you’ve got left by adding the contract’s length to the start date.

If you’re an O2 customer

O2 customers simply have to login to ‘My O2’  and go to ‘My tariff summary’ to find the contract’s end date. Alternatively, they can also call 202, which is free of charge from an O2 mobile.

If you’re a Three customer

Login to ‘My3’. Go to ’Upgrade and offers’ and select ‘Check if you can upgrade’. Your contract's end date will appear under ‘Your minimum term finished on’. It will also be available on the letter or email you received when you first joined Three. If you can’t find it, call 333 or 0333 300 3333 and ask customer service, free for all Three customers.

If you’re on a 'piggyback provider'

Piggyback providers are so called because they buy space from one of the four major UK networks. Numbers in the UK are growing, but it's still important 

Aside from having purchased network,space, these providers are not associated with the major network in any way. You should still head directly to your provider to find out when you can upgrade. 

For example, you’re a Tesco customer, login to your ‘Pay Monthly’ account to view your end date. You can also call 4422, which is free for all Tesco customers. On  BT, you can log in to 'My BT', where you'll have the option to check when your contract is up, as well as what your current usage is like. 

It should be a similar story regardless of your provider, with many companies offering an app in addition to web-based services. 

When you're ready to upgrade, check out our guide to the best phones you can buy. In the meantime, our comprehensive guide to the best SIM-only deals are below.