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There’s no escaping it – our phones are costing us serious amounts of money. Two-thirds of phone owners are tied into contracts* and 46% of us are wasting an average of £92 by staying in ones that are long past their sell by date.

With this in mind, it is no surprise that people are wising up to the benefits of switching to SIM-only deals to save money. By purchasing your phone outright and switching to SIM-only you could save hundreds of pounds over the course of your usual 24-month phone contract.

However, with a SIM-only contract comes the cost of buying a handset. With the latest smartphone models costing hundreds when purchased brand new, buying a refurbished phone could be a good option if you’re looking to save some serious cash.

Phone specialist Envirofone has compiled a list of the top five reasons you might want to consider switching to a refurbished handset, and how it could save you money in the long term.

  1. (Almost) brand new

Buying a refurbished phone isn’t the same as buying a second hand device from an acquaintance or an auction site. A refurbished device will be put through rigorous tests to ensure it is in full working order before being sold, with suppliers such as Envirofone testing each phone individually and many putting the device through a 100 point check before selling on.

Once it has been established that the device is in full working order, suppliers will grade the phone on its physical appearance alone. At Envirofone, this falls between ‘As New’ and ‘Good’ condition. A device that is a ‘Good’ standard will have some minor wear and tear, whereas ‘As New’ does what it says on the tin.

This means that when you buy refurbished, you could get a device that is as good as one you would find in a shop but without the hefty price tag.

  1. A fraction of the price

Like most big ticket items, smartphones depreciate in value very quickly, meaning that your expensive new gadget won’t be worth as much as it was the week before.

Research by Envirofone found that some of the most popular smartphone models of 2016 lost an average of 70% of their value in the first few weeks after launch*, meaning that if you’re buying refurbished you could bag yourself a real bargain.

For example, a refurbished 32GB iPhone 7 unlocked and in a good condition could cost you £449, compared to £599 bought brand new from Apple.*

  1. No expensive contracts

When you take out a contract with a handset included, a large amount of your monthly bill will be spent paying off your phone, rather than on your minutes, texts and data. Switching to a SIM-only deal could shave off lots of money from your monthly bill as you’ll only be paying for your tariff, rather than for that expensive brand new smartphone.

For example, a SIM-only 12 month deal with O2 would cost you £16 a month for 5GB of data and unlimited calls and texts. For the same deal with a new iPhone 7 on a 24 month contract this rises to £58, showing just how much you could save by buying your handset separately.

  1. All the perks

Buying a refurbished phone can come with all the perks you would expect with buying new, including being able to insure your handset. Most 3rd party phone suppliers will insure devices bought from them directly, so ensure that you include it at the checkout.

Many retailers will also include a warranty to ensure you are covered if something isn’t right with your device. At Envirofone, a 12 month warranty comes with any phone purchased via the website as standard, with a 14 day return policy in case you change your mind.

  1. Environmentally friendly

If you care about the environment, buying refurbished rather than brand new is a great way to help the planet. Reusing rather than recycling a phone for its parts is a great way to prolong its lifespan, and if you’re conscious about your carbon footprint and being more green, buying refurbished will help you do your bit to lower consumption.

To see Envirofone’s most popular refurbished phone models, go to shop.envirofone.com