Around 6.5 million customers in the UK are likely to be paying too much for their broadband and 1.5 million could be overpaying for their mobiles, according to figures from the telecoms regulator. 

Research published in Ofcom's annual report on pricing trends says 46% of households with standard up-to-17Mb speed broadband are out of contract (which equates to four million households), as are 32% which have faster fibre broadband (approximately 2.5 million).

Many broadband and mobile providers offer low monthly prices for the duration of your contract - but once you're beyond the minimum term it's highly likely you're overpaying. 

If you're out of contract, check now if you can save by switching using our Broadband Unbundled tool, with the top deals starting from '£12/mth'.

The huge cost of apathy laid bare - compare these with the '£12/mth' cheapest deal

To give you an idea of how much prices can change once you're out of contract, here's what some of the big providers charge when your minimum term's up:

Out-of-contract standard speed broadband and line rental costs

Provider Standard monthly broadband cost Cost per year
BT £42.99 £516
Sky £30 £360
TalkTalk £27 £324
Plusnet £29.98 £360

It's worth comparing these prices to our top pick deals. Currently the cheapest standard speed broadband and line rental is equivalent to £12/mth (if you claim a £60 voucher).

For fibre broadband our top pick deal is Vodafone's up-to-38Mb speed fibre broadband for £20/mth. 

If you've not changed your broadband provider or haggled with your current provider in the last 12 months, the likelihood is you're paying up to three times too much for your broadband and line rental.

Use our Broadband Unbundled tool to help you find the cheapest deal available to you based on your postcode.

Our tool can also factor in TV deals and calculate whether it's best to get all the services from the same provider. Alternatively if you're happy with your current provider, telecoms providers are amongst the easiest to haggle with. See our guide on how to haggle.

What about mobile bills?

When it comes to mobile phone contracts you usually pay for the cost of the handset and airtime for the duration of your contract, but once it ends you'll continue to pay the same price - despite having already paid for the handset.

Most of these contracts last for 24 months, so if you took out a handset and airtime mobile phone contract over 24 months ago and you've not changed your contract, you're almost definitely overpaying.

Check out our 30+ Cheap Mobile Tips guide or our Best Sim Only Deals guide if you're happy with your handset and want a new deal. 

If you're happy with your current network, see our guide on Mobile Phone Haggling.

What does Ofcom say?

Commenting on the findings, Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom’s consumer group director, said: "Ofcom is taking action to help people take full advantage of the choice and value available in the market. 

"We are focusing initially on end-of-contract notifications – whereby providers would proactively inform customers when they are approaching or at the end of their minimum contract period.

"We are also looking at the issue of mobile customers continuing to pay the same price after the end of their minimum contract period, where this price reflects the cost of their mobile handset."

* This story was updated on 22 May to incorporate new figures on the numbers of households out of contract taking either ADSL or fibre/cable broadband.

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