Virgin Media price increases 2024: Details and how to avoid them

Dan Howdle | February 16th, 2024

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UK broadband, TV and mobile providers are in the habit of raising their prices every year at the beginning of April. These price rises are linked to RPI inflation. Virgin Media continues to invest heavily in reaching new homes around the country, but inflation has substantially dropped since last year. The resulting 8.1% rise in prices is nevertheless nothing to be sniffed at.

In fact, Virgin Media's 2024 price rises – coming into effect on April 1 – are the second-highest of Britain's four largest providers. The question then, is how will that affect you as a Virgin Media customer (whether in or out of contract), or as a potential customer thinking of signing up? We have all the answers.

Virgin Media's 2024 price rises: The full skinny

Anyone who's been a broadband and/or subscription TV package customer with any provider for any length of time is probably aware that providers raise their prices at least once a year, usually on April 1 – the first day of the new financial year.

Prices for existing Virgin Media customers, whether in or out of contract are going up this year by an average of 8.1%. It's big, but dwarfed by the 13.8% rise we saw in 2023. And it's a more than some other providers – BT's is raising prices by 7.9%, and TalkTalk 7.7%

If you're a Virgin Media customer, it's not as simple as looking at your bill and adding 8.1%, though. The amount your particular tariff goes up will vary depending on whether you're in or out of contract, and which specific services you have. Virgin Media will soon be sending you a letter and an email to inform you if the price of your services is going up and by how much. Nevertheless, it's still quite useful to take a look at how an extra 8.1% might affect some packages.

Virgin Media price rise examples

Package/bundle Current price Plus 8.1%
M125 Fibre Broadband £29.00 p/m £31.35 p/m
M500 Fibre Broadband £41.00 p/m £44.32 p/m
Gig1 Fibre Broadband £48.00 p/m £51.89 p/m
Big Bundle £31.00 p/m £33.51 p/m
Bigger Combo Bundle £49.00 p/m £52.97 p/m
Mega Volt Bundle £85 p/m £91.89 p/m

Who's affected by Virgin Media's price hike?

In the long run, the answer is going to be everyone. But as is the case with other providers, price rises tend to be focused primarily on packages and products that have a large take-up. You're much more likely, in Virgin Media's case, to see a noticeable price rise to the most popular products such as M125 Broadband or the basic Big Bundle (basic TV and broadband) than you are to already-pricey flagship bundles like the Ultimate Volt. We anticipated this same pattern last year and we were 100% accurate.

So it's no foregone conclusion that the price of your particular services will go up at all. It's just that it's very likely. Here is how you're going to be affected, depending on where you are with Virgin Media contract-wise.

Existing Virgin Media customers

If the price of your services is changing, you will already have been notified by Virgin Media. There are some differences in what you can do about it, depending on if you're in or out of your current contract period. We will be covering that in the next section.

If you've only just joined Virgin Media, this year (in 2024) your package price won't rise until 2025, since Virgin Media is smart enough to know that bringing in a new customer then instantly charging them more isn't good business.

If you're about to join Virgin Media as a new customer

Price changes to Virgin Media packages aimed at new customers are tricky to gauge, even for a broadband comparison site like Cable.co.uk. That's because Virgin Media has a habit of running long-lived sale-price offers, additional (short) flash sales, and cashback to new customers, usually in the form of bill credit that gets automatically taken off your bill as your contract goes on.

All of that means that simply punching in the price of various packages and trying to track it over the last few years presents quite nonsensical data. One thing we can be sure of though, is that as both inflation and existing customer pricing steadily rise so too does the price you'll pay as a new customer. It's just the latter tends to do so in a stealthier way.

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Why do prices go up?

Unless you've been living on Mars, you're going to be aware that inflation in the UK, and indeed around the world, has been sky-rocketing, and this in turn has affected the cost of goods and services, running the entire gamut from the price of food to the cost of broadband and TV.

There are several reasons why inflation in the UK is currently high. Firstly, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted global supply chains and caused shortages of certain goods, which has led to an increase in their prices. Secondly, there has been a significant increase in demand for goods and services as economies have reopened, and this has put upward pressure on prices. Thirdly, there have been disruptions to the labor market, with labor shortages driving up wages and input costs.

The high inflation rate in the UK has affected the price of broadband packages in a number of ways. Firstly, internet service providers (ISPs) have had to pay higher prices for components and equipment used to deliver broadband services, such as routers and cables. This has increased their costs, which they may pass on to consumers in the form of higher prices for broadband packages.

Secondly, the high inflation rate has put upward pressure on wages, which may also increase the cost of providing broadband services. Providers may need to pay their employees higher wages to attract and retain staff, which could also result in higher prices for broadband packages.

To help visualise how inflation specifically has affected the price of Virgin Media packages, we can look at the last five years of price rises compared to inflation. What we'll see is that this year's rise compared to the others is really quite astonishing.

Year Inflation (Feb) Virgin Media price rise
2019 1.8% 4%
2020 1.7% 4.5%
2021 0.7% 4%
2022 5.5% 3.9%
2023 9.2% 13.8%
2024 4.2% 8.1%

Source: ONS/Virgin Media

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How to avoid Virgin Media price rises

Yes, you can take action to avoid these steep price hikes. But action is what it will require, you cannot sit on your hands and expect Virgin Media to autonomously come to you with a better offer. And what you can do will come down to where you are in your contract.

Cancelling or switching away to another provider

Like Sky, a Virgin Media package, whether that's broadband, TV or both, comes with infrastructure actually installed at your home. With Virgin Media that's a brown signal box on your exterior wall, and a hole through said wall bringing the connection into your home. This is worth mentioning because it means that switching away becomes harder in the sense that it will mean switching out a fair bit of hardware, or rather, making the currently installed infrastructure redundant.

If you're out of your contract you can switch to another provider, if you can find another that can match what you already have. You just have to not mind rendering your existing bits and pieces useless.

Haggling with Virgin Media

If you're still in contract with Virgin Media, calling them and telling them you feel you're paying too much for your package can be a good idea. While Virgin Media limits its 'haggle discounts' to specific packages (we recently tried to reduce the cost of our Gig1 connection, which is apparently off-limits discount-wise), you will certainly have some success on certain packages. Just bear in mind there is a much better option than haggling if you're out of contract. And that is…

Renewing your contract

If you're out of contract and still with Virgin Media, calling them and offering to renew your contract is an extremely powerful bargaining chip. You may get a discount, or you may get a raft of new, additional services for the same money you're currently paying. If you're sitting on an old, expired contract, give Virgin Media a call. You are certain to improve your situation.

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Virgin Media price rises compared to other providers

Virgin Media's 8.1% (on average) price rise in the steepest of all the major providers. But it would be useful to put it in the context of how it compares. So that's exactly what we've done.

Provider 2024 price rise
Sky 6.7%
BT 7.9%
Virgin Media 8.1%
TalkTalk 7.7%

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Frequently asked questions

How much is Virgin Media broadband and TV going up in 2024?

On average, prices are rising by 8.1% on 1 April 2024. Some packages and products will rise by more, some less, and some won't rise at all.

Can Virgin Media increase my bill without telling me?

No. Virgin Media will have to inform you of the price rise and there are options for switching away, haggling or renewing your contract if you're not happy with the price rise.

How can I avoid Virgin Media price increases?

Calling Virgin Media to haggle they price of your existing package down can sometimes work. And if you're out of contract offering to renew your contract gives you a major bargaining chip. You can of course also switch to another provider.

If I take out a Virgin Media deal as a new customer, will the price go up?

Virgin Media raises the prices of its packages yearly and its contracts are currently 18 months. That means if you took out a new Virgin Media deal now, you would certainly face a price rise in 2025.

As an existing customer, can I switch to a new-customer deal to avoid price hikes?

No. But you can renew your contract, which allows you quite a bit of wiggle room to get the services you want at a price you're happy with.