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Getting to know UK phone number dialling codes

Getting to know UK phone number dialling codes

Throughout the day you may well find yourself making a huge amount of calls, to all manner of locations and businesses around the country, and with a real variety of dialling codes and area codes. We've put together a brief list of some of the most common phone numbers that you might find yourself calling, or indeed that you might find calling you.

01 and 02 phone numbers

Phone numbers beginning with the 01 or 02 area codes relate to geographic locations within the UK such as 020 for London, 0121 for Birmingham, 0113 for Leeds and 0161 for Manchester. Due to these numbers relating to locations, they are used for both business and residential purposes.

Phone numbers that begin with the 03 prefix

These are UK-wide geographic numbers 03 phone numbers. A number of businesses choose to use these numbers instead of more costly 08 numbers. 0345 phone numbers have largely replaced the use of 0845 numbers for example.

030 phone numbers

Phone numbers beginning with the 030 number ranges are usually reserved for allocation to not-for-profit organisations and registered charities, as well as some public bodies such as local councils and government departments. If you are receiving a call from an 030 number, it's quite likely that it will be from one of the above organisations.

Phone numbers starting with the 07 prefix

Numbers beginning with 07 are used for mobile phone numbers in the UK.

070 phone numbers are different to mobile numbers

It is important to note that 070 phone numbers are not mobile phone numbers and calls to these numbers can be more expensive. These numbers are often used to divert calls from another phone numbers. They are sometimes referred to as 'personal' numbers or 'follow me' numbers because of this and are sometimes used by sole traders in cases where they don't want to advertise their private phone number on a website or advert.

08 phone numbers

These phone numbers are business rate numbers and are sometimes used for customer contact centres, helplines and chargeable services. These numbers often have special charge rates, often higher than standard call charges, and are not associated with a geographic area.

Freephone numbers such as 0800 and 0808

0800 and 0808 phone numbers are typically used by helplines, charities and some government services as they are free to call.

084 phone numbers

Phone numbers such as 0843, 0844 and 0845 numbers are business rate numbers and carry an access charge and a service charge as set up by the organisation that you are calling. The majority of companies have largely migrated from 0845 to 0345 phone numbers due to the higher caller costs associated with calling 0845 phone numbers.

087 phone numbers

Like 0843, 0844 and 0845 numbers, 087 phone numbers carry higher call charges. Numbers beginning with 087 are also subject to an access charge and a service charge. Often these charges can be higher than those associated with 0843, 0844 and 0845 numbers.

Phone numbers starting with 09

These types of phone numbers are mainly used for competitions, chat lines, TV voting and professional advice services. These numbers are regulated by the Phone-paid Services Authority (PSA) and are premium rate numbers. Like 084 numbers, 09 phone numbers comprise of an access charge and a service charge which is set by the organisation that is being called, alternatively you can be charged a one-off call cost ranging from anywhere between 5p and £6.

116 numbers for social value services

Phone numbers starting with the 116 prefix are free of charge phone numbers which are used across Europe for services of social value such as missing persons helplines and crime victim helplines. The same six digit phone number is used for the these services across the European Union.

118 for directory enquiries

Directory enquiry phone numbers will begin with the digits 118. Costs to these numbers can vary significantly, but these numbers typically carry a one-off connection charge and an additional per minute rate. These numbers are regulated by the Phone-paid Services Authority (PSA) and costs of calls are required to be stated by providers in their advertising.

0500 Freephone phone numbers

0500 freephone numbers were withdrawn from service on June 5th 2017. These phone numbers were used alongside 08085 numbers to provide services such as sales and enquiry helplines.

The Phone-paid Services Authority (PSA) mentioned above, was previously known as PhonePayPlus and ICSTIS. It is in charge of regulating services which are paid by phone in the UK.

If you see any phone numbers on your analogue or VoIP phone that start with any of the digits above, you will now hopefully have a better idea of where the caller is calling from or what type of service they are offering.

To find out about PAYG costs via your hosted VoIP phone system, check out our call costs calculator.

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