UK telephone number call costs guide23rd May 2020
A snapshot guide to typical UK telephone call costs.
Table of call costs by prefix
Call charges for numbers starting 01, 02, 03, 05, 07 and the Access Charge for numbers starting 084, 087, 09 and 118 are set entirely by the caller’s landline or mobile provider. Where a range of charges is shown for a particular prefix, the call charge varies according to which provider and tariff is chosen to make the call, not by the individual number called.
|Number Prefix||Telephone Number Type||Approximate Cost From a Landline||Approximate Cost From a Mobile|
|01||Geographic Numbers||Inclusive in allowance, else 2p to 20p per minute||Inclusive in allowance, else 3p to 65p per minute|
|02||Geographic Numbers||Inclusive in allowance, else 2p to 20p per minute||Inclusive in allowance, else 3p to 65p per minute|
|03||Non-geographic UK Wide Numbers||Inclusive in allowance, else 2p to 20p per minute||Inclusive in allowance, else 3p to 65p per minute|
|070||Personal Numbers||Inclusive in allowance (sometimes), else 4p to £1.25 per minute||Inclusive in allowance (sometimes), else 5p to £2.50 per minute.|
|071 - 075 & 077 - 079||Mobile Numbers||Inclusive in allowance, else 3p to 24p per minute||Inclusive in allowance, else 3p to 65p per minute|
|0800 and 0808: Freephone||Non-geographic Numbers Free-to-Caller||No Charge||No Charge|
|084||Non-geographic Numbers with Service Charge||An Access Charge of 2p to 20p per minute plus Service Charge||An Access Charge of 5p to 65p per minute plus Service Charge|
|087||Non-geographic Numbers with Service Charge||An Access Charge of 2p to 20p per minute plus Service Charge||An Access Charge of 5p to 65p per minute plus Service Charge|
|09||Non-geographic Numbers with Service Charge||An Access Charge of 2p to 20p per minute plus Service Charge||An Access Charge of 5p to 65p per minute plus Service Charge|
|118||Directory Enquiries||An Access Charge of 2p to 20p per minute plus Service Charge||An Access Charge of 5p to 65p per minute plus Service Charge|
|101 *||Police Non-emergency Number||No Charge||No Charge|
|105||Power Cuts and Blackouts Emergency Helpline (Except Northern Ireland)||No Charge||No Charge|
|111||NHS Non-emergency Number (Except Northern Ireland)||No Charge||No Charge|
|112 / 999||Emergency Number||No Charge||No Charge|
|116||Helplines of Social Importance. Used for certain services of social value which have the same six-digit number across the European Union.||No Charge||No Charge|
|119||Coronavirus testing helpline (England and Wales only)|
(In Scotland and Northern Ireland call 0300 303 2713)
|No Charge||No Charge|
* For those who are unable to call 101, every police force also offers an alternative 01, 02 or 03 number. See the list of alternative numbers.
Service Charge details for 084, 087, 09 and 118 numbers
The Service Charge for numbers starting 084, 087, 09 and 118 is set by and paid to the benefit of the called party and their telecoms provider. Where a range of charges is shown for a particular prefix, the call charge varies only according to the actual number called and not by which provider or tariff was used to make the call.
|Number Prefix||Call Costs|
|084 (0843, 0844, 0845)||Access Charge plus 5p to 7p per call and/or 1p to 7p per minute|
|087 (0870, 0871, 0872)||Access Charge plus 5p to 13p per call and/or 1p to 13p per minute|
|09 (090, 091, 098)||Access Charge plus 5p to £6 per call and/or 1p to £3.60 per minute|
|118||Access Charge plus 5p to £3.65 per call and/or 1p to £2.43 per minute, with a cap of £3.65 per 90 seconds of a call|
Deals with inclusive calls
Inclusive allowances usually include UK landline numbers starting 01 and 02, non-geographic numbers starting 03 and, in most cases, UK mobile numbers starting 071 to 075 and 077 to 079. Some landline and mobile providers are beginning to include calls to Personal Numbers starting 070 in allowances.
Call charges at “per-minute” rates will apply only if the caller exceeds their inclusive allowance or chooses a call plan without an inclusive allowance.
Inclusive allowances often exclude calls to landline and mobile numbers in Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man. Find out how to make cheaper calls to the Channel Islands
Charges from landlines
On non-inclusive chargeable calls to 01, 02, 03, 05 and 07 numbers, most landline providers also set a connection fee of around 18p to 25p per call.
Connection fees are not permitted on calls to 084, 087, 09 and 118 numbers.
Calls to 03 numbers cost the same as calling 01 and 02 numbers and count towards inclusive allowances on landlines and on mobiles. This applies on every network.
Numbers starting 030 are used by public services and ‘not for profit’ organisations.
Numbers starting 034 and 037 are reserved for migration from the matching 084 or 087 number.
Numbers starting 033 can be used by anyone.
Ofcom expects retail telecoms providers to include calls to Personal Numbers starting 070 in inclusive allowances on the same basis as calls to UK mobile numbers, or otherwise charge calls to 070 numbers at the same rate as a call to a UK mobile number. Some retail telecoms providers have complied while others are now profiteering on these calls.
0800 and 0808 numbers are free-to-caller from landlines and from mobile phones.
084, 087, 09 and 118 numbers
Calls to 084, 087, 09 and 118 numbers incur both an Access Charge and a Service Charge.
The Access Charge is set by the caller’s landline or mobile provider and is usually charged per second after the first minute. It must be shown prominently in tariff lists alongside the charges for calls to landline numbers, 03 numbers, and mobile numbers.
The Service Charge is set by the organisation being called and they must show it in close proximity to the number wherever it is advertised or promoted and mention that an additional Access Charge will also apply. Where the Service Charge is, or includes, a per-minute rate, this must be charged per second.
Service numbers with a Service Charge that is more than 7p per minute or per call are defined as Controlled Premium Rate Services (CPRS) and subject to additional regulation by the Phone-paid Services Authority (PSA). Some high-risk services, such as chatlines and call connection services, are always classed as CPRS, irrespective of call cost or prefix used. All such services (including those operating on 084 numbers) are regulated by PSA.
0845 and 0870 numbers
Some landline providers currently include 0845 and/or 0870 numbers within inclusive call allowances. In these cases, the Access Charge is waived and the Service Charge paid to the benefit of the called party and their telecoms provider is funded from all call plan subscribers rather than by the person who made the call.
Call charges for 055, 056 and 076 numbers are non-standard. Check with your provider.
The 0500 number range was withdrawn from use on 3rd June 2017. Existing users were offered the matching 0808 5 number where the new number is one digit longer than the old number but the last six digits remain the same.
On 26 December 2013, the Cabinet Office published guidance for central government departments, their agencies and private partners and other public sector organisations recommending they replace their premium 084 and 087 numbers with cheaper 03 numbers, see Customer service lines: government guidance.
On 13 December 2013, BIS published the Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013 and they came into force on 13 June 2014. Regulation 41 requires retailers, traders and passenger transport companies to use numbers starting 01, 02, 03 or 080 for post-sales helplines, see Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013: Regulation 41.
The FCA has since extended the rules to cover financial services such as banks, card companies and insurers. The regulations were published on 23 July 2015 and came into force on 26 October 2015, see FCA Policy Statement 15/19, Chapter 3 and FCA regulations GEN 7.2 and DISP 1.3.
Many former users of 084 and 087 numbers have since swapped to the matching 034 or 037 number. Others have chosen a new 01, 02, 03 or 080 number.
The information on this page acts as a guide. Actual call costs will vary based on many factors, including provider, tariff or, in some cases, time of day or day of week. Always contact your landline or mobile provider for the current call costs.
Last updated: 23 May 2020