UK telephone number call costs guide

4th November 2019

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 PrefixTelephone Number TypeApproximate Cost From a LandlineApproximate Cost From a Mobile
01Geographic NumbersInclusive in allowance, else 2p to 20p per minuteInclusive in allowance, else 3p to 65p per minute
02Geographic NumbersInclusive in allowance, else 2p to 20p per minuteInclusive in allowance, else 3p to 65p per minute
03Non-geographic UK Wide NumbersInclusive in allowance, else 2p to 20p per minuteInclusive in allowance, else 3p to 65p per minute
070Personal NumbersInclusive in allowance (sometimes), else 4p to £1.25 per minuteInclusive in allowance (sometimes), else 5p to £2.50 per minute.
071 - 075 & 077 - 079Mobile NumbersInclusive in allowance, else 3p to 24p per minuteInclusive in allowance, else 3p to 65p per minute
0800 and 0808: FreephoneNon-geographic Numbers Free-to-CallerNo ChargeNo Charge
084Non-geographic Numbers with Service ChargeAn Access Charge of 2p to 20p per minute plus Service ChargeAn Access Charge of 5p to 65p per minute plus Service Charge
087Non-geographic Numbers with Service ChargeAn Access Charge of 2p to 20p per minute plus Service ChargeAn Access Charge of 5p to 65p per minute plus Service Charge
09 Non-geographic Numbers with Service ChargeAn Access Charge of 2p to 20p per minute plus Service ChargeAn Access Charge of 5p to 65p per minute plus Service Charge
118Directory EnquiriesAn Access Charge of 2p to 20p per minute plus Service ChargeAn Access Charge of 5p to 65p per minute plus Service Charge
101 *Police Non-emergency Number15p per call15p per call
105Power Cuts and Blackouts Emergency Helpline (Except Northern Ireland)No ChargeNo Charge
111NHS Non-emergency Number (Except Northern Ireland)No ChargeNo Charge
112 / 999Emergency NumberNo ChargeNo Charge
116Helplines of Social Importance. Used for certain services of social value which have the same six-digit number across the European Union.No ChargeNo 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 PrefixCall 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
118Access 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

Notes

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 23p per call.

Connection fees are not permitted on calls to 084, 087, 09 and 118 numbers.

03 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.

080 numbers

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.

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. 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 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.

Other numbers

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.

Regulations

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.

Notices

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. Always contact your landline or mobile provider for the current call costs.

Last updated: 4 Nov 2019

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