Call costs guide
0800, 0870, 090, 020... there are so many different phone numbers that keeping tabs on how much they cost to call can be confusing. So what do they all mean?
This is a handy guide to common phone numbers, some of the ways that they are used and the indicative costs of calling them from landlines or mobile phones.
The prices below are indicative only and should not be used as a definitive list of call charges. Actual costs depend on your communication provider and a number of factors such as individual calling plans, time of day and the exact number called. You should check with your provider before you dial.
As well as a pence per minute rate, most landline providers charge a call set-up fee to connect calls, which is typically 15p.
01 and 02 numbers - geographic numbers
These numbers relate to specific locations in the UK and are used for homes and businesses. For example, Huddersfield is 01484, Bath is 01225, Edinburgh is 0131 and London is 020.
How much do calls cost? Calls from landlines are typically charged up to 9p per minute; calls from mobiles between 8p and 40p per minute depending on your call package. For landlines there is normally also a call set-up fee, and call charges are dependent on the time of day. Most providers offer call packages that allow calls free of charge at certain times of the day.
03 numbers - UK-wide geographic numbers
Many organisations use 03 numbers as an alternative to more expensive 08 numbers.
How much do calls cost? Calls cost no more than calls to geographic numbers (01 or 02) and must be included in inclusive minutes and discount schemes in the same way. Calls from landlines are typically charged up to 9p per minute; calls from mobiles typically cost between 8p and 40p per minute. Calls from landlines and mobiles are included in free call packages.
030 numbers - not-for-profit organisations
030 numbers are specially designed for not-for-profit organisations, charities and public bodies to offer consumers a single point of contact nationally. The BBC, the Met Police, the RSPCA, Oxfam, Relate, some local councils, Ofcom and a number of government departments use 030 numbers.
How much do calls cost? Calls cost no more than calls to geographic (01 and 02) numbers and must be included in inclusive minutes and discount schemes in the same way. Calls from landlines are typically charged up to 9p per minute; calls from mobiles typically cost between 8p and 40p per minute. Calls from landlines and mobiles are included in free call packages.
07 - mobile numbers
How much do calls cost? Calls to mobiles are charged between 6p and 32p per minute from landlines and are typically not included in free call packages.
Call costs from mobiles vary according to the calling plan chosen. Typically they cost between 8p and 40p per minute. Calls between mobile phones are normally included in free call packages.
070 - personal numbers
These are different from mobile numbers and calls to them are more expensive. They can be used as a “follow me” service where calls are diverted from another number. Small businesses and sole traders use them to make it easy to manage calls.
Personal numbers are also sold on a one-off basis, for example when someone is buying or selling a used car and doesn’t want to advertise their private mobile or fixed line number on a website or magazine.
How much do calls cost? 070 numbers can cost between 4p and 65p per minute if calling from a landline (and often include a call set-up fee, sometimes of up to 51p). From a mobile phone these numbers can cost between 30p and £1.50 per minute.
0800 and 0808 Freephone
A number of businesses and organisations use Freephone numbers, including some helplines and charities such as RNID or Age UK, as well as Government services such as Jobseeker’s Allowance.
How much do calls cost? Calls are normally free of charge from landlines but charges may apply from mobile phones. However, the operator must make an announcement before the call is connected telling the caller that they will be charged (the announcement does not state the exact charge). Calls from mobiles typically cost between 7p and 40p per minute; however, a number of mobile providers now provide some calls to charities for free so you should check with your mobile provider.
0500 numbers cost similar amounts as 0800 and 0808 numbers from a mobile.
Chargeable 08 Business Rate numbers
These are used by large and small businesses for sales, enquiry and customer service lines and for some pay-as-you go internet access services.
0843 and 0844
How much do calls cost? Calls are charged between 1p and 13p per minute for landline customers, plus a call set-up fee. Calls from mobile phones are typically charged between 5p and 41p per minute, depending on the provider and the number called.
How much do calls cost? Calls are typically charged at between 1p and 12p per minute depending on the time of day for landline customers, plus a call set-up fee. Calls from mobile phones generally cost between 5p and 40p per minute.
How much do calls cost? Calls from some landline providers cost no more than a geographic rate call (01 or 02, up to 10p plus a call set-up fee in some cases) and may count towards any inclusive minutes in the same way. Calls from other landline providers typically cost up to 12p per minute, plus a call set-up fee. From mobile networks calls cost between 5p and 40p per minute.
How much do calls cost? Calls typically cost between 11p and 15p per minute for landline customers, plus a call set-up fee. From a mobile phone, calls may cost between 5p and 40p per minute. Services provided on these numbers are regulated by PhonepayPlus* to provide additional protection for callers. You can find out more information on the PhonepayPlus website.
118 directory enquiry numbers
How much do calls cost? Calls to directory enquiry numbers (starting 118) can vary significantly in price depending on the directory enquiry service and the phone company you call from. Typically, most calls include a one-off connection charge and then a separate per minute rate, although this also varies depending on the service.
From a mobile or a landline, the one-off charge can be between 50p and £4 and the additional per minute charge can be up to £5.
These numbers are also regulated by PhonepayPlus* and providers are required to state the cost of the call in their advertising.
Premium rate numbers
09 numbers are mainly used for competitions, TV voting, horoscopes, chat lines, adult lines, recorded information and professional advice services. You can bar these premium rate numbers from being dialled from your phone, as you can with other numbers. These numbers are also regulated by PhonepayPlus*.
How much do calls cost? Calls typically cost between 9p and £1.69 per minute or per call from most landline providers, but some landline providers can charge up to £2.95 per minute or per call. From a mobile phone charges typically range between 75p and £3 per minute or per call.*PhonepayPlus (previously known as ICSTIS) regulates phone-paid services in the UK. These are the premium rate goods and services that you can buy by charging the cost to your phone bill and prepay account. You can find out more information at www.phonepayplus.org.uk
Prices correct as at 07/07/2014