020 Area Code

London phone numbers

UK area code 020 is for London, and surrounding areas.

The 020 area code is for London, including all of central London and most parts of the outer boroughs.

020 numbers are also used in some neighbouring areas outside Greater London. These include: Borehamwood, Bushey, Bushey Heath, Chigwell, Elstree, Ewell, Loughton, Molesey and Thames Ditton.

020 area code map

Map showing coverage of 020 area code

Coverage of area code 020 is shown shaded red; the boundary of Greater London is the black line. (Image: Jhamez84 via Wikipedia)

Significant parts of the outer London boroughs, such as Bromley, Havering and Hillingdon, are outside the 020 area and served by other codes including 01322, 01689, 01708 and 01895.

Formatting an 020 number

020 numbers should be displayed in the format 020 xxxx xxxx or (020) xxxx xxxx, with the first space always placed between '020' and the eight-digit local number.

For international callers, use: +44 20 xxxx xxxx.

0203 numbers, 0207 numbers and 0208 numbers should all be written as above; formats such as '0207 xxx xxxx' are incorrect. [Why?]

Notes and links

The 020 area code has existed since April 2000, when it replaced the older 0171 and 0181 area codes. Standard local numbers begin with 3, 7 or 8.

Recent history

1958Start of 'subscriber trunk dialling'; London standardises on 7-digit numbers and the area code 01 over the next decade. For example: 01-222 1234
1990London area splits into two: 071 area code for inner London and 081 code for outer London. No change to local numbers.
1995Area codes change to 0171 and 0181 respectively. No change to local numbers.
2000New London-wide code of 020 introduced. Local numbers lengthened to eight digits be prefixing with '7' in inner London or '8' in outer London.
2005Local numbers beginning with 3 introduced.

As of July 2014, all available London numbers starting with '7' have been issued to telephone companies, along with 86% of those starting with '8' and 77% of numbers beginning with '3'.

Assuming similar levels of demand for London phone numbers continue, it is likely that a new batch of London numbers such as (020) 4 or (020) 5 will need to be made available by around 2019.

Links

Google Map of area