08 Numbers

Special rate numbers

What are 08 numbers?

UK telephone numbers beginning with '08' are used by many businesses, public services and other organisations. They are commonly used for national helplines or customer service and enquiry centres.

The key features of '08' numbers are that:

  • Call charges vary considerably - from free to a significantly higher cost than a normal '01' or '02' number
  • In most cases, they are not included in the inclusive or 'bundled' minutes in phone contracts
  • A proportion of the cost of calling the number may be received by the organisation being called
  • They are not associated with any particular location

Since 2007, companies have also been able to use 03 numbers, which offer similar benefits but usually at a lower cost to the caller.

080 - Freephone

UK numbers beginning '080' are intended to be free to call and generally remain so from landline telephones. However, mobile phone companies usually will charge for calling these numbers.

The 0808 80x xxxx range is dedicated to telephone helplines and usually free to call from landlines and mobile phones alike.

082 - Internet for schools

An obscure and little-known, dedicated range of numbers for schools' dial-up internet.

084 - Special rate (lower)

Calls to 0843 numbers, 0844 numbers and 0845 numbers are charged at special rates. The cost of calling these numbers includes a 'service charge' of up to 7p per minute or per call which is used to fund the service being used. They are not included in bundled 'inclusive minutes' or call plans.

0845 numbers were once known as 'local rate', but it is now many years since they were charged at this rate.

087 - Special rate (higher)

Calls to 0870 numbers, 0871 numbers, 0872 numbers and 0873 numbers are charged at special rates. The cost of calling these numbers includes a 'service charge' of up to 13p per minute or per call which is used to fund the service being used. They are not included in bundled 'inclusive minutes' or call plans.

0870 numbers were once known as 'national rate', but it is now many years since they were charged at this rate.

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