020 Area Code

London 0208 numbers

Numbers that start with the 020 area code, including '0208' numbers, are for London and the surrounding area.

There is no technical or official difference between London phone numbers that start 020 8 and those which start with 020 3 or 020 7 – all are available to business and personal customers anywhere in London.

Which area of London are numbers starting 020 8 for?

All 020 numbers are available for use in all areas of London.

Although there were separate area codes for inner and outer London between 1990 and 2000, the distinction was scrapped with the introduction of the single London-wide 020 area code. Any 020 number can be used in any part of London.

As is the case with all landline numbers, 020 numbers can also be used to forward calls to other parts of the country, to international destinations, or to virtual services such as VOIP phones.

Frequently asked questions about '0208 numbers'

Are 020 8 numbers Outer London numbers?
A large proportion of numbers starting 020 8 are used in outer London, as pre-existing numbers from the old 0181 outer London area code were renumbered to start 020 8 in the year 2000. However, since mid-2000 any 020 number can be issued for use anywhere in London.

Are 020 8 numbers only for BT customers?
No, most telephone companies own and use blocks of numbers starting 020 8.

Is it 020 or 0208?
The area code for London is just 020; the following digits are all part of the eight-digit local number. When displaying London phone numbers, the correct format is 020 xxxx xxxx – with the first space placed immediately after the 020 area code.

Do I need to dial 0208 in London?
The 020 area code is optional from landlines and calls within the London area can be made by dialling just the eight-digit local phone number. For example, (020) 7946 7946 can be dialled as simply '7946 7946' from any 020 London landline.

More information

» 020 area code
Full details of areas covered and the history of 020 numbers.

» Phone number formatting
How to correctly display phone numbers for major UK cities.

London