Guide to Phone Numbers

An introduction to UK telephone numbers

In the United Kingdom, phone numbers are arranged into a few simple groups. You can tell what type of number you're calling by looking at the first two digits.

01 02 03 – Landlines

These are normal home and business phone lines.

Numbers starting '01' and '02' are arranged geographically, with a specific area code for each part of the country. Numbers starting with '03' are not linked to any particular location.

Calls to these numbers can be diverted around the country, to mobiles or even overseas, but the cost of calling stays the same.

Numbers beginning 01481, 01534 and 01624 are for Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man and may be charged at higher rates.

05 – Corporate and VOIP Numbers

These rarely-used numbers are available for large organisations that need big blocks of numbers, primarily for internal purposes. They can also be used for VOIP phone services.

More about 05 numbers...

07 – Mobiles, Pagers and Personal Numbering

Most numbers beginning with '07' are mobile phones or pagers in the United Kingdom, Channel Islands or Isle of Man.

Numbers beginning with '070' are known as 'personal numbers' and are used by people who need to flexibly forward incoming calls to different locations.

More about 07 numbers...

08 – Service Numbers

Numbers starting with 08 are primarily used by businesses and are charged at special rates.

0800 numbers and 0808 numbers are for freephone services.

Calls to numbers beginning 084 and 087 attract a surcharge of up to 13p per minute or per call, to pay for the service being provided.

More about 08 numbers...

09 – Service Numbers (Premium Rate)

These are higher-cost numbers, which include a surcharge of up to £3.60 per minute or £6.00 per call.

Premium rate service numbers are usually used for information lines, competitions, dating services and adult entertainment, where the cost of the call pays for the service provided.

More about 09 numbers...

 
04 and 06 numbers are not yet in use; 00 is used for making international calls.

 

Find out more

Phone Numbers In Depth

More detail on a range of telephone numbering topics, including area codes and special prefixes, phone numbers for business, scam warnings and more.

Formatting and Presentation Advice

The ins and outs of how to correctly display a phone number in print, on a website, or on a sign.

Short Codes and Special Numbers

A list of the most common special short codes currently in use, such as the 101 and 999 services.

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