Telephone Numbers – How Much Do They All Cost To Call?

As part of both my mobile and home telephone contracts, we get a few hundred minutes of telephone calls each month. The problem is with all the different numbers possible to dial, its very confusing trying to work what I will be charged extra for and what I won’t.

Typically if you’re going to be charged for a phone call outside of your free minutes, you’ll be charged on a ‘per minute’ or ‘per call’ basis. Below is a comprehensive guide of these charges. While they should not be used a definitive list of call charges as the actual cost will depend on your phone provider and the time of day that you’ve called.

Actual Call Cost

  • Three-Digit Numbers – Such as 999, 111, 112, 119, 101 and 105 are free from all phones.
    • Emergency Services – is 999 or 112
    • Missing Children Hotlines – is 166 000
    • Child Helplines – is 111
    • Emotional Support Helplines – is 123
  • Basic Rate Number – Numbers such as 01 and 02 are used for home or businesses across the UK. The number related to the geographical location within the UK. For example, 020 is for London, while 0118 is for Reading, while 029 is for Cardiff.
  • Calls from a landline to a basic rate number will cost 16p per minute, but typically most providers will charge a setup fee or connection charge which will vary in cost but could be as much as 23p. Call charges are dependent on the time of day.
  • Calls from Mobile vary and depend on your plan chosen. They can cost as little as 2-pence, or as high as 75-pence depend on the provider.
  • 03 Number’s – have been brought in as an alternative to the more expensive 08 numbers below. 03 numbers are priced at the same as the basic rate numbers above.
  • 0500 Number’s – Used to be a free number, however it was withdrawn in 2017
  • 07 Number’s – are either mobile phone or Personal Numbers. Mobile to mobile is generally free and included within your free minutes, however, can cost between 3 and 75-pence per minute depending on your mobile phone provider. Landline to mobile phones are a little cheaper with most companies charging a connection fee of around 20-pence, and then between 10 and 20-pence per minute.
  • 0800 and 0808 Number’s – Are free phone numbers, and therefore calls are free from all consumer landlines and mobile phones. Generally, 08 numbers are commonly used for customer enquiry centres, helplines and chargeable information services.
  • 082 Number’s – Internet for schools. A little-known, dedicated range of 0820 numbers for schools’ dial-up internet was allocated from early 1998 onwards.
  • 084 Number’s – are generally used by companies who are providing a service such as a helpline. The cost of calling is made of up two parts, an access part and a service part. The access part goes to your telephone provider and generally costs between 5p and 75 per minute. The services charge, which is the second part is the charge the company charges to pay for the service. Typical charges are between 0p and 15p per minute, although the service charge must be clearly displayed wherever the phone number is advertised or promoted.
  • 087 Number’s – are very similar to the 084 numbers above, although they are more expensive, with services charges up to 30p per minute, although the service charge must be clearly displayed wherever the phone number is advertised or promoted.
  • 09 Number’s – These are premium numbers that are commonly used for things like competitions, TV voting, and any other recorded information services. Due to their price, the number are regulated by the Phone-paid Services Authority. Like the 084 and 087 numbers above, they are made up of two parts, an access charge and a service charge. Access charges can range from 8p to 65p per minute, while service charges can be from 1p to #3.60 per minutes and have a connection fee up to #6
  • 118 Number’s – is for directory enquiry numbers are expensive, however as of the 1st April 2019, all 118 service charges are now capped to a maximum of £3.65 per 90 seconds. is written by David Jacobs who is on a quest to retire early and get out of the rat race. David is a financial expert who lives for early retirement. Follow his journey making money, saving and investing to retire early and get the best out of his retirement.

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