Find out how much it’ll cost to call special phone numbers from your UK mobile. Includes 08, 09 and 118 phone numbers.
From July 1st 2015, the cost of calling special phone numbers is changing in the UK. Special phone numbers, which beginning with 08, 09 and 118, are often used by companies in the UK. They’re also used for premium rate services, for TV show voting and for directory enquiries.
On all UK mobile networks, it’s now totally free of charge to call an 0800 or 0808 phone number.
For 084, 087, 09 and 118 phone numbers, the cost of your phone call is now divided into two parts. There’s an access charge from your mobile network operator (this varies from 5p/minute to 55p/minute). There’s also a separate service charge which goes to the company or organisation running the phone number.
Calls to an 084, 087, 09 or 118 phone number are not normally included in your monthly allowances. Pay Monthly customers will see a charge for the phone call appearing on their next bill. Meanwhile, Pay As You Go customers will see credit being taken from their account. Customers with a Pay As You Go monthly bundle will need to top-up extra money to pay for 084, 087, 09 and 118 phone calls.
At A Glance: Per-Minute Call Charges to Special Phone Numbers (08, 09 and 118 Numbers)
The following table gives a quick overview of how much you can expect to pay when calling 08, 09 and 118 phone numbers from your mobile:
|Mobile Network||Calls to 080 numbers||Calls to 084, 087, 09 and 118 numbers|
|1pMobile||Free||5p/min access charge + service charge|
|Vodafone (PAYM)||Free||55p/min access charge + service charge|
|ASDA Mobile||Free||4p/min access charge + service charge|
|BT Mobile||Free||30p/min access charge + service charge|
|EE||Free||44p/min access charge + service charge|
|Lebara Mobile||Free||45p/min access charge + service charge|
|Lycamobile||Free||29p/min access charge + service charge|
|O2||Free||55p/min access charge + service charge|
|Tesco Mobile||Free||25p/min access charge + service charge|
|Three||Free||45p/min access charge + service charge|
|VOXI||Free||45p/min access charge + service charge|
|Vectone Mobile||Free||12p/min access charge + service charge|
|Virgin Mobile||Free||45p/min access charge + service charge|
|Vodafone (PAYG)||Free||45p/min access charge + service charge|
|giffgaff||Free||25p/min access charge + service charge|
|iD Mobile||Free||45p/min access charge + service charge|
For 084, 087, 09 and 118 phone numbers, a service charge should always be advertised along with the phone number. For instance, you might see: “calls cost 20p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge”. In this case, the service charge will be 20p/minute. You should add this to your mobile network’s access charge to find the total cost of calling that phone number.
0800 and 0808 Numbers
It’s now always free to call an 0800 or 0808 phone number. This is regardless of whether you’re calling from a UK landline or UK mobile. Your monthly allowance of minutes will not be affected when calling an 0800 or 0808 phone number.
Prior to July 2015, it was only free to call these phone numbers from a UK landline. Call charges from a mobile phone could vary wildly (in some cases, you could pay as much as 40p/minute).
084, 087, 09 and 118 Numbers
When calling an 084, 087, 09 or 118 phone number, the cost of your phone call is now divided into two parts. There’s an “access charge” from your mobile network operator (this varies depending on your network). There’s also a separate service charge from the company or organisation running the phone number. The service charge should always be advertised alongside the phone number.
Enter the per-minute service charge below to see the total costs of calling from each network:
Please enter the service charge in pence:
pence per minute
Once you've entered the service charge for the number you want to call, the total calling charge from each UK network will be shown below:
|Mobile Network||Access Charge||+||Service Charge||=||Total Charge (per minute)|
At present, The People’s Operator has the cheapest per-minute rates for calling an 084, 087, 09 or 118 phone number. There’s a 5p/minute access charge plus the normal service charge. You can order a free SIM card from The People’s Operator to take advantage of the rates.
Customers on EE Pay Monthly who regularly call 084 and 087 phone numbers can buy EE’s £3/month service number add-on. The add-on gives you 300 minutes for calling 084 and 087 phone numbers. The add-on isn’t currently available on EE Pay As You Go.
Other Phone Numbers
For all other phone numbers, the cost will depend on the type of phone number you’re calling:
- 01, 02 and 03 phone numbers are geographical (they’re charged as a landline phone call). You can use the inclusive minutes on your tariff or bundle to call any of these phone numbers.
- 0500 phone numbers are historical “freephone”. They’re only free when calling from a landline (you should check with your mobile network operator to find out the costs of calling an 0500 number). The 0500 number range will be withdrawn from the UK in 2017.
- 07 phone numbers (excluding 070 and 076) are a UK mobile phone. You can use the inclusive minutes on your tariff or bundle to call these numbers.
- 00 phone numbers are based in another country (you’re making an international phone call). Typically, you won’t be able to use your inclusive minutes when calling another country. For more information, see our article on international calling rates.
For more information, please see our in-depth article on UK phone numbers and how they’re charged for.
For more information regarding the July 2015 calling price changes, it’s worth seeing the official UKCalling website. For further information about the charges on your network, you should see your mobile network’s website.
Your Comments 25 so far
We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. So far, we've received 25 comments from readers. You can add your own comment here.
Roger J said:
Voxi monthly plans. Do they come with voicemail and how much does it cost to access the voicemail?
Thanks for your comment. You’ll be glad to know that voicemail is included on VOXI’s monthly plans. There’s no need to pay any extra to use it 🙂
Hope this helps,
Roger J replied:
Hi Ken. Thanks for the prompt reply.
Several of the larger operators now have an access charge of 55p per minute.
The People’s Operator are no longer the cheapest. They went out of business in February 2019.
Sky Mobile is missing from your list of providers.
The 0500 number range was discontinued almost two years ago and all mentions of it can be deleted.
Deletion of the 0500 section could make space for a brief section on 03 numbers, separate from the section on 01 and 02 numbers. To be clear, 03 numbers are not geographic humbers. 03 numbers are non-geographic but charged at the same rate as geographic numbers.
Additionally, EE’s Access Charge for post-pay contracts will rise to 65p per minute on 19 August 2019.
Vodafone’s Access Charge will rise to 65p per minute on 13 November 2019.
Given that all 0500 numbers ceased to exist more than a year ago, the page can be simplified by removing that section.
It’s not quite correct to say that “01, 02 and 03 phone numbers are geographical”. This is true only for 01 and 02 numbers. 03 numbers are “non-geographic” but Ofcom rules require calls to 03 numbers to be charged the same as for calls to 01 and 02 numbers.
Deletion of the 0500 section could make space for a brief section on 03 numbers, separate from the section on 01 and 02 numbers.
Thanks for the heads up about this! It would seem the section at the bottom of this article is a little bit out-of-date, and agreed about the removal of the 0500 section. I’ll make sure to review & update this again soon.
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