Telephone numbers in the United Kingdom

United Kingdom telephone numbers
Europe-UK.svg
Location of the United Kingdom
Location
CountryUnited Kingdom
ContinentEurope
RegulatorOfcom
TypeOpen
NSN length7, 9, 10[notes 1]
Typical formatvarious, see text
Numbering planThe National Telephone Numbering Plan
Last updated13 December 2013
Access codes
Country calling code+44
International call prefix00
Trunk prefix0
List of United Kingdom dialing codes

Telephone numbers in the United Kingdom are administered by the UK government's Office of Communications (Ofcom). For this purpose Ofcom established a telephone numbering plan, known as the National Telephone Numbering Plan, which is the system for assigning telephone numbers to subscriber stations.

The numbers are of variable length. Local numbers are supported from land-lines, or numbers can be dialled with a '0'-lead prefix that denotes either a geographical region or another service. Cell phone numbers have their own prefixes which are not geographical and are completely portable between providers.

Structure

Since 28 April 2001, almost all geographic numbers and most non-geographic numbers have 9 or 10 national (significant) numbers after the "0" trunk code. All mobile telephone numbers have 10 national (significant) numbers after the "0" trunk code. The overall structure of the UK's National Numbering Plan is:[1]

Prefix Service type
00 International
01 Geographic area codes.
02 Geographic area codes (introduced in 2000).
03 Non-geographic numbers charged at standard geographic area code rates (introduced 2007).
04 Reserved.
05 Corporate numbering and VoIP services (some VoIP services use 08 or geographic numbers). Freephone (toll free) on 0500 until June 2017.
06 Was reserved for possible use by personal numbering (PNS) instead of 070 following consumer confusion with mobile phones.
07 Mostly for mobile phones on 071xx, 072xx, 073xx, 074xx, 075xx, 07624, 077xx, 078xx, and 079xx. Personal numbering on 070. Pagers on 076xx.
08 Freephone (toll free) on 080, and Special Services (formerly known as local and national rate) on 084 and 087.
09 Premium Rate services (PRS).

A short sample of geographic numbers, set out in the officially approved (Ofcom) number groups:[2]

Number Location
(020) xxxx xxxx London
(024) 7xxx xxxx Coventry
(029) xxxx xxxx Cardiff
(0113) xxx xxxx Leeds
(0114) xxx xxxx Sheffield
(0121) xxx xxxx Birmingham
(0117) xxx xxxx Bristol
(0131) xxx xxxx Edinburgh
(0141) xxx xxxx Glasgow
(0151) xxx xxxx Merseyside
(0161) xxx xxxx Greater Manchester
(01642)  xxxxxx Teesside
(01223)  xxxxxx Cambridge
(01257)  xxxxxx Chorley
(01382)  xxxxxx Dundee
(01386)  xxxxxx Evesham
(01935)  xxxxxx Yeovil
(01865)  xxxxxx Oxford
(01772)  xxxxxx Preston
(01792)  xxxxxx Swansea
(01204)  xxxxx Bolton
(0153 96) xxxxx Sedbergh
(0169 77) xxxx Brampton

In the United Kingdom, area codes are two, three, four, or, rarely, five digits long (after the initial zero). Regions with shorter area codes, typically large cities, permit the allocation of more telephone numbers as the local number portion has more digits. Local customer numbers are four to eight figures long. The total number of digits is ten, but in a very few areas the total may be nine digits (after the initial zero). The "area code" is also referred to as an "STD (code)" (subscriber trunk dialling) or a "dialling code" in the UK.

The code allocated to the largest population is (020) for London. The code allocated to the largest area is (028) for all of Northern Ireland. The UK Numbering Plan also applies to three British Crown dependenciesJersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man—even though they are not part of the UK itself.