Call Costs – your at-a-glance guide

Call Charges Made Clear

Rates, tariffs, local area codes, NGNs, freephone and not so free to phone – trying to make sense of telephone call charges is enough to make anyone’s head spin.

So, trying to establish the cheapest way to use a local, geographic or non-geographic number is a mission verging on impossible.

Luckily we have taken the time (painstaking time at that) to not only identify the basic charges for all prefixes but also ways in which you can enjoy a much cheaper phone bill. That’s got to be good news.


OK let’s start with the basics, which you are probably aware of – but just in case, here’s a run-through.

01 and 02 prefixes get categorised as area codes and get charged at a standard rate charge. Using BT as a benchmark – their standard rate price is 9p per minute, raising to 9.58p on the 1st December 2014.

In comparison Virgin Media = a current price of 9.94p at peak times (with call times based on the call duration of 60mins maximum).

Likewise, Primus come in at an economical 8.4p per minute

Don’t forget, call charges for 01 & 02 calls differ depending on the time of day i.e. during peak or off-peak times. Such periods vary between providers, for instance:

BT peak rate is between 7am and 7pm with BT off-peak operating from 7pm until 7am.

In comparison, Primus operates their peak times from 6pm until 8am.

IDNet operates its peak times from 6pm until 6am.

Virgin Media peak times are from 7am until 7pm

Calling an 01 or 02 from a mobile

Th charge varies considerably starting from as little as 8p per minute right up to 40p+ per minute.

For your convenience, we have listed a selection of mobile call charges from a variety of high street providers.

Mobile price comparisons – at a glance

O2 cost of calling an 01 or 02 prefix is 35p per minute.

Vodafone’s standard rate charge currently sits at 45p per minute.

Orange = quite a reasonable 15p per minute


As you are probably aware, 03 numbers are commonly free and never charged at more than local rate calls.

(For a reminder of what those standard charges are please refer to 01 & 02 geographic numbers.)

03 telephone numbers get seen as a more affordable alternative to more expensive 08 prefixes. We’re sure you will also be relieved to hear that 03 numbers get included within inclusive minute packages in the same way as 01s and 02s.

Some mobile provide calls to 03 industries such as the charity sector on a free of charge basis, however, some do not. For your convenience, we have listed examples from three such providers.

Mobile Costs

Orange cost to call an 03 is currently 7.5 p per minute

Vodafone currently does not charge for 03 charity lines

TalkTalk typically charges 11.5p per minute


0300s are industry specific numbers especially for not-for-profit organisations such as the NHS, Police, the BBC and charities such as Oxfam and the RSPCA.

0300s cost the same as 03 prefix calls i.e. standard rate from landlines and slightly more from mobiles.

Calls from landlines and mobiles typically get included within most free call packages.

Ofcom Legislation

Ofcom and EU legislation was the pivotal power behind the introduction of 03s. These changes were made to add greater clarity of call charges for callers. What’s more, those wishing to contact vital customer service or information lines will be able to do so at a much more affordable rate.

Ofcom Chief Executive Ed Richards said, ‘Consumers will be able to dial 03 numbers with confidence about the cost of their call. We expect public services and many other to view 03 numbers as a real alternative to higher cost 08 numbers.’

Basically, as perfectly summarised by Ofcom themselves, Organisations using 03 numbers will offer consumers a single national point of contact without involving additional charges for the service, over and above the cost of calls to geographic numbers.’

For an insight into the latest news from Ofcom visit


07 numbers are not necessarily much cheaper from landlines.

Consider this:

Calls to a 07 number from a landline cost between 6p and 32p

However when calling from a mobile provider such as Vodafone costs = 25per minute


These are numbers that can easily get diverted to alternative numbers.

070s typically cost between 4p and 65p per minute from landlines and ranging from 30p up to £1.50 per minute from mobiles.

For instance calls from Orange to 070s are priced at 50p per minute.

The cost of calling an 070 on the Three network costs 86p per minute.

Vodafone cost of calling an 070 is currently 20.4p per minute (1 min. minimum call charge)

It is important to consider that 070 prefixes regularly include a set-up fee of up to 51p.

070 are especially useful for one-off purposes, for example, when users do not want to advertise their personal number but need to circulate contact details, for instance, when buying or selling an individual item. This fact is particularly useful when advertising telephone numbers within printed material such as newspapers or magazines.


0800 & 0808 FREEPHONE

Despite typically being free of charge from landlines 0800 numbers and sometimes 0808 numbers incur a charge when called from mobiles, however, some mobile providers often provide calls to charities via these 08 numbers without any fee.

Costs when charged from a mobile typically look like this:

Orange cost of calling 0800 = 25p per minute

Three cost of calling 0800 = 15p per minute

Vodafone cost of calling an 0800 & 0808 = 20.4p per minute

TalkTalk charges for calling an 0800 & 0808 = 20 per minute

CHARGEABLE 08 numbers commonly get utilised by businesses and concerns of various sizes – regularly designated as customer service, enquiry and sales lines. It isn’t unusual to find 08s also used as points of contact for, ‘pay-as-you-go’ internet services. 


As with many other prefixes 0843 numbers and 0844 numbers have a set-up fee and their call charges depend on the individual provider.

Once again, let’s look at the basic costs of calling an 0843 or 0844. Calls from landlines are typically charged between 1p and 13p per minute and between 5p and 41p per minute from mobiles.

Cost of calling from the following mobile providers:

Three calls to 0843 = 35p per minute

Three calls to 0844 = 35p per minute

Orange calls to 0843 = 25p per minute (minimum charge)

Orange calls to 0844 = 25p per minute (minimum charge)

Vodafone calls to 0844 = 40p per minute (1min. minimum call charge)

Talk Talk calls to 0844 = 35p per minute


When dialling an 0845 prefix from a landline callers can expect to pay between 1p and 12p per minute plus an additional set-up fee. It is worth remembering that charges can vary depending on the time of day.

Calls from a BT line during regular daytime hours = 9p per minute + 15p call set-up fee

Mobile rates when dialling an 0845 obviously vary and generally range from 5p up to 40p per minute.

Three cost of calling an 0845 = 35p per minute

Orange cost of calling an 0845 = 25p per minute

Vodafone cost of calling an 0845 = 20.4 per minute (1min. minimum call charge)

Talk Talk cost of calling an 0845 = 35p per minute 


Unlike many other prefixes calls to 0870s vary between landline providers, these can be generally placed into two categories.

  • Landline providers charging no more than geographic local rate calls such as those to an 01 or 02, plus (in most cases) an associated call set-up fee – incorporating inclusive minutes as per usual.
  • Landline providers charging up to 12p per minute, plus call set-up fee.

For ease of reference the cost to call from a BT landline is 9p per minute + a 15p call set-up fee.

Before choosing BT as your primary landline provider it is first important to consider that the many other competitive names on the market.

Why not take a quick look?

0870 Comparison Prices

Orange Home Phone = 6p per minute

Virgin Media landline charges = 10.22 per minute

Calls from mobile phones to 0870 numbers are typically charged between 5p and 40p per minute.

O2 cost of calling 0870 = 25p per minute

Three charge for calling 0870 = 35p per minute

Orange charge for calling 0870 = 6p per minute

Vodafone charge for calling 0870 = 20.4p per minute

TalkTalk charge for calling 0870 = 35p per minute

It must be noted that there are typically also call connection charges to consider, for instance Orange currently charges a initial connection fee of 12.5p.

0871, 0872 & 0873 NUMBERS

These three prefixes costs between 11p and 15p per minute from landlines plus the initial call set-up fee.

Dialling from a mobile phone normally costs between 5p and 40p per minute.

Three cost of calling an 0871 = 35p per minute

Orange cost of calling an 0871/0872 & 0873 = 35p per minute

Vodafone cost of calling an 0871 = 40p per minute

Talk Talk prices come in at = 35p per minute

Are you aware that services provided via 0871, 72 & 73 are regulated by ‘PhonepayPlus’ – also referred to as ICSTIS?

If you would like more information about PhonepayPlus click onto


As 118s are categorised as directory numbers the cost to call them tends to vary from provider-to-provider.

Following an initial connection charge callers can expect a cost per minute – this is provider-dependent.

Connection fees are an issue to be especially aware of when calling from a mobile as they can cost as little as 50p or as much as a mind-boggling £4 with phenomenal per minute fees of up to £5 per minute.

For your convenience we have listed a variety of 118 mobile charges:

Three charges for calling a 118 = £3.00 per minute

Vodafone charges for calling a 118 = 85p per minute

EE charges for calling a 118 = up to £2.50 per call & ppm from call connection

Organisations advertising 118s are obliged to clearly highlight the cost of the call.

If calling 118 from a landline you can expect to pay (based on a 118 500 option) as follows:

BT landlines costs = 62p call connection charge + £2.31 for the 1st minute + £1.69 per min. after that.

As with 0871, 72 & 73s the 118 prefixes are regulated by PhonepayPlus – details of which can be found at

Likewise you will discover an impartial overview of the latest industry regulations via FCA (Federation of Communication Services) at


09 telephone numbers are known as premium rate options which like many other contact numbers can be easily barred from your phone if required.

Typical costs for calling 09 numbers range between 9p up to £1.69 per minute or per call.

Landline charges are priced between 75p and £3 per minute or per call.

09 numbers are commonly used for adult chat lines, TV voting, competition lines, recorded information lines and expert advice lines.

Mobile costs for calling 09s

Obviously these tend to vary depending upon providers. For you convenience we have highlighted some of the rates you can expect to pay.

Three cost for calling 09 = £2.04 per minute

Vodafone cost for calling 09 = between 75p and £2.25 per minute

EE cost for calling an 09 = ranges between 35p and £1.50 per minute

For a quick look at call charges from Three visit and click onto their, ‘Check a call cost’ facility.

Price rises are afoot

As aforementioned, the 1st December will see BT raise their standard rate to landlines (including calls to 0870) from 9p up to 9.58p per minute, along with the rumour of higher rental costs too.

But that’s not all, set-up fees are also on the up from 15p to 15.97p. Calls from BT to mobiles will rocket from 12p to 12.77p per minute. In actual fact, BT price rises are said to be increasing by 6.43%, which when taking already stretched public budgets into consideration is a pretty tough call to make.

However, don’t lose heart, be prepared to shop around, get caller savvy and bag one of the many bargain bundles on today’s telecom market.

To make your search easier we have listed comparable prices throughout this article. However, if you would like to start a little research of your own why not start at

Talk to us

Despite the greatest endeavour to highlight call costs as legibly as possible we completely understand if you still have questions remaining.

If you would like to raise any call pricing enquiries or even general queries please don’t hesitate to call the Number Supermarket team on freephone 0330 332 0400.

Alternatively you can email us via [email protected] and we will get back to you as quickly as possible.

All details on this page correct as of September 2014