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UK Phone Number Guide: An Explainer

The ultimate guide to UK phone numbers.

The United Kingdom, as the third-largest economy in Europe, boasts a flexible and transparent business market that encourages entrepreneurial growth. It stands as one of the global financial hubs, with banking, insurance, business, and other sectors acting as key drivers of GDP growth.

If you plan to establish a local presence or expand in this region, understanding the nuances of UK phone numbers is crucial for effective communication.

Here is a UK phone number guide to help you navigate the realm of the country’s business communication. We’ll cover the different types of numbers available to help you make an informed decision.

Guide to Phone Numbers in the UK

UK phone numbers are telephone numbers assigned to the cities and regions within the United Kingdom. These numbers enable locals to communicate with each other comfortably over the phone.

Getting a dedicated UK phone number will help build trust with local customers, making communication easier and fostering new business relationships. With local and recognizable codes, these numbers also boost brand visibility and recognition, aligning with local advertising for better customer recall and outreach.

You can use international voice services along with networks of top telecom carriers like Global Call Forwarding to manage and use your UK phone numbers from other countries. From us, you can purchase local and toll-free numbers for the United Kingdom for inbound calling. We also offer UK geographic, national, and mobile numbers with local 2-way voice. This means you can make outbound calls to your customers in the UK while displaying this in-country, local caller ID. This guaranteed call connection will help increase response and callback rates.

Related: Top UK Virtual Number Providers

UK Phone Number Plan

In the UK, the Office of Communications (Ofcom) allocates phone numbers through the National Telephone Numbering Plan. You’ll find local, mobile, national, emergency (like 999, 112), and toll-free numbers (800 and 808) as part of this plan. Call charges depend on factors like the type of number dialed, time of the day, and service provider.

Typically, the UK phone numbers consist of 15 digits, including the country code ‘+44′. Next is the area or dialing code, usually two to five digits long. Followed by the seven-digit subscriber code.

The United Kingdom has an open dialing plan for area codes within its public network. Therefore, when dialing these numbers from the UK, phone numbers should be dialed with a preceding “0”.

The general structure of the UK phone number looks like this: +44 (0) xx xxxx xxxx.

Different Types of UK Phone Numbers

Now there are a few different types of UK numbers that businesses in and outside of the United Kingdom can use to connect with local customers. You’ll need to choose the right number depending on your communication needs and business location.

Let’s understand the different types of UK phone numbers:

1. UK Freephone Numbers

Freephone numbers typically begin with a ‘0800’ or ‘0808’ prefix. They are toll-free numbers for the UK that customers can call for free from within the country. These numbers are commonly used by businesses, government agencies, charities, and other organizations to encourage customers or individuals to contact them without incurring any call charges. And you can route these incoming calls to your main office, located anywhere in the world.

What’s more? Your customers can call 0800 and 0808 phone numbers from mobile and landlines for free from within the UK. Although freephone numbers don’t have a text message option, they can be configured to include voicemail, call recording, call forwarding, and call routing features.

The standard format for UK freephone numbers is 0808 xxx xxxx.

2. UK Local Numbers (Geographic)

UK local numbers, also known as geographic numbers, are typically structured in a way that includes an area code and a subscriber number. The area code is used to identify the geographic location of the phone number. So, cities and states have specific area codes assigned to them.

For instance, ‘020’ is associated with London, while ‘021’ corresponds to Birmingham. The 7-8-digit subscriber number is unique to each line within that area.

Therefore, the UK local phone number format for a London number usually looks like +44 (0) 20 xxxx xxxx.

You can strategically choose area codes based on your target audience and market strategy. Doing so will allow you to customize and align your strategy with core business goals.

UK local phone numbers are subject to standard geographic call charges. The best part about these numbers? They are cost-effective for both businesses and their callers because callers pay local rates, sharing the cost with businesses. The charges can vary depending on the time of the day.

3. UK National Numbers (Non-Geographic)

Unlike local numbers that are linked to specific regions or cities, national, or non-geographic, numbers are accessible nationally. Usually, non-geographic numbers start with ‘330,’ ‘843,’ and ‘845’ and people can use them to reach out to businesses, helplines, government agencies, financial institutions, and so on.

National numbers are also reachable from anywhere in the world, which means your callers don’t need to be in the UK while calling your business. This adds more flexibility and global coverage.

The standard format for UK national numbers is +44 (0) 330 xxx xxxx.

Related: Geographic Versus Non-Geographic Numbers

4. UK Mobile Numbers

UK mobile numbers usually start with the prefix ‘07,’ followed by an additional nine-digit subscriber number. The first five digits indicate the mobile network code and mobile country code, and the remaining six digits are unique to the subscriber.

The standard format for UK mobile numbers is +44 (0) 7xxx-xxxxxx.

Get a UK Phone Number with Global Call Forwarding

Elevate your business presence effortlessly with a UK virtual phone number. Establish your company as a local business with the flexibility to operate globally. Global Call Forwarding has been a leading name in the telecommunication sector since 1996.

Use this UK phone number guide to find the right UK number for your business. Still need help? We can help you make your business a cross-border success in the most cost-effective way.

To find out how to establish a local business presence in the UK, talk to our experts today!

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