What Are 03 Numbers – And Why Might You Need Them?

18th November 2022

In recent years, you’ve probably seen quite a few companies launch numbers starting with 03. There was a big rebellion against 08 numbers in the 10s – where everyday people and business owners found that they were spending far too much on premium rate lines. 03 numbers emerged as a fantastic way to save money – but why might your business need them in the here and now?

girl on her mobile phone

A brief history of 03 numbers

We first started seeing 03 numbers sweep across the country in the late 00s, brought in by Ofcom to support organisations and the people who call them. While it’s not free to call an 03 number, it’s a massively reduced cost compared to calling an 0845 number.

03 numbers emerged as mobile use continued to escalate. As the costs to 08 numbers through mobiles started to increase, 03s swept in as a way for people to call companies and services within their monthly allowances, or within pay-as-you-go credit.

They’re non-geographic, which means they’re not tethered to any location. Businesses can set up with an 03 number and have a national line for customers and clients to call wherever they may be.

Since the emergence of 03 numbers, charities, banks, building societies and public services have all adopted their own budget-friendly landlines. In fact, it’s entirely possible to set up an 03 number for your own business!

How do 03 Numbers work?

03 numbers are non-geographic and ‘floating’, so you don’t have to set up a physical phone line in a specific location to benefit. In fact, they’re managed virtually, which means you can be completely remote.

Planet Telecom can even arrange for an 03 number to redirect straight to your mobile phone if you don’t have any kind of fixed office, or are frequently out in the field.

03 numbers, unlike 0800 lines, are chargeable. However, this is at a minimal cost to you and your callers. You’ll pay a standard installation fee and a regular monthly cost that pays for itself within weeks of taking new calls.

Calling an 03 number is chargeable at the national rate, and is typically included in mobile phone allowances. Customers can easily manage any charges accrued from these calls in any case, and unlike 0800 numbers, you won’t have to fit the bill for costs per minute.

03 numbers give businesses professional call signatures they can use to welcome calls without worrying about charges escalating. This non-geographic standard is also popular in the post-COVID age, when more and more of us are working remotely, and don’t necessarily need a fixed landline.

Types of 03 Numbers

All 03 numbers in the UK are charged at the same rate to call, but there are three different prefixes you can choose from. At Planet Telecom, we strive to provide you with a number that’s memorable for people to call again and again. While we can’t ever promise to get you the exact number you request, we’ll always line up a number that will help you pull in the customers.

Before you buy 03 numbers UK or elsewhere, here’s the difference between the main types.

0300 Numbers

0300 numbers typically connect to charitable organisations and nonprofits, as well as a handful of public services across the UK. However, there’s no harm in requesting an 0300 number if the shoe fits, and if such numbers are available through your provider!

0333 Numbers

0333 numbers benefit all kinds of businesses and organisations, and they are amongst some of the most memorable available to buy. The 0333 prefix is recognisable as a business line – and like other 03s, it’s chargeable at national rate.

0345 Numbers

0345 numbers are some of the most common 03 numbers you’ll see in the public eye. They drafted in to replace costly 0845 numbers initially, as it meant companies only had to change one digit in their phone numbers. Again, these numbers are low-cost and easy to remember.

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Benefits of 03 Numbers

If you’re not yet converted to the idea of 03 numbers for your business, here are a few more benefits to consider.

  • Your customers pay cheap rates to call you, or within their mobile allowances
  • You don’t need a fixed office
  • You can route calls to 03 numbers to different landlines or mobiles
  • You can set up 03 numbers to route to different numbers if you’re busy
  • 03 numbers are easy to remember
  • 03 numbers give the impression of a long-standing business with a national office

03 Numbers vs non-03 numbers

Many business owners choose 03 numbers over 08 numbers simply because of costs. 0800 numbers may prove costly to small or growing businesses, while premium 08 numbers can turn away customers who want to save money on their phone calls.

01 and 02 numbers are reserved for national and local use. 09 numbers, meanwhile, require an Ofcom license! These numbers are extremely costly to call, and aren’t recommended for small business owners.

Types of businesses that are well suited to use 03 numbers

03 numbers can benefit all types and sizes of business. From individual entrepreneurs who need a professional number to ‘cover up’ their mobiles to public services who want to appeal to callers on the go, 03s are hugely versatile.

Businesses that could benefit from 03 numbers include local IT services, car mechanics, accountants, local advice services, doctor’s surgeries and libraries. Essentially, if your business is likely to benefit mobile users (which is most people nowadays!), you’ll benefit from an 03 number.

Why choose Planet Telecom?

Planet Telecom is a leading name in 03 number provision for businesses up and down the UK. We’re constantly saving companies and individuals money on line rental and per call costs. What’s more, your Planet Telecom dashboard is brimming with call answering and diversion features to help wow your callers.

Want to know more? Take a closer look at our 03 number services, or call our team on 0345 077 7777.