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How to Call the United Kingdom from the US [+ Area Codes]

International phone calls can get expensive. It pays (literally) to get it right.

If you need to call someone in the United Kingdom (UK) from a phone in the US, you’ve got a few options.

It’s cost-effective to call them using popular online calling apps like WhatsApp or Skype. These are free options as long as you subscribe to the relevant service. 

You can also use online meeting tools like Nextiva, Zoom, or Microsoft Teams.

When you need to physically dial a UK number, like when you don’t have an internet connection, making a call to the UK from American phones becomes a little tricker.

In this post, we include instructions for how to call the UK from a US-based phone number, dissect the intricacies of area codes and mobile phones (cell phones), and run through what you can expect to pay.

Calling in the United Kingdom

Like the US, counties and cities have different area codes in the UK. The majority of UK numbers have 11 digits. A minority of phone numbers have 10 digits. There aren’t any special circumstances for these numbers. It’s a matter of legacy number systems.

A standard UK telephone number looks like this in the UK: 01632960345.

This is commonly broken down into 0 1632 960345.

  • 0 is the country (UK).
  • 1632 is the area code.
  • 960345 is the unique landline number.

UK dial codes by area

In the table below, you can see that not all UK area codes are the same length.

For example, Aberdeen has the code 1224, but Belfast has 28.

This doesn’t change the length of the overall phone number. It’s simply down to historical numbering systems.

It’s worth noting that the area codes in UK phone numbers exist only to separate the geographical location. You can just dial the full phone number when you call a number.

There’s no need to remember any associated area codes and areas. It’s standard practice in the UK to list the complete phone number in any directory, advertisement, or online listing.

City Area Code
Aberdeen 1224
Belfast 28
Birmingham 121
Blackburn 1254
Blackpool 1253
Bolton 1204
Bournemouth 1202
Bradford 1274
Brighton 1273
Bristol 117
Cambridge 1223
Cardiff 29
Colchester 1206
Coventry 24
Derby 1332
Dundee 1382
Edinburgh 131
Glasgow 141
Gloucester 1452
Huddersfield 1484
Leeds 113
Leicester 116
Liverpool 151
London 20
Luton 1582
Manchester 161
Middlesbrough 1642
Newcastle 191
Newport 1633
Northampton 1604
Norwich 1603
Nottingham 115
Oxford 1865
Plymouth 1752
Portsmouth 23
Preston 1772
Reading 118
Sheffield 114
Southampton 23
Stoke-on-Trent 1782
Sunderland 191
Swansea 1792
Swindon 1793
Wolverhampton 1902
Worcester 1905
York 1904

How to Call the United Kingdom From the United States

Calling UK landlines from the US

Before you place a call to the UK, you must enter the 011 exit code.

Next, dial the country code for the UK (44). This replaces the 0 on our example number (01632960345).

Then dial the rest of the phone number as listed. There’s no need to pause when entering the UK area code.

So, you’ve dialed 011 44 1632960345.

Calling the UK from the US

Step 1: Dial the US exit code: 011

Step 2: Dial the UK country code: 44

Step 3: Dial the rest of the UK phone number: 1632960345

You’ve dialed the following:

US Exit Code UK Country Code UK Phone Number
011 44 1632960345

Calling UK mobile phones from the US

The process for calling UK mobile phones from the US is the same as calling a landline. The only difference is the digits dialed in the mobile phone number.

There are no area codes associated with mobile phones in the UK. There are many mobile codes relating to different carriers like Vodafone, O2, and EE.

Before you place a call to the UK, you must enter the 011 exit code.

Next, dial the country code for the UK (44). 

Then dial the rest of the UK cell phone number as listed.

So, you’ve dialed 011 44 7700900077.

US Exit Code UK Country Code UK Cell Phone Number
011 44 7700900077

Calling UK toll-free and non-geographic numbers from the US

Toll-free numbers in the UK are 0800 and 0808. These become +44800 and +44808 in the US. There is still a charge to call UK toll-free numbers in the US.

Other 08xx and 03xx prefixes in the UK represent non-geographic phone numbers with varying calling costs.

Using the same process, you can call any UK toll-free or non-geographic phone service.

Before you place a call to the UK, you must enter the 011 exit code.

Next, dial the country code for the UK (44). 

Then dial the rest of the phone number as listed.

So, you’ve dialed 011 44 3069990000.

US Exit Code UK Country Code UK Non-Geo Number
011 44 3069990000

When to Call the UK

Time zone differences and national holidays are two major factors to consider when dialing a phone number in the UK.

Time zone differences

The whole of the UK runs in the same time zone. So, if you’re calling someone in London, you can be sure they’re in the same time zone as someone in Glasgow or Cardiff.

The UK follows Daylight Saving Time, which has two time zones during the year.

Between the last Sunday in October and the last Sunday in March, the UK follows Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). 

The differences between the US time zones and GMT are outlined below:

US Time Zone Local Time Greenwich Mean Time Difference
Eastern Time 12 Noon 5 PM 5 Hours
Central Time 12 Noon 6 PM 6 Hours
Mountain Time 12 Noon 7 PM 7 Hours
Pacific Time 12 Noon 8 PM 8 Hours
Alaska Time 12 Noon 9 PM 9 Hours
Hawaii Time 12 Noon 10 PM 10 Hours

In the UK, clocks go forward one hour at 1 am on the last Sunday in March and back one hour at 2 am on the last Sunday in October.

The period when the clocks are one hour ahead is called British Summer Time (BST). In 2023, BST is between 26th March and 29th October.

Note this is a different timescale to when the US has daylight savings time. There is a slight overlap period, which makes for slightly amended time differences.

In the US, Daylight Saving Time starts on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November. It can get confusing during the crossover dates, even when you’ve worked with US and UK folks for 15 years.

It’s always best to be aware of when there’s a crossover in Daylight Saving Time. Use World Time Buddy if you’re unsure of the exact time during this period.

National public holidays

Expect most businesses, except those with dedicated 24/7 support functions, to be closed or operate shortened opening times during national holidays.

The United Kingdom has eight standard national holidays.

Public holiday 2023 2024
New Year’s Day Monday 2nd January Sunday 1st January
Good Friday Friday 7th April Friday 29th March
Easter Monday Monday 10th April Saturday 1st April
Early May Bank Holiday Monday 1st May Saturday 6th May
Spring Bank Holiday Monday 29th May Saturday 27th May
Summer Bank Holiday Monday 28th August Saturday 26th August
Christmas Day Monday 25th December Monday 25th December
Boxing Day Tuesday 26th December Thursday 26th December

Note that New Year’s Day is awarded as a national holiday on a Monday when 1st January falls on a Saturday or Sunday.

In special circumstances, the UK can add more national holidays. For example, in 2023, Monday, 8th May, was a national holiday due to the coronation of the new king, King Charles III.

There are also some regional holidays to consider.

Scotland

Scotland has an extra national holiday on 2nd January. If New Year’s Day falls on a Saturday or Sunday, Scotland rolls the public holiday back and celebrates the 2nd January national holiday on the 3rd January.

Scotland also observes St Andrew’s Day on 30th November. Again, the national holiday is pushed to the following Monday if the 30th November falls on a Saturday or Sunday.

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland has an extra national holiday on 12th July, which marks the anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne. If the 12th of July falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the national holiday is pushed to the following Monday.

How Much Does It Cost to Call the UK From the US?

Calling the UK varies depending on whether you call a landline, cell phone, toll-free, or non-geographic number.

The rates indicated below are taken from Nextiva’s international rate card. These are applicable when you use Nextiva’s VoIP phone system.

Always check with your telephone provider if you’re unsure of the bundled minutes in your calling plan.

UK Call Type Example Digits Dialed Price Per Minute (USD)
Landline 011 (44) 203xxxxxxx $0.02
Cell Phone 011 (44) 7xxxxxxxxx $0.58
Toll-free 011 (44) 8xxxxxx $1.02
Non-geographic 011 (44) 81xxxxx $1.62
Premium 011 (44) 9xxxxxxx $3.6

More Info: Compare International Calling Rates from Nextiva

How to Make Business Phone Calls to the UK Using Nextiva

For security, international dialing is disabled by default on Nextiva accounts. Authorized account holders can enable international calls by contacting support. 

Once that’s enabled, dialing UK phone numbers from the US is easy.

Dialing the United Kingdom from Nextiva

When calling the UK from the US using Nextiva, it would look like this: 

  • Step 1: Dial the exit code 011. This tells your phone service that you are trying to dial out of the United States.
  • Step 2: Dial 44This is the international country code for the United Kingdom.
  • Step 3: Dial the area code. Area codes in the UK span from two to five digits. If you encounter any area code that starts with 0, you can omit the 0 while entering the phone number.
  • Step 4: Dial the phone number. The phone number should have 10 digits, which includes the area code. If it is a mobile number, it will have nine digits.

Tip: When dialing, you don’t need to enter dashes or plus signs.