Get a new phone line installed for free
MOVED house and need a new phone installed? Or do you need a second line installed for a house share or home office?
If you want a new or second line put in, simply get in touch with your provider and they will be able to help. BT charge £130 for a new phone line, to give an example of the typical cost.
However, as this guide will reveal, it's possible to get that £130 reduced to zero, and we'll look at the offers for people who need a new line as well as how to check if you need one at all.
And for those who live in a larger house and need a second line, we'll cover how to get a second line installed too.
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How much does it cost to get a new phone line?
BT's £130 charge for a new line is a worse case scenario for most people, and there are ways to get it for much less and even for free.
Most providers will offer a cheap or free installation price to customers who are willing to sign a contract for 12 or 18 months. Customers can also get a new line for less when they sign up for broadband at the same time.
And since there are so many providers willing to install a new phone line for a reduced price, customers still have a very broad choice of who to take broadband with.
Here is how much each provider currently charges for a new phone line:
|Provider||Price for a new line||New phone line installation details|
|BT||From £0 to £130||Free installation with BT Infinity or £30 when taking basic broadband. Otherwise £50 to activate an existing line or £130 to install a new line.|
|£0||Those on BT's social tariff who need a new line shouldn't have to pay anything unless there are "exceptional circumstances".|
|EE||£0 or £30||Those with a working BT line inside EE's home network area should be connected free of charge; otherwise £30 for new line installations.|
|Plusnet||£0 or £49.99||Transfers from BT, their resellers or LLUs are free, restarting a stopped BT line is also free.
Installing a new line or restarting an LLU line costs £49.99.
|Post Office||£0 or £60||Transfers from other BT resellers are free.
A new line, or moving from an LLU will cost £60 although promotional discounts are often available.
|Sky||£0 or £20||Free if there is already a compatible line, otherwise £20.|
|TalkTalk||£50 - £60||The exact cost of installing a new line will depend on the package taken out.|
|Virgin Media||£40||£40 to install a new line although this is sometimes offered for free.
There's also a £20 activation fee.
These prices were correct as of the date in the byline above.
We always keep an eye on them and update as soon as we see any changes, but it's always worth clicking through and double checking with the provider before committing to a contract.
Do I need a new phone line installed?
First things first, sometimes people think they need a new line installed, when in fact they don't.
What to check if you need a new phone line installed:
- Find your BT master socket
- Check if you have a dial tone
- The provider you are switching from
- Have you or a previous resident been disconnected for non-payment?
Most homes will have a BT master socket somewhere: look for a small white socket, which may have a BT logo, either on a wall or by the front door.
In general, those that can plug a home phone into the master socket and hear a dial tone won't need to pay an installation fee; what they may find they're charged for instead is a connection fee.
If you can't find a master socket but are aware that the previous residents did have a BT line, a new phone provider may be able to help locate it.
Note also that phone sockets similar to BT's are installed in some instances so, depending on the supplier, BT may charge a reconnection fee even when the house does have a white socket.
That's only the case in a small minority of households but it's worth being aware of.
Switching between providers
We've included the cost of transferring from one provider to another in the table above, as well as the cost of getting a whole new line installed.
Broadly, anyone moving between companies using BT lines - Plusnet, the Post Office, among others - should find being transferred is free of charge.
TalkTalk and Sky have their own equipment inside many exchanges, running what's known as "fully unbundled" services.
Anyone moving between them and BT or one of BT's resellers is liable for a connection fee to cover switching their phone line from one provider's equipment to the other's.
|Old Provider||New Provider||Cost of switching phone line|
|BT||The Post Office / Plusnet||£0|
|Sky||TalkTalk||£50 - £60|
For more information on moving back to BT from another provider see this guide.
New build houses
Homes that are very new - for example, in a building newly converted into flats - where a line has never been installed may need a new phone line.
More commonly, engineers will need to reconnect an existing line because it has been seriously damaged at some point.
This is particularly the case during renovations, when it's the socket that's most likely to be damaged.
Finally, households that have been disconnected for non-payment in the past will be liable to pay a reconnection fee to get their phone line back.
Unfortunately, this can also be the case if you move into a house where the previous resident had the line disconnected.
How to get a second line installed
For anyone who already has a main telephone and wants a second line installed, most providers are likely going to be able to help.
In terms of cost customers should expect to pay the providers standard price for a new line, and if they're willing to take a second broadband connection too then they'll be eligible for the discounts listed above.
It's also worth noting that in the case of a second line customers don't need to stay with the same provider, and can choose to have another line installed through a different provider.
This may be of benefit to those living in house shares that want a separate contract and broadband connection too.