Not paying for off-peak calls could save you a significant sum in call charges if this is when you use your home phone most.

However, your chosen home phone service might recover costs by charging a high monthly line rental or call package fee, so it's important you compare landline phone contracts before you sign up.

How do free evening and weekend calls deals work?

In the past you would have paid two fees to your telephone provider: a line rental fee and the cost of your calls.

Now, however, many landline providers offer packages where they include the cost of certain calls as part of your monthly payment.

Many of the best landline phone deals now include free evening and weekend calls. This means you will not incur any extra charges for ringing UK landlines at weekends or after a certain time in the evening.

Bear in mind that with these deals you're still likely to incur call charges for calls made during the daytime.

However, if you rarely use your home phone during the day then this isn't likely to be an issue.

What to look for when you compare landline phone deals

There are lots of deals available on the market so it pays to shop around for the best landline phone deal before you settle on a package.

When you compare landline phone deals you should take into account:

  • What monthly charges you have to pay (line rental and call package)

  • What free calls are included within your contract

  • When you can make the free calls included

  • Whether there is a limit on the length of the free calls

  • The call charges on other types of call

  • The length of contract you have to sign

Firstly, you should compare what monthly payment you have to make. Some phone providers charge one monthly fee that covers your line rental and your inclusive calls, while others make a charge for the line rental and then a separate charge for your call package.

Generally, the lower the line rental and call package cost the better, providing you won't be stung by high call charges if you use your home phone outside of the free call periods.

In addition, you should compare what free calls are included on your deal. Free evening and weekend calls are commonplace but the best landline phone deals may also offer free daytime calls to UK landlines, or even some free international calls. Do check that you won't be charged anything extra for these if they're not something you'll use.

You'll need to check exactly what each landline provider classes as evening and weekends as this will impact when you can use your free calls.

Similarly, many providers cap the length of free calls to an hour and start charging for anything in excess of this, so make sure you find this out before you start dialling.

You should also compare the cost of any call charges you may have to pay on other types of call.

Be careful not to sign up to a deal that offers free evening and weekend calls but charges an exorbitant rate for other calls if you're at all likely to use your phone outside these times.

Finally, when you compare landline phone contracts you should consider the minimum length of contract that you have to sign. Many phone providers require you to commit to a deal for a minimum of 12 months.

Compare your options and apply for the package that gives you suitable benefits for the lowest possible price.