I'm trying to work out the best way to do this. I'll be dealing with UK telephone numbers which will all be stored in the format: 0xxxxxxx... so no country code.

On searching about this it seem the consensus is to store telephone numbers as strings but I can't help but think storing as a number may solve some problems while also speeding up searches and reducing storage size!?

The only thing I'll be doing is storing, searching and displaying those numbers.

One of the problems is spaces. For example 01234567890 could be entered as 01234 567890 or 01234 567 890. So I'd need to handles that when doing a search.

If I stored the numbers as an INT then I just need to handle the leading zero.

What do you think?