A few years back, Nominet (the administrators of UK domain names) launched the .uk domain. For the first five years, only users of .co.uk could buy the .uk equivalent. This was to give the owner of the .co.uk first dibs on the .uk option. That five year period has now expired and anyone can now buy the .uk versions of any available domain name.
Some registrars automatically added the .uk versions into the pool of the domains owned by their customers. For example, if I own newsandstuff.co.uk the registrar automatically added newsandstuff.uk to my account – free of charge. However, now that five year period has expired the .uk domain name will need to be paid for going forward.
Some people say that having the .uk domain name is a benefit. It’s shorter and it stops anyone else using your trading name. However, it is a personal choice. This post is just to highlight that you might never have used the .uk domain and might be completely unaware that it was even in your account, but could now be receiving renewal notices and invoices charging you for it going forward.