ANYONE who wants to send a letter will be interested to know how much they can expect to pay for a stamp.
It’s important to note that prices will vary depending on the type of stamp you buy and how fast you want your mail to be delivered.
Royal Mail charges different postage rates depending on the size or weight of the item.
First class stamps are more expensive than second class stamps, as they will get your mail to its destination faster.
Below we explain everything you need to know about mailing costs.
How much do first class stamps cost?
First-class mail is the fastest and most expensive option, with your item usually arriving within one to two business days.
The price of a first class stamp is currently £1.10 for a standard letter, which can weigh up to 100g and has a maximum size of 24cm x 16.5cm x 5mm.
Stamps can be purchased individually if you buy them at the Post Office counter.
If not, you can usually purchase them as booklets of multiple stamps.
A book of eight stamps currently costs £7.60 from Royal Mail.
Buying a book can save you time and effort commuting to the Post Office.
If you want to send a first-class item larger than a standard letter, the cost of stamps will increase.
Royal Mail defines a small parcel as 45cm x 35cm x 16cm.
If it weighs up to 2kg, the stamp will cost £4.19.
For a parcel to be considered “average”, it must have a maximum size of 61 cm x 46 cm x 46 cm.
An average parcel costs £6.29 to send first class if it weighs up to 2kg.
After that, it costs £7.99 if it weighs up to 10kg or £11.99 for parcels up to 20kg.
If your parcel weighs more than this or is larger than this, you cannot send it via Royal Mail.
Instead, you’ll have to use a service like Parcelforce, FedEx, or Hermes.
We’ve put together an in-depth guide to the best parcel service options.
How much do second class stamps cost?
Sending second-class mail or parcels is cheaper than first-class but takes longer to arrive.
Usually, it takes two to three business days for second-class items to arrive, including Saturdays.
Second class stamps for a standard letter cost 75p – you can buy second class stamps individually from the Post Office.
However, you can also now buy them as eight-volume books for £6 at various shops, such as supermarkets and unlicensed shops.
If you want to send a large letter weighing up to 100g, you will have to pay £1.15.
Large letters weighing up to 250g will cost £1.85, letters weighing up to 500g will cost £2.40 and letters weighing up to 750g will cost £2.70.
But like first-class stamps, you can send small and medium-sized parcels with second-class stamps.
Sending a small parcel weighing up to 2kg will cost £3.49.
Meanwhile, medium parcels will cost £5.49 to send in second class if they weigh up to 2kg and will cost £6.99 if they weigh up to 10kg.
For a parcel weighing up to 20kg, you will have to pay £10.49.
With second-class stamps, you also can’t send large parcels, so you’ll have to send your package through another parcel service.
Does the stamp have an expiration date?
Stamps with no monetary value written on them usually don’t expire but there’s a big change next year that will invalidate existing stamps.
From July 31, 2023, you will no longer be able to use the current stamp style featuring the Queen’s head.
Instead, only new style stamps complete with their new barcode are valid and you will have to pay an extra fee if you try to use anything else.
How are postage rates determined?
Royal Mail usually raises the price of stamps every year and last year the price increased in April.
Usually, it gives customers about a month’s notice before pushing up the price.
This year, the increase was announced in March.
These changes have been carefully reviewed by Royal Mail due to a 25% drop in mail sent since the pandemic.
Rising costs and high inflation rates are also responsible for soaring prices.
The UK’s inflation rate unexpectedly rose to 10.4% in February – up from 10.1% in January.