Franked Mail Postal Rates 2021

By Dan Barraclough | Updated: 24 August 2021

2021 Royal Mail Prices for Franking Machines

As of January 2021, the following changes to the cost of postage in the UK became effective:

  • First Class stamps for a standard letter increased from 70p to 85p
  • First Class Mailmark® franked mail increased from 61p to 72p
  • Second Class stamps increased from 61p to 66p
  • Second Class Mailmark® franked mail increased from 41p to 47p

Franked vs Non Franked Price Comparison

2021STAMPSFRANKINGYour savings…
1st Class Letters85p72p15.3%
1st Class Small Parcel£3.85£3.684.4%
2nd Class Letters66p47p28.8%
2nd Class Small Parcel£3.20£3.006.3%
Special Delivery™ Next Day£6.85£6.603.6%
Special Delivery™ 9am£22.26£20.746.8%

Postal prices have been rising sharply since 2005, and show no signs of slowing down.

Although franked mail prices have also increased, businesses who rely upon the postal system for marketing, invoicing, and client correspondence are still getting the best deal by renting or buying a franking machine for the office, as the price of stamps has risen at an even greater rate.

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Why do stamp prices increase?

Over the past year, 1st Class stamps have risen from 70p to 85p for standard letters under 100g. Royal Mail claims this stark increase is due to a tough market and the desire to maintain its ‘one-price-goes-anywhere’ service within the UK. Despite the price increase, Royal Mail says its services are still more affordable than most postal services on the continent, with its 1st Class stamps for a letters up to 100g, costing 29p cheaper than the average European postal equivalent.

▶ Read more: Postal Savings Calculator

How to avoid annual stamp price increase

The simplest way to avoid annual stamp price increases is by purchasing your stamps in bulk before January 1st each year. This could end up saving you large sums of money in the long run. If you run a business, we recommend investing in a franking machine because you’ll benefit from discounted rates. For instance, you can save 15% per item on 1st Class postage by using a franking machine, paying 72p rather than the normal stamp cost of 85p.

However, be warned that post offices will question extremely large one-off purchases in case of profiteering. Alternatively, there are certain websites, such as Viking Direct, that sell bulk packs of stamps at a discounted rate.

Better yet, one of the main benefits of using a franking machine is that you’ll save your business money thanks to its discounted postal rates. Franking machine rates are typically 5% – 25% lower than standard stamp prices. In fact, when sending a 1st Class letter, you’ll normally save between 7p and 10p for each item you send, and up to 14p on 2nd Class postage. While it might not sound like much money at first, these savings can really add up if your business sends large quantities of mail.

To put this into perspective, if your business sends up to 1,000 1st Class letters per month, you’ll pay around £8,040 on normal stamps, compared to just £6,800 or so on franked mail. That’s over £1,200 saved per year just by switching to a franking machine.

Next steps

Interested in using a franking machine? We can help you find the right franking machine to suit your company's requirements. All you need to do is use our free comparison tool and tell us what you need, and we'll match your business with suitable franking machine companies who'll contact you with more information and no-obligation quotes for you to compare. Our service is quick, easy, and totally free.

Dan Barraclough

Dan’s a Senior Writer at Expert Market, specialising in digital marketing, web design, and photocopiers, amongst other topics.

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