Postal Rates                                              


UK Postal Rates From 4th April 2011

Postal Costs

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osting a letter is a lot more complicated than it used to be…


Until the 21st August 2006 all you had to do was weigh your letter and decide whether to use the First or Second Class Service.

Now with the New Postal Rates you must also decide which category your letter falls into. There are three:

  • Letter

  • Large letter

  • Packet

And there are two factors that determine which category applies to your letter:

  •   Weight

  •   Size, (including thickness)

Let’s look at each in turn …

  •   Letter

Maximum weight is 100g, less than 5mm thick and C5+ or under. That’s no bigger than 240mm x 165mm x 5mm.

We used to use either the smaller DL, (110mm x 229mm), or the much larger C4, (229mm x 324mm). Both could be sent first or second class letter at the standard rate according to weight.

We’ve now standardised on C5, (162mm x 229mm) – it fits into the new Letter category. The change from C4 to C5 is obvious as C4 is now categorised as Large Letter or Packet according to thickness & weight. The change from DL to C5 is perhaps less so.

With DL it’s usual to use a “Z” fold when folding the contents. This results in a single A4 piece of paper being three times as thick. With C5 an A4 sheet is simply folded in half, becoming twice as thick. So we can get more A4 pages within the 5mm limit for the Letter category.

This is crucial, particularly if sending bulk mail, as the cost of a Large Letter sent 2nd Class is 44p compared to 28p for a Letter. That’s if you have a Franking Account. It’s 58p compared to 36p if you use Stamps or Online Postage.

Previously the weight limit for a standard letter was 60g compared to 100g now. The Royal Mail state that “you can include up to 12 sheets of paper in a C5 envelope”. So it’s possible to actually save money with the new system.

  •   Warning

Avoid using paper clips as these will increase the thickness of your document.

  •   Large Letter

Maximum weight is 750g, less than 25mm thick and B4 or under. That’s no bigger than 353mm x 250mm x 25mm.

A C4 envelope is 324mm x 229mm and can be posted as a Large Letter provided it’s within the above weight and thickness limits.

  •   Packet

Maximum weight is 1000g for Second Class so heavier items must be sent First Class with the Packet format.

  •   Franking Account

Depending upon the volume of your mail you may well save money with a Franking Account …


4th APRIL 2011
Stamps Franking INCREASE OF
Letter Format Stamps Franking
1st Class [100g] 46p 39p 5p 3p
2nd Class [100g] 36p 28p 4p 3p
Large Letter Format    
1st Class [100g] 75p 55p 9p 5p
2nd Class [100g] 58p 45p 7p 4p
Packet Format    
1st Class [100g] 158p 136p 19p 16p
2nd Class [100g] 133p 114p 16p 14p

If you regularly send bulk mail then check out the two services introduced on 2nd April 2007

  •   Automated Standard Tariff Large letter for 250 or more large letter sized items, discount 1.5 to 5.5%,

  •   Cleanmail Advance for 1,000 or more items, discount 1.5 to 5.5%.

If your interested in either of these products check out the Royal Mail web site.

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Find out how you can reduce your costs and help to save the planet by requesting your Free Report  - How To Achieve The Paperless Office.  < Click >


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