Franked Mail: Our Postal Rates Guide

If you own a business with a sizeable amount of outbound mail, opting for a franking machine could save you up to 25% per letter.

As of January 2023, Royal Mail has largely kept the price increase of 2022 intact – an unusual development, as prices have steadily gone up since 2005.

This means two things: firstly, (thankfully) sending mail didn't get more expensive; and secondly, franked mail remains a great way of reducing costs. Here's a table we've prepared with some saving examples, for you to get an idea.

2023STAMPSFRANKINGYour savings…
1st Class Letters95p78p18%
1st Class Small Parcel£4.45£3.9511%
2nd Class Letters68p51p25%
2nd Class Small Parcel£3.35£2.8515%
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These number show that businesses owners who rely upon the postal system for marketing, invoicing and client correspondence can save a lot of money with the best franking machine, as the price of stamps has risen at an even greater rate. Despite this year's stagnation, postal prices have been rising sharply since 2005 and could very much resume their upward trajectory in the next Royal Mail service update.

Why do stamp prices increase?

Royal Mail increases stamp prices go through annual revisions in order to cover the cost of its services. In 2022, the postal service increased the price of First Class stamps by 11%, which was above the national inflation rate of 9.2% in the 12 months to December of that year.

Nick Landon, chief commercial officer at Royal Mail, said: “We understand that many companies and households are finding it hard in the current economic environment, and we will always keep our prices as affordable as possible.”

The postal firm said “the price changes are necessary” owing to a rise in the number of delivery addresses.

Royal Mail has faced a rocky couple of years, including missed delivery targets and struggles with staff shortages. The delivery giant was fined £50m for breaking competition rules in 2018, and lost their appeal against this in May 2021.

How to avoid annual stamp price increase

The simplest way to avoid annual stamp price increases is by purchasing your stamps in bulk before they go up again.

Better yet, one of the main benefits of using a franking machine is that you’ll save your business money thanks to discounted postal rates. Franking machine rates are an average of 21.5% cheaper compared with buying 1st Class or 2nd Class stamps. 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 £950 (£11,400 annually) for stamps, compared to just £780 (£9,360 annually) on franked mail. That’s over £2,000 saved per year just by switching to a franking machine.

Of course there are a couple of extra franking machine costs to consider, but any business sending letters in bulk should definitely check if they could save money.

▶ Read more: Postal Savings Calculator

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.

Written by:
Sabrina Dougall
Sabrina is a business journalist whose career began in news reporting. She has a master's in Investigative Journalism from City University London, and her work has appeared in The Times, The Daily Express, Money Saving Expert, Camden New Journal, Global Trade Review, and Computer Business Review. She specializes in writing about SEO (search engine optimization). Having run her own small business, Sabrina knows first-hand how critical digital marketing is to building a client base and local reputation.
Reviewed by:
Heleana Neil, Business Services editor
Heleana Neil specialises in Business Services, managing the strategy and production of content for SMBs, helping businesses with the challenges and opportunities they face today. Covering everything from payroll to payment processing, Heleana uses her expertise to help business owners make better, informed decisions and grow their companies.