When do stamp prices increase? Royal Mail to hike price amid financial struggles

First class UK stamps are  set to rise again next month (Royal Mail Group / AFP via Getty Images)
First class UK stamps are set to rise again next month (Royal Mail Group / AFP via Getty Images)

First class stamps in the UK will rise by 15p in October to £1.25 – the third increase in 18 months.

The increase will mean that from 2 October a first-class stamp will cost 47% more than in March last year.

Royal Mail said the price rise was due to “increasing cost pressures, the challenging economic environment, and the lack of reform of the universal service obligation (USO)”.

The price of a first-class stamp will cost above £1 for the first time in history. Similarly, second-class stamps will be 7p more expensive and cost 75p going forward.

The delivery giant said the increases were necessary to ensure that their universal system, that delivers letters to any distance for the same cost, “remains sustainable”. It said that the decision was also informed by the decline in letters since the pandemic and rising inflation rates.

Nick Landon, the chief commercial officer at Royal Mail, said: “We understand the economic challenges that many of our customers are currently facing and have considered the price changes very carefully in light of the significant decline in letter volumes.

“Letter volumes have reduced dramatically over recent years, down more than 60% from their peak in 2004-05 and 30% since the pandemic. It is vital that the universal service adapts to reflect this new reality.”

When will prices increase?

The new stamp prices will come into effect from October 2.

Royal Mail‘s Nick Landon continued: “We need to make these price changes to ensure we can continue to maintain and invest in the one-price-goes-anywhere universal service for years to come.”

Last year, the company revealed that they were planning to make up to 6,000 employees redundant as it prepared itself to face an annual loss of up to £450 million.

What services will rise in price?

The Post Office say that the whole range of first class services will go up in price, including:

  • 1st Class Letters and Large Letters

  • 2nd Class Large Letters

  • Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed®

  • Royal Mail Signed For® Letters and Large Letters

  • Parcelforce Worldwide Next Day and 2 Day UK Services

International deliveries will also go up to £5 from October 2.

For the full list of services affected see the Post Office website here.