If you’re likely to post a lot of letters over the year ahead, buy your First and Second Class stamps now as Royal Mail has announced forthcoming price rises.
From 27 March, First Class stamps will rise by 1p from 64p to 65p per stamp, while Second Class stamps will also rise by 1p per stamp from 55p to 56p.
However, if you buy First and Second Class stamps at their current prices, Royal Mail has confirmed you’ll still be able to use them from 27 March onwards without the need to top up the extra 1p with an additional stamp.
This means if you’re likely to need a substantial number of stamps, it’s worth buying them before 27 March to save.
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Royal Mail says price changes considered "very carefully"
The forthcoming price rises for first and second class stamps are equivalent to 1.5% and 1.8%, respectively. This is in line with the Consumer Prices Index (CPI), which rose 1.8% in the year to January 2017, the highest annual inflation since June 2014.
The main contributors to the increase in the rate were rising prices for motor fuels and to a lesser extent food prices, which were unchanged between December 2016 and January 2017, having fallen a year ago.
Royal Mail says the price rises are needed to “ensure the sustainability” of its service, but it adds that its considered the price changes “very carefully” to minimise the impact on customers.
Prices in the UK are among the “best value” in Europe, according to the Royal Mail. It says the average price of a First Class stamp on the continent is 87p, while Second Class stamps average at 67p.
Ten years ago in 2007, a first class stamp cost just 34p. In 2011, Royal Mail increased the price of first class stamps by 5p to 46p – the biggest recorded increase in one go ever – to help fund a modernisation programme.