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Letter Rates 1968-2006


2p first decimal second class rate - using IOM regional before postal independence

A system of "First Class" and "Second Class" mail replaced the old system of letters and printed papers on 16th September 1968. The aim is to deliver First Class post on the next working day after posting in most parts of the country, and there is no weight limit. Second Class post is cheaper, has a weight limit (1lb before metrication in 1975, 750g afterwards), and may be held back while First Class mail is processed. The delivery target was originally the second working day after posting, but from 5th January 1976 arrangements were made to deliver many by the third working day, reducing considerably the amount of expensive weekend and night-time sorting work required.

On 7th April 2005 Royal Mail moved to a system in which Franking and Account customers received a discount compared to customers who used stamps or SmartStamps to pay the postage. This was done in two stages -- in 2005 only first class mail had differentiated rates, in 2006 second class mail was added too. These were the only two sets of rates to which this applied before Pricing in Proportion was introduced on 21st August 2006 to complicate the rate tables still further. Purely for the sake of labelling in this document, these have been referred to as "uniform" and "differentiated" rates.

The rate progressions in the modern period do not generally follow any consistent pattern, and so there is little option but to provide complete lookup tables for the rates.

Uniform 1st/2nd Class Rates

Date First Class Second Class Date First Class Second Class
1968
(16 Sep)
5d - 4oz
9d - 6oz
1s - 8oz
1s 3d - 10oz
1s 6d - 12oz
1s 9d - 14oz
2s - 1lb
2s 3d - 1lb 2oz
2s 6d - 1lb 4oz
2s 9d - 1lb 6oz
3s - 1lb 8oz
4s - 2lb

Each additional 1lb - 2s
4d - 4oz
6d - 6oz
8d- 8oz
10d - 10oz
1s - 12oz
1s 2d - 14oz
1s 4d - 1lb
1s 6d - 1lb 2oz
1s 7d - 1lb 4oz
1s 8d - 1lb 6oz
1s 9d - 1lb 8oz (max)
1971
(15 Feb)
3p - 4oz
5p - 6oz
7p - 8oz
9p - 10oz
11p - 12oz
13p - 14oz
15p - 1lb
20p - 1lb 8oz
30p - 2lb

Each additional 1lb - 15p
2p - 4oz
4p - 6oz
5p- 8oz
6p - 10oz
7p - 12oz
8p - 14oz
9p - 1lb
10p - 1lb 8oz (max)
There was a 2s 'concessionary printed papers rate' for second class mail up to 2lb -- it applied only to items which would have qualified as printed papers under the pre-two-tier regulations Due to the postal strike, these rates were in force on 'Decimalisation Day' at some offices with enough non-striking staff for local deliveries, but were generally not in use until 8th March, after the strike
1972
(6 Mar)
3p - 2oz
4p - 4oz
6p - 6oz
8p - 8oz
10p - 10oz
13p - 12oz
15p - 14oz
17p - 1lb
24p - 1lb 8oz
34p - 2lb

Each additional 1lb - 17p
2p - 2oz
3p - 4oz
5p - 6oz
6p- 8oz
7p - 10oz
8p - 12oz
9p - 14oz
11p - 1lb
13p - 1lb 8oz (max)
1973
(10 Sep)
3p - 2oz
5p - 4oz
8p - 6oz
10p - 8oz
12p - 10oz
14p - 12oz
16p - 14oz
18p - 1lb
27p - 1lb 8oz
36p - 2lb

Each additional 8oz - 9p
3p - 2oz
4p - 4oz
5p - 6oz
7p- 8oz
8p - 10oz
10p - 12oz
11p - 14oz
13p - 1lb
18p - 1lb 8oz (max)
1974
(24 Jun)
4p - 2oz
6p - 4oz
10p - 6oz
12p - 8oz
15p - 10oz
17p - 12oz
20p - 14oz
22p - 1lb
32p - 1lb 8oz
42p - 2lb

Each additional 8oz - 10p
3p - 2oz
5p - 4oz
7p - 6oz
9p- 8oz
11p - 10oz
13p - 12oz
15p - 14oz
17p - 1lb
22p - 1lb 8oz (max)
1975
(17 Mar)
7p - 2oz
10p - 4oz
12p - 6oz
15p - 8oz
17p - 10oz
19p - 12oz
22p - 14oz
24p - 1lb
34p - 1lb 8oz
44p - 2lb

Each additional 8oz - 10p
5p - 2oz
8p - 4oz
9p - 6oz
11p- 8oz
13p - 10oz
14p - 12oz
16p - 14oz
18p - 1lb
24p - 1lb 8oz (max)
1975
(29 Sep)
8p - 60g
11p - 100g
15p - 150g
18p - 200g
21p - 250g
24p - 300g
27p - 350g
30p - 400g
33p - 450g
36p - 500g
51p - 750g
66p - 1kg

Each additional 250g - 15p
6p - 60g
9p - 100g
11p - 150g
13p - 200g
16p - 250g
18p - 300g
21p - 350g
23p - 400g
26p - 450g
28p - 500g
42p - 750g (max)
1976
(7 Jun)
8p - 60g
11p - 100g
15p - 150g
18p - 200g
22p - 250g
25p - 300g
29p - 350g
32p - 400g
36p - 450g
39p - 500g
57p - 750g
74p - 1kg

Each additional 250g - 17p
6p - 60g
9p - 100g
11p - 150g
14p - 200g
17p - 250g
20p - 300g
23p - 350g
26p - 400g
29p - 450g
32p - 500g
47p - 750g (max)
From this point, the Post Office switched to the use of the metric system of weights The rate increase affected only the higher weights; the lowest three weight steps remained unchanged
1977
(13 Jun)
9p - 60g
12p - 100g
16p - 150g
20p - 200g
24p - 250g
28p - 300g
32p - 350g
36p - 400g
40p - 450g
44p - 500g
67p - 750g
87p - 1kg

Each additional 250g - 20p
7p - 60g
9p - 100g
12p - 150g
15p - 200g
18p - 250g
22p - 300g
25p - 350g
29p - 400g
32p - 450g
36p - 500g
54p - 750g (max)
1979
(20 Aug)
10p - 60g
14p - 100g
18p - 150g
22p - 200g
27p - 250g
31p - 300g
36p - 350g
40p - 400g
45p - 450g
49p - 500g
76p - 750g
1.00 - 1kg

Each additional 250g - 22p
8p - 60g
11p - 100g
13p - 150g
17p - 200g
21p - 250g
25p - 300g
29p - 350g
33p - 400g
37p - 450g
40p - 500g
60p - 750g (max)
1980
(4 Feb)
12p - 60g
17p - 100g
22p - 150g
27p - 200g
32p - 250g
38p - 300g
44p - 350g
50p - 400g
56p - 450g
62p - 500g
93p - 750g
1.22 - 1kg

Each additional 250g - 27p
10p - 60g
13p - 100g
16p - 150g
21p - 200g
26p - 250g
31p - 300g
36p - 350g
41p - 400g
46p - 450g
50p - 500g
75p - 750g (max)
1981
(26 Jan)
14p - 60g
20p - 100g
26p - 150g
32p - 200g
38p - 250g
44p - 300g
51p - 350g
58p - 400g
65p - 450g
72p - 500g
1.08 - 750g
1.44 - 1kg

Each additional 250g - 33p
11p - 60g
15p - 100g
19p - 150g
24p - 200g
30p - 250g
36p - 300g
42p - 350g
48p - 400g
53p - 450g
58p - 500g
87p - 750g (max)
1982
(1 Feb)
15p - 60g
22p - 100g
28p - 150g
35p - 200g
42p - 250g
49p - 300g
56p - 350g
64p - 400g
72p - 450g
80p - 500g
1.18 - 750g
1.57 - 1kg

Each additional 250g - 39p
12p - 60g
16p - 100g
20p - 150g
26p - 200g
32p - 250g
38p - 300g
44p - 350g
50p - 400g
56p - 450g
62p - 500g
94p - 750g (max)
1983
(5 Apr)
16p - 60g
23p - 100g
29p - 150g
36p - 200g
43p - 250g
50p - 300g
58p - 350g
66p - 400g
74p - 450g
82p - 500g
1.22 - 750g
1.62 - 1kg

Each additional 250g - 40p
12p - 60g
17p - 100g
21p - 150g
27p - 200g
33p - 250g
39p - 300g
45p - 350g
51p - 400g
57p - 450g
63p - 500g
95p - 750g (max)
Basic second-class rate held at 12p, all other rates increased
1984
(3 Sep)
17p - 60g
24p - 100g
31p - 150g
38p - 200g
45p - 250g
53p - 300g
61p - 350g
69p - 400g
78p - 450g
87p - 500g
1.28 - 750g
1.70 - 1kg

Each additional 250g - 42p
13p - 60g
18p - 100g
22p - 150g
28p - 200g
34p - 250g
40p - 300g
46p - 350g
52p - 400g
59p - 450g
66p - 500g
98p - 750g (max)
1985
(4 Nov)
17p - 60g
24p - 100g
31p - 150g
38p - 200g
45p - 250g
53p - 300g
61p - 350g
69p - 400g
78p - 450g
87p - 500g
1.28 - 750g
1.70 - 1kg

Each additional 250g - 42p
12p - 60g
18p - 100g
22p - 150g
28p - 200g
34p - 250g
40p - 300g
46p - 350g
52p - 400g
59p - 450g
66p - 500g
98p - 750g (max)
Basic second class rate reduced to 12p, other rates stayed the same

Post Office PR at the time billed this as first postage rate reduction since 1840, but it wasn't even the first basic letter rate reduction (see here for 1922)
1986
(20 Oct)
18p - 60g
26p - 100g
32p - 150g
40p - 200g
48p - 250g
56p - 300g
64p - 350g
72p - 400g
82p - 450g
92p - 500g
1.15 - 600g
1.35 - 700g
1.45 - 750g
1.55 - 800g
1.70 - 900g
1.85 - 1kg

Each additional 250g - 45p
13p - 60g
20p - 100g
24p - 150g
30p - 200g
37p - 250g
43p - 300g
49p - 350g
55p - 400g
62p - 450g
70p - 500g
85p - 600g
1.00 - 700g
1.05 - 750g (max)
1988
(5 Sep)
19p - 60g
28p - 100g
34p - 150g
42p - 200g
51p - 250g
59p - 300g
67p - 350g
76p - 400g
86p - 450g
97p - 500g
1.20 - 600g
1.40 - 700g
1.50 - 750g
1.60 - 800g
1.75 - 900g
1.90 - 1kg

Each additional 250g - 45p
14p - 60g
22p - 100g
26p - 150g
32p - 200g
39p - 250g
46p - 300g
52p - 350g
59p - 400g
65p - 450g
73p - 500g
90p - 600g
1.05 - 700g
1.10 - 750g (max)
As a concession, a 12p Christmas stamp issued 2nd December 1986 was deemed to pay the basic second class rate until 24th December. This did not apply to ordinary 12p stamps, but letters bearing them were not always surcharged
1989
(2 Oct)
20p - 60g
30p - 100g
37p - 150g
45p - 200g
54p - 250g
62p - 300g
71p - 350g
80p - 400g
90p - 450g
1.02 - 500g
1.25 - 600g
1.45 - 700g
1.55 - 750g
1.65 - 800g
1.80 - 900g
1.95 - 1kg

Each additional 250g - 50p
15p - 60g
24p - 100g
28p - 150g
34p - 200g
42p - 250g
49p - 300g
56p - 350g
63p - 400g
70p - 450g
78p - 500g
95p - 600g
1.10 - 700g
1.15 - 750g (max)
1990
(17 Sep)
22p - 60g
33p - 100g
41p - 150g
49p - 200g
59p - 250g
68p - 300g
78p - 350g
88p - 400g
99p - 450g
1.10 - 500g
1.35 - 600g
1.60 - 700g
1.70 - 750g
1.80 - 800g
1.95 - 900g
2.10 - 1kg

Each additional 250g - 55p
17p - 60g
27p - 100g
32p - 150g
38p - 200g
46p - 250g
55p - 300g
63p - 350g
71p - 400g
79p - 450g
87p - 500g
1.05 - 600g
1.25 - 700g
1.30 - 750g (max)
1991
(16 Sep)
24p - 60g
36p - 100g
45p - 150g
54p - 200g
64p - 250g
74p - 300g
85p - 350g
96p - 400g
1.08 - 450g
1.20 - 500g
1.50 - 600g
1.80 - 700g
1.95 - 750g
2.05 - 800g
2.25 - 900g
2.40 - 1kg

Each additional 250g - 60p
18p - 60g
28p - 100g
34p - 150g
41p - 200g
49p - 250g
58p - 300g
66p - 350g
75p - 400g
84p - 450g
93p - 500g
1.15 - 600g
1.35 - 700g
1.40 - 750g (max)
1993
(1 Nov)
25p - 60g
38p - 100g
47p - 150g
57p - 200g
67p - 250g
77p - 300g
88p - 350g
1.00 - 400g
1.13 - 450g
1.25 - 500g
1.55 - 600g
1.90 - 700g
2.05 - 750g
2.15 - 800g
2.35 - 900g
2.50 - 1kg

Each additional 250g - 65p
19p - 60g
29p - 100g
36p - 150g
43p - 200g
52p - 250g
61p - 300g
70p - 350g
79p - 400g
89p - 450g
98p - 500g
1.20 - 600g
1.40 - 700g
1.45 - 750g (max)
1996
(8 Jul)
26p - 60g
39p - 100g
49p - 150g
60p - 200g
70p - 250g
80p - 300g
92p - 350g
1.04 - 400g
1.17 - 450g
1.30 - 500g
1.60 - 600g
2.00 - 700g
2.15 - 750g
2.30 - 800g
2.55 - 900g
2.75 - 1kg

Each additional 250g - 70p
20p - 60g
31p - 100g
38p - 150g
45p - 200g
55p - 250g
64p - 300g
73p - 350g
83p - 400g
93p - 450g
1.05 - 500g
1.25 - 600g
1.45 - 700g
1.55 - 750g (max)
1999
(26 Apr)
26p - 60g
39p - 100g
52p - 150g
66p - 200g
77p - 250g
88p - 300g
1.00 - 350g
1.14 - 400g
1.30 - 450g
1.45 - 500g
1.75 - 600g
2.20 - 700g
2.35 - 750g
2.55 - 800g
2.80 - 900g
3.05 - 1kg

Each additional 250g - 75p
19p - 60g
31p - 100g
40p - 150g
50p - 200g
61p - 250g
70p - 300g
80p - 350g
92p - 400g
1.05 - 450g
1.20 - 500g
1.40 - 600g
1.60 - 700g
1.70 - 750g (max)
Prices for the lowest two weight steps were held or reduced, but the rates for higher steps were increased
2000
(27 Apr)
27p - 60g
41p - 100g
57p - 150g
72p - 200g
84p - 250g
96p - 300g
1.09 - 350g
1.24 - 400g
1.41 - 450g
1.58 - 500g
1.90 - 600g
2.39 - 700g
2.56 - 750g
2.77 - 800g
3.05 - 900g
3.32 - 1kg

Each additional 250g - 81p
19p - 60g
33p - 100g
44p - 150g
54p - 200g
66p - 250g
76p - 300g
87p - 350g
1.00 - 400g
1.14 - 450g
1.30 - 500g
1.52 - 600g
1.74 - 700g
1.85 - 750g (max)
2003
(8 May)
28p - 60g
42p - 100g
60p - 150g
75p - 200g
88p - 250g
1.01 - 300g
1.15 - 350g
1.37 - 400g
1.56 - 450g
1.74 - 500g
2.10 - 600g
2.64 - 700g
2.83 - 750g
3.06 - 800g
3.36 - 900g
3.67 - 1kg

Each additional 250g - 89p
20p - 60g
34p - 100g
46p - 150g
56p - 200g
69p - 250g
80p - 300g
91p - 350g
1.10 - 400g
1.25 - 450g
1.42 - 500g
1.68 - 600g
1.92 - 700g
2.04 - 750g (max)
The minimum second class rate was held at 19p, but all other rates were increased
2004
(1 Apr)
28p - 60g
42p - 100g
60p - 150g
75p - 200g
88p - 250g
1.01 - 300g
1.15 - 350g
1.33 - 400g
1.50 - 450g
1.68 - 500g
2.03 - 600g
2.38 - 700g
2.55 - 750g
2.73 - 800g
3.30 - 900g
3.45 - 1kg

Each additional 250g - 86p
21p - 60g
35p - 100g
47p - 150g
58p - 200g
71p - 250g
83p - 300g
94p - 350g
1.14 - 400g
1.30 - 450g
1.48 - 500g
1.75 - 600g
2.00 - 700g
2.12 - 750g (max)
Second-class rates raised; lower first- class rates unchanged, but unusually higher ones actually reduced

Differentiated 1st/2nd Class Rates

Date First Class Second Class
2005
(7 Apr)
Stamped Franked Stamped Franked
30p - 60g
46p - 100g
64p - 150g
79p - 200g
94p - 250g
1.07 - 300g
1.21 - 350g
1.40 - 400g
1.59 - 450g
1.78 - 500g
2.15 - 600g
2.52 - 700g
2.71 - 750g
2.90 - 800g
3.27 - 900g
3.64 - 1kg

Each additional 250g - 88p
29p - 60g
45p - 100g
62p - 150g
77p - 200g
91p - 250g
1.04 - 300g
1.17 - 350g
1.36 - 400g
1.54 - 450g
1.73 - 500g
2.09 - 600g
2.44 - 700g
2.63 - 750g
2.81 - 800g
3.17 - 900g
3.53 - 1kg

Each additional 250g - 85p
21p - 60g
35p - 100g
47p - 150g
58p - 200g
71p - 250g
83p - 300g
94p - 350g
1.14 - 400g
1.30 - 450g
1.48 - 500g
1.75 - 600g
2.00 - 700g
2.12 - 750g
Same as
stamped rates
Second-class rates were unchanged from those in force previously. As the price increase per extra 250g for first class letters over 1kg was reduced slightly for franking customers, in principle there was a slight reduction for very heavy letters.
2006
(3 Apr)
Stamped Franked Stamped Franked
32p - 60g
49p - 100g
68p - 150g
84p - 200g
99p - 250g
1.14 - 300g
1.29 - 350g
1.49 - 400g
1.70 - 450g
1.90 - 500g
2.30 - 600g
2.69 - 700g
2.89 - 750g
3.10 - 800g
3.49 - 900g
3.89 - 1kg

Each additional 250g - 85p
31p - 60g
48p - 100g
66p - 150g
82p - 200g
96p - 250g
1.11 - 300g
1.25 - 350g
1.45 - 400g
1.64 - 450g
1.85 - 500g
2.23 - 600g
2.61 - 700g
2.81 - 750g
3.00 - 800g
3.39 - 900g
3.77 - 1kg

Each additional 250g - 83p
23p - 60g
37p - 100g
50p - 150g
62p - 200g
75p - 250g
88p - 300g
1.00 - 350g
1.21 - 400g
1.39 - 450g
1.55 - 500g
1.78 - 600g
2.01 - 700g
2.12 - 750g
22p - 60g
36p - 100g
49p - 150g
61p - 200g
73p - 250g
86p - 300g
98p - 350g
1.18 - 400g
1.36 - 450g
1.51 - 500g
1.74 - 600g
1.96 - 700g
2.07 - 750g
Second-class letters now had differentiated pricing too, with a slight reduction for the higher weight bands. There was another small reduction in the price increase per extra 250g for first class letters over 1kg.