How Much Does a Stamp Cost?

How Much Does a Stamp Cost?

If you don’t post letters very often, you will probably find yourself asking this very question when you go into a Post Office to send a letter. The answer will depend on the size and weight of the letter you wish to send. The prices change periodically as well, so the following information should be of use to you.

What is a stamp?

A stamp is used to enable you to pay for and post an item of mail. When letters are processed through the mail system, they are checked to see whether stamps or other payment means have been made (such as via a franking machine for example). When you buy a stamp it is affixed to your letter and it can then be put through the mailing system and sent to its destination.

In recent years the process of buying a stamp has changed. Instead of buying stamps for parcels or letters based on weight, you now buy them according to size as well. You may already be familiar with the idea of buying a standard first class stamp or a large letter first class stamp. This has resulted from a number of changes that occurred in recent years.

History of stamp costs

Before the decimal system came into force a stamp cost 5d. In 1971 a first class stamp would have cost you just 3p. It would not reach into double figures until 1979, when it was raised to 10p.

Since then the price of a stamp has risen considerably over the years until its current price of 60p was reached in 2012. Not every year produced a rise though; for example a stamp would have cost you 24p in 1991 and it stayed the same for just over two years before rising by a penny. Similarly the price rose to 26p in1996 and did not rise again until the year 2000, when it went up by one penny.

The standard letter and large letter system of pricing letters came into effect in 2006. At this point the current price for a standard first class stamp was 32p. This remained the same, but a new size was created for large letters, which then required a stamp costing 44p.

Indeed the biggest price rise occurred in the last few years. In 2010 a first class stamp would have cost you 41p, and this increased by 5p the following year. However in 2012 the price shot up from 46p to 60p, where it remains today.

Stamp costs in 2013

The prices of first and second class stamps in the UK change frequently. At the time of writing a basic first class stamp costs 60p. A second class stamp currently costs 50p. If you wish to send a large letter, a first class large letter stamp is 90p, compared to a second class large letter stamp which is 69p. This is set to remain the case until 2014, when the prices will be reviewed once again.

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