Money Wellness
Image of a first class stamp. First and second class stamps set to rise by 10p
category iconcost of living
calendar icon01 Mar 2024

Stamps set to increase in price again

The Royal Mail has announced that the price of stamps will increase by 10p from 2 April.

The rise will take the price of a first class stamp to £1.35, with second class increasing to 85p.

It is the second time in just six months that Royal Mail has increased stamp prices. Last October a first class stamp was increased by 14p from £1.10.

Royal Mail said it has been forced to increase prices because of higher cost and wages, combined with a fall in letter volumes in recent years.

Brits now spends less than £7 a year on postage and only receive two letters a week on average.

The number of letters being sent has fallen from 20 billion in 2002/5 to seven billion a year in 2022/3, while the number of addresses Royal Mail delivers to has risen by four million in the same period.

Ofcom, the postal service regulator, recently opened a consultation for proposed reform for the sector given the dramatic reduction in letter volumes.

Nick Landon, Chief Commercial Officer at Royal Mail said: “It is no longer sustainable to maintain a network built for 20 billion letters when we are now only delivering seven billion.

“As a result of letter volume decline, our posties now have to walk more than three times as far to deliver the same number of letters as before, increasing the delivery cost per letter.”

History of the stamp

The first adhesive postage stamp in the world – the Penny Black – was issued in 1840. It was a black 1d (old one pence) stamp featuring an image of Queen Victoria.

This type of design continued for the next 120 years, with the head of the reigning king or queen being the main image. Stamps bearing the image of King Charles were issued om 4 April 2023.

The Post Office also creates commemorative stamps to mark key events and anniversaries or that reflect the British contribution to world affairs including the arts and sciences.

Royal Mail issues around 13 sets of stamps with different themes each year. Sets due for 2024 include:

  • The Age of Dinosaurs (12 March 2024)
  • 100 Years of Commemorative Stamps (6 April 2024)
  • Peppa Pig (16 May 2024)
  • Dogs (6 June 2024)
  • Red Arrows – 60 Seasons (20 June 2024)
  • Dungeons & Dragons (25 July 2024)
  • Tower of London (13 August 2024)
  • Porridge (3 September 2024)

Most valuable stamps

According to a study by collecting stamps can be quite lucrative, with most commemorative pieces or varieties with errors or misprints being the most sort after.

If you have any of these lying around in a draw you could be quids in:

Penny Black – potential resale value of £348,000

Plate 77 Penny Red – potential resale valve £550,000

Roses Error Stamp – potential resale value £130,000

Avatar of Caroline Chell

Caroline Chell

Caroline has worked in financial communications for more than 10 years, writing content on subjects such as pensions, mortgages, loans and credit cards, as well as stockbroking and investment advice.

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