is completely free, all you pay is postage
control your own account preferences
Use your secure controls to tell us whether to forward your mail on to you Daily, Weekly or Monthly, and when to send by Royal Mail, Signed-for, or by Private Courier. You can also request a forwarding on Demand and your mail will be despatched within 24 hours, without affecting your normal schedule, (even if your account is otherwise set to Hold).
Similarly, if you have a Demand despatch sent using a different service, your normal sending instructions remain unchanged. In all cases, your mail is consolidated into a tamper proof postal bag to protect your privacy and the postage is debited from your Postage Fund.
Please note: Our mail management system produces your postage labels with EXACTLY the content and layout that you have entered as the 'forwarding address' in your account control panel, so remember to including a recipient's name if this is required!
some of the most common postal choices available
Standard forwarding within the UK is by Royal Mail 1st Class, over 90% of which is delivered the next day, including Saturdays. The Royal Mail's Signed-for ('Recorded') service offers the same performance but also provides you with tracking and proof of delivery. At around £1.00 extra in postage, it competes very well with low-cost domestic courier firms such as Hermes or Yodel.
For really urgent items, Royal Mail's Special Delivery guarantees next day delivery by 1pm, but is more costly and is only available to addresses within the UK. All of three of these delivery options can be applied to items up to the 'Medium Parcel' format, see our handy mail size & weight guide.
If you request your mail to be forwarded on any tracked service, our system will send you an email with the carrier's reference number and a direct link to their on-line tracking facility, so that you can follow its progress.
Royal Mail offer the cheapest option for forwarding mail abroad. Their International Signed-for option is usually the first choice for packages up to 2Kg but, if you are in parts of the Middle East or Asia, Africa or South America, you may wish to consider a fully insured end-to-end Courier such as DHL or UPS for any items of high importance or intrinsic value.
international delivery times
The promised transit time for Royal Mail International Standard ('Airmail') and International Signed-for is 3 - 5 working days within Europe, and 5 - 8 working days to the rest of the world. Most Couriers offer similar delivery times as standard, whilst their various International Express* services are claimed to be marginally faster at 2 - 3 working days to destinations within the EU, and 3 - 5 days for the rest of the world.
*Please note that a 'next day' international courier service does not exist in practice. Dig into the small print on a Courier's website and you'll see that both the collection and delivery points must be unfeasibly close to one of their distribution 'hubs', and a pick-up must often be booked a day in advance.
no forwarding address?
no problem, you can collect your mail from a local post office!
As always, you can have your post forwarded to any address; But did you know that you can now have your mail delivered to a Post Office of your choice, for collection in person? And the service is completely free.
setting up poste restante
It couldn't be easier. Pop into any local Post Office, tell them that you are travelling and would like to have your mail sent to their premises for you to collect! :o) You then enter the Post Office's address as the forwarding address in your control panel, and tick the 'Poste Restante' box so that we can correctly format the postage label.
collection is free
but you will need to provide ID
You can pick up your mail at any time during the normal business hours of your chosen Post Office, including the weekends if they are open. Be sure to take some form of ID in the name of the Account Holder when you set up the service or collect your mail. A driving licence, bill or payment card is usually fine, but each individual Post Office will advise you.
Poste Restante can be used for up to three months at the same Post Office. If you are find yourself in one location for longer than this, there is almost always another within easy reach, so you simply switch between them every few weeks.
Visit the Post Office website and learn more about their Poste Restante service.
( Poste Restante is also available at Post Offices across Europe, although they may charge you a Euro or two for the service. )
All outgoing post is collected by the Royal Mail at around noon each weekday, and by private couriers according to their individual schedules. Because Royal Mail deliveries can arrive at any time up until 3:30pm, mail is always logged in and processed for despatch early the following morning.
From 6am our mailrooms sort and prepare that day's forwarding despatches and will include any Demand requests that are received before 9am. Mail delivered on Saturday is logged-in on Monday morning, before despatching, to avoid delays caused by the weekend.
All of our Centres are manned 24 hours, seven days a week, to accept out-of-hours courier deliveries.
Certain types of goods are either prohibited in the post, or have legal restrictions placed upon their carriage.
Because we can't forward items that we have reason to believe may contain prohibited goods, please take a few minutes to consider our Legal Advice page or visit the Royal Mail website. Similar restrictions are also imposed by private courier firms.