Anyone who’s planning on sending Christmas cards and presents this year should take note. The deadline for posting parcels and cards is fast approaching and you don’t want to wind up on Santa’s naughty list, so we’ve pulled together the last Royal Mail Christmas delivery dates.
The below dates are recommendations rather than hard guidelines from The Royal Mail, but it’s best to err on the side of caution and aim for these times – or even send your cards out a little earlier.
Second class and second class signed-for
If you’re going for the cheapest delivery option, you should post your letters and parcels by 18 December at the latest. This delivery method should only set you back 61p for a standard-sized letter.
First class, first class signed-for and Royal Mail Tracked 48
Anyone who’s willing to fork out a little extra for first class delivery has until 20 December to post their parcels. First class stamps cost 70p, while the Royal Mail Tracked 48 service starts at £4.74 for a small, lightweight parcel.
Royal Mail tracked 24
Want your gift to get there even faster? This speedy 24-hour service from Royal Mail starts at £5.46 for a small parcel and will get your package there by the next day. Anyone looking to take advantage of this system should send their post by December 21.
Related: Trusted gadget gift guide 2019
Special Delivery Guaranteed
This is Royal Mail’s fanciest option – and it’s a godsend for anyone who is a last-minute kind of present-buyer. This method will cost you a minimum of £6.60 for a parcel, but it should get your gifts to the recipient by 1pm the next day. There’s also an even earlier 9am slot if you want your presents there by the morning.
If you’re planning on using this Special Delivery option, you need to make sure your presents have been packed up and sent off by December 23.
Unfortunately, some cut off dates for international post have already passed. But you have until December 14 for Canada, and December 18 for Belgium, France, Ireland and Luxembourg.
For the full list of country-specific dates, check out Royal Mail’s listings here.