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Franking Machine Options

Franking Machines Buyers' Guide

Attempting to get a franking machine for the first time throws up a bewildering array of choice. The number and complexity of franking machine optionscan leave you scratching your head over how to choose between them. Before you can begin to decide you'll need to acquaint yourself with the franking machine basics...

The franking machine can be a critical part of your mailing system - especially for larger companies or those who send out high volumes of mail. It prints the indicia - the mark that takes the place of a stamp - and stores the postage. Royal Mail lists its franking prices for mail on its website. The savings are consistent, especially since the prices increases of April this year, and start to add up fast for bulk postage.

Franking Machine Purchase Options

You can buy, lease, or rent franking machines from Royal Mail-recommended manufacturers and suppliers. The models range from basic manual low-use machines to automated machines that identify weight, thickness, and size in accordance with current regulations. Additional costs include inspection charges, maintenance fees, collection charges, and ink.

If you have a lot of post, Royal Mail can supply bags, trays, and pouches as appropriate to help sort it out. The Customer Operations Manager at your local Royal Mail Centre can give further advice.

You must post franked mail on the day of franking. You can do so at the Post Office, sorting office, or in a special business postbox. If you use a low-volume franking machine, you can put your franked post in a special envelope and place it in a normal postbox. Royal Mail will also collect franked post, but it charges for the service.

Extra features for franking machines include:

  • automatic letter feed
  • sealing
  • stacking
  • electronic scales
  • logo, advertising, and return address printing next to the indicia
Franking Machine Regulations

Franking machines can only be supplied with the approval of the Royal Mail - as such you'll need to comply with a number of regulations concerning their use:

  • You must have a Royal Mail licence for the franking machine. Royal Mail will issue the licence when you buy, lease or rent a machine.
  • You must only use red ink, and you must only buy this from the machine's supplier.
  • You must arrange your mail in accordance with the Franking Machine Licence terms and conditions. In other words, you must categorise your mail into class, service, and format. All the addresses must face the same way.
  • The indicia must be clear. It must also include the correct date and postage rate.
  • You must arrange for an approved company to inspect your franking machine at least once a year.
  • You must inform Royal Mail, and the machine's supplier or manufacturer, when you change your address or replace the franking machine.

Royal Mail will withdraw its licence if it believes you are not meeting the terms and conditions.

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