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What is the cheapest way to send a parcel in the UK?

If you need cheap parcel delivery within the UK, one of your first considerations may be the cost. However, it is important to remember there are several factors which affect how much it costs to send. Above all else, you want to be sure that it will arrive at its destination on time and undamaged. So seek out a courier service that is cost effective, efficient and reliable.

Person packaging a parcel for courier delivery to a destination

Cost factors which affect cheap parcel delivery 

  • Dimensions: especially if it is long, large or an unusual shape
  • Weight: heavier items will generally cost more to send
  • Contents: high value or fragile packages may warrant additional fees for insurance
  • Delivery speed: quicker options like next-day delivery will usually cost more
  • Type of service: Prices for different service options, such as courier collection, may add to the upfront price
  • The courier: more renowned and trusted couriers will have strong relationships with their partners, which may allow them to offer special rates.
  • Destination: remote locations that are hard to reach, such as the Outer Hebrides, may attract a delivery premium, compared with cross-city routes  

Confirming cheap parcel delivery options

Until the courier has been informed of what is to be sent, they cannot provide an exact quote. What follows is a more detailed look at the options a reputable courier may consider when calculating the final cost of your delivery.

Parcel sizes and weight

Most couriers stipulate price bands for small, medium, and large items. However, what defines a parcel’s size class may vary according to weight, as opposed to dimensions.

For example, some couriers may describe a small parcel as anything up to 2kg in weight. Others may say up to 3kg. Always check with the intended courier first.

As a rule of thumb, parcel size classifications are often advertised as follows:

A small parcel

This is typically anything under 2kg. However, a lighter package with a larger volume or surface area may not fall into this category – in which case how the item is packaged could be of importance.

A medium parcel

This usually includes parcels that weigh between 2kg and 20kg.

A large parcel

Normally, a large parcel includes those items that are over 20kg but under 30kg.

Parcels over 30kg

Anything over 30kg tends to require a specialised courier

Road on tracked route to remote parcel delivery destination

Courier delivery services

UK overnight delivery

If your delivery is urgent, speed may take precedence over cost. For a premium, UK overnight service will guarantee delivery the next working day.

Economy delivery

Cheap parcel delivery is easier for less urgent deliveries. ‘Economy’ should mean delivery times between within 2 and 6 business days. While not the quickest, it is still efficient and tends to offer good value.

Parcel drop-off

You can opt to keep costs down by opting for a drop off service instead of courier collection. This means that you deposit the parcel at a depot, rather than the courier driving to you for collection.

Is the Post Office cheaper?

The days when Royal Mail had a monopoly over cheap parcel delivery have long since passed. It is normally cheaper to use a courier service, especially if you’re sending a medium- or large-sized parcel. Many couriers also keep a check on Royal Mail pricing to ensure they stay competitive.

Customer carrying a large parcel to delivery collection point for courier pick up

At Impact Express we take pride in ensuring we provide reliability, efficiency, and competitive shipping costs.

As a DHL authorised service partner, we can offer access to DHL’s fully tracked express and economy shipping services to the UK, Europe and across the world.

To learn more about the services on offer, or to obtain a comprehensive quote, get in touch today.


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