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This site will help you to learn about franking your mail, how to buy or rent a franking machine, important information on major suppliers and even source a number of franking machine quotatations specific to your postal requirements.

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Franked Mail and Franking Machines Explained

When sending your post you have a number of ways you can process it through the Royal Mail. If you only send a few letters a day postage stamps maybe your preferred method. If you have high volumes of mail then other high volume snail services either with the Royal Mail or another carrier may suit. If you are a business that sends more than just a few letters per day but not high volumes then a franking machine will probably be the best solution for you.

Franked Mail is charged up to 33% less than stamped mail and offers convenience and a more professional look to your business. Click here for an up to date price list for franked mail versus stamped mail.

Franking Machines are either rented or purchased from Royal Mail authorised suppliers, inspectors and Maintainers. The machines are then licensed for use by the Royal Mail specifically to you at your address. Postage is topped up by downloading money onto the machine via a phone/fax line or your network.which is like topping up your mobile phone. It’s paid for by either Direct debit, cheque, BACS or credit card. Once you have chosen your franking machine. You can also choose to have your logo and return address printed along side your postage value.

Five popular Franking Machine Suppliers

Five Popular Franking Machine Suppliers are Neopost, Pitney Bowes, Mailcoms Ltd, FP Mailing (Francotyp Postalia) and Frama (UK) Ltd. All offer Royal Mail approved digital franking machines. Scroll below for important information on each supplier:

  • #1 - Mailcoms Ltd - 01543 572 776

    Mailcoms LogoMailcoms Ltd are a smaller family business operating nationwide. They are one of the only Royal Mail authorised franking machine inspectors and maintainers who do not operate with commission paid sales representitives They try to be more transparent offering postage top ups with no add on charges and all Royal Mail postage price change updates are included free of charge with their support/service agreements. Their range of franking machines at the high volume end (1000 items + per day) is limited but offer the best value for money in low to mid volume range. They’re also the only company to offer free installation and training on all its range of franking machines.

  • #2 - Neopost - 01708 746000

    Neopost LogoNeopost are one of the larger manufacturers and operate with commission paid sales representitives The 'IS' Range of franking machines are all good machines, they all use exactly the same high quality ink cartridge but the franking machines are programmed to give different amounts of impressions dependent on the size of the machine. Recrediting is charged for by how many times you recredit in a 12 month period; 1 to 4 = £15.00, 5 to 10 = £30.00, 11 to 20 = £60.00 in addition to dialling a premium rate (090) number at £1.50 per minute if not using the LAN connection. On a positive note Royal Mail rate updates are included in their fully comprehensive maintenance contracts (Neopost call this 'Rate Change Protection'). Customers who do not have a separate fully comprehensive service agreement can pay anything between £70 and £120 per rate update.

  • #3 - Pitney Bowes - 08705 252525

    Pitney Bowes LogoA good choice of digital inkjet franking machines starting with the DM50. Many customers have commented that Pitney Bowes customer service can be difficult to deal with. Ink cartridges can be expensive with one of the lowest amount of impressions per cartridge. On a plus point there is an array of compatible ink cartridges available for Pitney Bowes franking machines. Pitney Bowes charge for all recrediting/postage top ups from £6.00 up to £12.00 each. Some of their more expensive service contracts offer inclusive Royal Mail postage rate change updates. Watch out for their insurance cover when leasing a franking machine known as 'PB Value Max'. This is extra cost insurance that your general office equipment insurance usually covers. Logos and external return addresses are usually charged extra.

  • #4 - FP ( Francotyp Postalia ) - 0500 223 563

    FP Mailing (Francotyp Postalia) are a German manufacturer and operate in the UK with Franchises and resellers who both use commission paid sales executives. They have a good range that caters for all volumes of mail but their low to mid volume optimail range use older 'thermal ribbon' printing technology. The quality on this type of printing is not as good when compared to inkjet and the ribbons can snap. One good point is they offer one free recredit per month or 12 per annum included in their additional service contract. Each top up thereafter costs around £11.00.

  • #5 - Frama ( UK ) Ltd - 01992 451125

    Frama are the smallest of the manufacturers and also operate with commission paid sales executives or small resellers & sales agents. Their long awaited Matrix range was launched mid 2009 and saw a new direction in Frama's approach. Historically they have had some of the lowest running cost franking machines in the industry but the new range seem to have changed that one. The Matrix F2, F4 and F6 are all well designsed and continue to operate with the Frama touch screen system. The Matrix ink cartridges use HP inkjet cartridges similar to ther manufacturers which are micro chipped and expire after a defined number of impressions (even if there's ink left!). Recrediting is charged at £30 per 6 months and Royal Mail postage rate updates are charged at £65 each and we believe if the rate update is not downloaded the machine may 'lock off' and become unusable. Frama offers to include these additional services in some of their higher priced service/support agreements so check what's included.

Once you have your Franking Machine theres a number of things you’ll need to remember:

  • Preparing franked mail.

    Before you begin, make sure your franking machine price and date is set correctly and you’ve got all you need to carry out your mailing.

  • Envelope information

    You can frank onto envelopes of almost any size or colour, but to make sure a clear, legible franked print we recommend using labels on coloured or printed envelopes or packets. Appropriate labels are available from www.franking-labels.co.uk.

  • Presenting franked mail

    There’s a number of ways to post your franked mail:

    • Collection: You can easily arrange for the Royal Mail to collect postage from you. This is usually chargeble. You can contact the Royal Mail business services on 08456 000 606 to find out if this is available and at what cost.
    • Franked mail boxes: There are a number of Franked mail boxes all over the country. Very often these have later collection times than the standard pillar boxes. For more information you can download the latest list on excel to find your nearest box
    • Post Office: You can take your mail to a post office for posting
  • Red and Green Pouches

    Royal Mail will supply you with pouches to present your bundled mail in. Red pouches are for First Class and small amounts of Airmail, and Green pouches are for Second Class mail.

  • Low Franked Mail / Meter Posting Envelopes

    You can place your low folume franked mail or late franked mail into ‘Meter posting Envelopes’ and post them in a normal ‘pillar’ or Royal Mail Post Box. Late posting envelopes and low volume. Your franking machine supplier can offer these or you can get them easily online from sites such as www.meter-envelopes.co.uk.

  • Trays and Containers

    If you’re sending very large volumes of Letters or Large Letters and suitable vehicle access is available, you can present your mail in trays or containers.

    If you use this method, there is no need to secure your mail in bundles, however, but it must still be segregated by class and service. Make sure that any Large Letters are lying flat in the container, and that standard Letters are stacked (with each address facing the same way and the franked impressions in the top right-hand corner). Trays can hold up to 340 Letters or 80 Large Letters – don’t use them if you’re posting Packets.

  • Posting Franked Mail

    Franked mail must be posted in the area shown on the franking impression, and on the date it is franked. You can choose from a range of different posting methods including the use of Business Post Boxes®, Post Office™, Royal Mail Enquiry Offices, Royal Mail Mail Centres and Royal Mail’s Customer Collection service.