Whether you’re out of the country for weeks, months, or years, you still need to find a way to get your mail. Moving out of the state is a massive change in itself, and such a move is riddled with challenges.
Getting your mail, however, shouldn’t be one of these challenges.
Luckily, you can still keep your UK address and receive all your mail and important documents. What you’re looking for is a simple Virtual post box.
What is a Mail Forwarding Service?
A Mail Forwarding service, however, is a service provided by a private business that provides businesses with a prestigious address that you can use and have your mail sent to. According to your instructions, this mail will be collected and sent to your office or house, or they will scan it and email it to you.
Why use a Mail Forwarding Service?
You see, running a business, even a small business, isn’t easy, nor is it cheap. There are many small things and hidden costs that you don’t expect when you start a business. One problem that small business owners often face is business mail and packages.
A simple and cheap alternative is to run your business from your own home, which means you save the money that would’ve been spent on office space and office equipment. Still, it also comes with some drawbacks, such as not having your business and work address separated, neither ideal nor professional.
Best Mail Forwarding Services in the UK:
- Royal Mail
- Post Central
Now, Let’s take a look at the 5 Best UK Forwarding Services:
The Royal Mail offers a redirecting service to redirect your mail to any UK or overseas address for 3,6 or 12 months.
Setting up the process should be pretty simple as all you need to set up redirection of your mail is to provide them with the names and dates of birth of everyone in the household that needs to redirect their mail as well as the address and postcodes of both your old and new addresses.
Arranging the redirection takes them about 5 working days, and you can apply before 6 months of your actual moving date, which means you can get it over with before you get so incredibly busy with all your other preparations.
The Great thing about the Royal Mail’s redirection service is that it goes a long way in minimizing the risk of you falling victim to identity fraud since your mail won’t actually reach your UK home before it gets redirected. The convenience of being able to set it up months before moving can’t be understated.
The main disadvantage of the Royal Mail’s redirection service is that they will send you everything, including all your junk mail and unimportant letters.
That’s something that many of its competitors avoid, so if you receive a lot of junk mail and really hate going through tens of envelopes to find the one you’re looking for, then you better look at other options.
Royal Mail Pricing
How much you will pay depends on what country you are going to and how long you will need the service.
Within the UK
- For 3 Months – Costs £33.99
- For 6 Months – Costs £46.99
- For 12 Months – Costs £66.99
Overseas – International Standard EU
- For 3 Months – Costs £144.99
- For 6 Months – Costs £204.99
- For 12 Months – Costs £292.99
Overseas – International Standard Non-EU
- For 3 Months – Costs £120.99
- For 6 Months – Costs £169.99
- For 12 Months – Costs £243.99
If you sign up with UKPostBox, you can choose from free PO Box addresses in some of the UK’s major cities, or you can choose from their original London street addresses.
What you get here is a virtual address that automatically gives you their mail and parcel forwarding service.
You can view your received envelopes in their mail management app and ask them to open envelopes, scan the content, or have them delivered to you wherever you are in the world.
You can also get a UK Postbox addresses linked to your choice’s online cloud storage where you can receive mail items and check them.
You can also choose for them to store your mail until you can pick it up yourself if you want, and the cost will depend on the weight of your packages, which is independent of your payment plan.
If you are moving inside the UK, you will get their services for free! That means you get a free PO box, free setups, and free on-going rental as well.
Some users have reported a considerable delay in approving accounts, and in rare cases, users have reported lost packages.
As you will see later, their pricing is not as simple as possible, which can lead to confusion and customers not knowing exactly how much they will be paying for their service.
You can choose from 4 different plans:
Pay-as-You-Go: This plan will cost you £0.60 per item. £0.90 per for each item scan, and £5.95 to receive a parcel. No recurring monthly fees.
Lite Plan: Costs £41.85/3 months. What you get is 10 to 35 letters/month.
After your plan ends, extra items are charged at:
- £0.30/ letter received
- £0.50/letter scanned
- £4.50/parcel received.
Standard Plan: Costs £80.85/3 months. What you get is 35 to 100 items/month.
After your plan ends, extra items are charged at:
- £3.50/ item received
Premium Plan: Costs £209.85/3 months. What you get is 100 to 350 letters/month.
After your plan ends, extra items are charged at:
- £2.50/ item received
- Forwarding costs you £0.89/letter plus postage costs.
- Sending a letter costs £0.89/letter plus postage cost.
- Parcel forwarding costs £1.50/parcel plus postage cost.
Post Central is a pay-as-you-go email forwarding service that gives you a genuine street address in the UK’s center and the world’s busiest cities, London.
You can choose 2 mailing names to link them to your account, and you can tailor the services to suit your exact needs. You will also be able to choose how you want your post to be handled, including opening, scanning, holding, and emailing documents.
As for forwarding, you can forward mail to any service worldwide, and you have the choice between standard post or recorded and re-packaged.
Post Central’s strength lies in its simplicity. Unlike UKPostBox, they offer a clear pricing plan with no hidden costs. You get exactly what you pay for, and there are very little-to-none chances of your being confused about what you get.
The signing up process is also pretty simple and can be done online in minutes, and their services are available to individuals and businesses alike.
Post Central is quite limited, and so you don’t get some of the advanced features like recycling and secure shredding you get with some of the more popular mailbox services.
Post Central Pricing
Post Central offers three pricing packages, and they depend on the volume of mail you receive each month.
- Low User – Costs £30, and you get 30 pieces of mail.
- Medium User – Costs £60, and you get 100 pieces of mail.
- High User – Costs £120, and you get 300 pieces of mail.
If you need a registered office and/or director’s service address, you can get it with any of the packages above, and it will cost you an extra £20 per year.
MyUKMailBox offers a wide range of services. You can get a UK street address, mail & package forwarding, and more.
You can ask them to scan and email you any documentation that arrives with your packages, and they offer parcel storage. The parcel storage option is free for 20 days or more, depending on your plan.
They offer a photo service where you can view images of your packages once they arrive, and you can request photos of the contents of your packages are well.
Online Mailbox Management is done the same way; you get photos of your parcels along with the details of your packages (weight and volumetric weight). You can choose to repack your package if you receive multiple packages and want to save on shipping by combining them into one shipment.
You can also use it to shop at your favorite online retailers and get your packages even if the retailers don’t ship outside the UK.
A unique feature is they offer is the BuyForMe service, which is a service in which they act as a personal shopper to you.
Again, it’s the hidden fees. Certain services come at a cost, and some users are confused and can’t identify which services are free and which are not.
Case in point; the BuyForMe personal shopping service costs extra, and how much extra depends on your payment plan, the item you buy. A Transaction Fee is also added for each transaction for this service.
They offer the following plans:
Standard – Costs £4.99/mo, and you get:
- UK Address
- Packages’ photos
- 30-day free storage
- Multiple package shipments
- Courier choice
- Parcel Re-packing
Premium – Costs £14.99/mo, and you get all the benefits of the Standard plan, plus:
- 60-day free storage instead of 30
- Address Book
- Shipping Parcels to outside the UK
- Cheaper Shipping
Parcel Consolidation & Repacking:
£4.99 for the standard plan members – Unlimited Parcels
Free for the premium plan members – unlimited parcels.
The BuyForMe Personal Shopping Service:
10% for standard members + £15.00 per transaction
8% for premium members + £15.00 per transaction
ExPost offers virtual mailbox and mail forwarding services for businesses and individuals alike. They will give you a real UK street address, and they will receive all your mail at their headquarters.
After that, ExPost will sort your mail, store it, and register it in your virtual post box and wait for your decision on how they should proceed. You can choose to let them open the mail, scan it, and upload it to you or to make them forward your mail to you.
When they receive items, how it is handled, and how much it will cost, you will depend on the weight of your things. Items weighing up to 20 KG are included in your standard mailbox service, and you will pay an extra £2 for each parcel.
They can consolidate larger packages into smaller ones to save you some money on shipping costs, which coincides with their goal of saving their users as much time and money as possible.
Their website needs some work, and there are, of course, some hidden fees here and there, but their excellent customer service makes up for it.
- £90.6 – 3 months subscription
- £120 – 6 months subscription
- £200 – 1-year subscription
Handling charges are:
- £0.50 – for each letter received
- £2.00 – for each item received
- £0.60 – scanning an item (4A images)
I hope this has been helpful to you. If you found it useful, we would appreciate you sharing it with a friend or a colleague. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them in a comment below, and we’ll do our best to get back to you with the answers you seek.