Secrets of Franking Machine Prices – Avoid Hidden Costs

Secrets of Franking Machine Prices – Avoid Hidden Costs
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If you spend any time researching franking machine prices, you’ll likely find yourself more confused than when you started. Everyone touts the undeniable benefits of franking and franked mail, with charts like this:

How Much Cheaper Is Franked Mail Compared To Stamps?* (Prices exempt from VAT)
Type Of Mail Weight 1st Class Stamp 1st Class Frank You Save! 2nd Class Stamp 2nd Class Frank You Save!
Letter 100g £0.64 £0.51 20% £0.55 £0.37 33%
Large Letter 100g £0.96 £0.79 18% £0.75 £0.64 15%
250g £1.27 £1.10 13% £1.20 £0.89 26%
500g £1.71 £1.46 15% £1.54 £1.19 23%
Small Parcel 1kg £3.35 £3.07 8% £2.85 £2.57 10%
2kg £5.50 £5.22 5% £2.85 £2.57 10%
Medium Parcel 1kg £5.70 £4.87 15% £4.95 £4.47 10%
2kg £8.95 £7.57 15% £4.95 £4.47 10%

*Prices accurate as of 30th March 2016

However, try to find out how much a franking machine actually costs and you’ll be left scratching your head. The truth is that there are only 4 franking machine manufactures and 19 Royal Mail authorized suppliers for the whole of the UK.

And they don’t like publishing their prices!

This means that getting accurate pricing information can range from being difficult to downright impossible. In fact the only way to get a good idea of what a franking machine is going to set you back is to get multiple quotes. Fortunately, these are always free.

Yet, this isn’t really good enough if you’re still in the early stages of deciding whether or not to get a machine. Therefore, we’ve created a rough guide to franking machine prices that should help to give you an idea of what to expect cost wise.

Just make sure you keep in mind that these rates listed below only cover the cost to either buy or rent a machine and do not include postage costs (see above). They also don’t include the price of ink, annual service, labels, and/or any mailing supplies you might need.

Pricing Chart

How Much Does A Franking Machine Cost?
Type Of Machine Volume of Mail Price To Buy Price To Rent Break Even Point*
Low-Volume Franking Machine up to 100 letters per day £1,000 – £3,000 £15 – £49 / month 3 letters / day
Mid-Volume Franking Machine 100 – 250 letters per day £3,000 – £8,000 £50 – £99 / month 10 letters / day
High-Volume Franking Machine over 250 letters per day £8,000 – £25,000 £100 – £500 / month 20 letters / day

* The minimum number of 2nd class letters you have to sent per day to pay for the lowest monthly rental price. Assumes 30 days per month.
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Join the discussion 18 Comments

  • Hi there, Our company are looking into the possibility of hiring a franking machine so that we can reduce the cost of postage for sending out letters. Please could you inform me of the cost of franking machine hire. We send out approximately 200 letters per month . Can you please tell me the prices for hiring out a franking machine and cost per letter.

    Many thanks
    Jeanne Mahey

    • The costs associated with franking machine hire can be a little confusing so I’ll try my best to sum them up clearly. To hire a machine you’ll have to get in contact with one or more of the suppliers and request a quote. Typically a low end machine like the Pitney Bowes DM-50 or Neopost IS-240 can be hired for as low as £15 a month, but that assumes a 36 month long contract.

      For shorter contracts expect to pay something more around £20-£25 a month. Then you must include the cost of ink which for these machines can be quite pricey costing up to 1p per letter. As of March 31st, 2014 the price of 2nd class franked mail will be 37p per letter vs a stamp price of 53p – so after ink costs you’d save 15p a letter or £30 a month assuming 200 second class letters. Obviously you can save even more if you send more expensive items such as parcels.

      So you’ll still need to get in contact with one or more supplier to see if what prices their currently offering for hire. Just be sure to ask about any hidden monthly or annual fees that may reduce your savings. You can learn more about rental contracts here.

        • Rental costs vary by supplier, model and contract length. Generally they start at around £20/month and go up from there. The easiest way to find out how much one will cost you is to use the quote form on the right hand side.

  • Watch out for the ridiculous.
    I’ve just had a renewal contract from our current supplier. Big spiel about a free gift and a free maintenance service (surely if you are hiring the equipment it’s their responsibility to maintain the equipment?) The new contract is emailed to me, and there it is “Minimum period of hire 63 -yes sixty three- months” I think not.

    Also watch for not so obvious charges. Like, charging you a fee to top up your balance. Anything up to 5% on top. So if your rental charge is steep the savings will begin to dwindle. ..and don’t get me started on the cost of ink..

    Caveat Emptor

  • Hi,

    There is a franking machine in the building where my business is based, owned by the landlord. Do you know if it’s possible to have a separate franking account on the single machine? Apportioning ink would be an issue but I’m sure that could be overcome.


    • Hi Dominic,

      Providing your landlord gives permission, it certainly is possible to add another account to some models of Franking Machine. These are usually the models used for high volume mail, so in this case it depends completely on which Franking Machine is in your building.


      • Hi again,

        Thanks for the information. It’s a Pitney Bowes machine but I can’t see a model name on it but looking online for a match, it appears to be a DM 400C or 450C.


  • Sirs,

    We send out approx 4 packets per day with an average weight of 500 grams. [First Class]. can you please advise me as to which route to take with regard to a Franking machine. Thanks

    • Hi Anthony,

      In this case, to determine the best route I would recommend completing the short form at the top of this page. Once you have done this, a suitable supplier can be in touch with you.


  • The ink is a huge part of the franking machine cost particularly when the machine adds extra impressions such as a return address or your logo (slogan) Remember franking machine ink cartridges don’t stop working when they are empty they stop when the little chip on the side tells them they have reached the limit of impressions the cartridge is rated for by the machine manufacturer. (Many cease working with over 90% of the ink still inside) Always add the cost of ink to your calculations and bear in mind the number of impressions you are putting on each envelope. The cost of ink cartridges is astonishing and there are mandatory maintenance costs, rate chips are often required and chargeable each time the postal rates change so they need to be added to the cost of the machine and born in mind when considering the overall cost of using the machine.

  • We are looking at the option of a franking machine but as we are a new company yet to trade we are not yet sure on the volume of mailing that we will be doing. Do you think we would be able to get a trial contract on a franking machine, say 3mnths or so enabling us to see if it is worth pursuing.


    • Hey Luke,

      Your best option given your particular circumstances would be to complete our form at the top of the page (“Click here to get a free Franking Machine quote”) and you will be able to compare the options available to you.


  • The company that we purchased our franking machine off has just sent me an invoice of charges relating to downloading rate increases.

    Is that right? I have had the machine nearly a year and just assumed these are updates from PB?

    Any guidance welcome!

    • Hi,

      Usually Franking Machine owners are required to have a service contract, so this is a question for your rep.


    • Hi Nick,

      In the UK it is possible to buy or rent a franking machine – that choice is up to you. If you click the link at the top of this page for a free quote, someone will be in touch with you with bespoke price quotes.


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