Passport Fees Increased
Earlier this year The Home Office proposed a significant price increase to almost all passport applications, this proposal went largely unreported and as a result many customers are unaware of the impending price changes.
Some passport applications are set to increase by 27% with this staggering jump in price many people will want to know why this is happening now and how they can avoid the price increase and if they can't avoid it how can they minimise their expense.
When will the price increase?
These changes will take effect on the 27th March 2018.
Up to and including the 26th of March 2018 you will still only pay the current passport application fee(s) but be aware if you have sent your application and it doesn't arrive with The Passport Office until the 27th of March or later you may need to pay the additional cost.
Why are they increasing the price?
The proposed price changes would mean the money collected through fees will contribute to the cost of processing British passport holders as they travel in and out of the country. This would shift the cost and the burden away from the British taxpayer, millions of which do not even hold a valid British passport. These plans form part of the new £100 million on infrastructure and boarder security due to come into force next year.
This ongoing work is to modernise and further strengthen the security of the UK border. Our UK boarder already sees 250 million crossing every year and with this number set to increase the additional money brought in by passport fees will go a long way in not only strengthening our boarder but the costs associated with issuing UK passports and for consular support provided to British nationals abroad.
As well as ensuring that the process of getting a passport is funded by those who use them, the proposals also reflect the vastly differing amounts it costs to process online and postal applications. Her Majesty's Passport Office is continuously developing its online application services, with everyone over the age of 16 now able to renew their passport using the latest online systems.
How much are the passports going up by?
Adult online application | £3.00 | 4%
Adult postal application | £12.50 | 17%
Child online application | £3.00 | 7%
Child postal application | £12.50 | 27%
The cost of the urgent services are also increasing.
Fast-Track 1 week service - for a standard adult application is rising by £39.00
Premium 1 day service - for a standard adult application is rising by £49.00
Apply Renew by Post or Online?
One thing that is clear to see from the pricing above is vast difference between postal prices and online prices. The Home Office has justified the higher postal charges, saying they reflected the "increased costs of processing postal applications compared to online applications". Not only this but due to the ongoing improvements with the online service it's making it quicker and easier for people to apply on the go, as and when they have time.
Passport application made by post have always been the most popular way to apply for your new passport, but thousands of applications are rejected every year due to spelling mistakes and errors on paper applications. One of the biggest advantages of applying online is that you can type check retype and recheck before submitting any information. With many customers leading very busy lives we live in a society ruled by convenience and postal application are just not as convenient to many customers as they use to be.
Online applications have and will continue to increase at a rapid pace, the advantages are quiet substantial. Taking your application with you on your commute or fitting it in around daily schedule, being able to edit and change details before you submit your application. It's not only the convenience that's a big draw with these new price changes some people or families with multiple passport applications just won't be able to afford to apply by post.
How to keep your costs down
Many consumers are on the lookout on how to save money on their travel plans or their family holiday, but normally this is centered around flights or hotels, but with these price changes there are clear and simply ways every traveler can save money before you've even thought about your destination.
We have always advised customers to apply early for their passports but with the impending price hikes that's an even bigger incentive to apply early. You have until March 27th 2018 to get your UK passport application sent into Her Majesty's Passport Office.
If you are applying by post before March 27th please bear in mind the time it will take for your application to arrive. If you are applying online you have up to and including the 26th of March to submit and pay for your passport application.
Currently both online and postal applications cost the same but as previously stated The Home Office are increasing their prices. Although postal applications are going up by £12.50 online applications are only going up by £3.00 that's almost a £10.00 price difference.
This is because The Home Office are really starting to push their online application services, as these are far more cost effective than the postal applications. Applying online will also save your time as well as money. You can fill in your application on the move as and when you have time and there's no waiting around in long queues at The Post Office.
Many customers are unaware that you can actually pay for your passport application monthly. This method of payment is quick and easy to use and does not require any credit checks only a simple ID check.
This pay monthly option could benefit customers who wish to pay off their passport application in 3 x monthly installments rather than one large payment. Finance for the pay monthly option is provided by ClearPay with interest-free flexible payments.
This option also significantly helps those who are applying for multiple passports such as families or groups travelling together, as a family all applying for first time child passports or renewing their existing passports could incur costs of £300-£500 in addition to holiday and/or travel costs often at the last minute. Research has found that many consumers prefer to pay monthly when having to spend a larger amount.
We understand that the passport process can be tricky at the best of times and with all the changes in prices you may be left feeling unsure of which application you need and the total costs involved.
If you need any further help or advice, or you would like to start your online application please see below:
STANDARD (2-4 WEEK) SERVICE
Need more information?
Talk to the Passport Office team
Lines open 9am-5:30pm
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