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What do franking machines cost

What is a franking machine?

The franking machine dates back to 1884 when it was first called a "postage stamp affixing machine." Now known as a franking machine or postage meter it's widely used throughout many businesses.

Much as its former name suggests, franking machines print postage directly onto letters and parcels in place of a stamp. Cutting out the need to visit the post office. Instead, you can drop your franked mail off at your closest post box or arrange a collection.

Franking Machine applying mailmark postage indicia to business letters

What does a franking machine do?

Franking machines calculate the correct postage price based on the weight of each item and then print the postage directly onto envelopes, labels or postcards.

The cost of each item is deducted from your pre-paid credit, which can be topped up via an online portal.

What is the advantage of using a franking machine?

  • Convenient

  • Time-efficient; no more queuing at the post office

  • Postal discounts through Mailmark tariff

  • Manage your spend

  • Limitless, can mail as much as you like

  • Can add branding and Logo

Franking machines give you access to postal discounts as they print a 2D Mailmark Indicia, offering the lowest tariff for franked mail.

Royal Mail franking prices have a standard 1st class letter costing 78p whereas at the post office this would cost 95p, a 21.8% saving per letter.

Royal Mail franking costs can be here as well as Royal Mails authorised manufacturers of franking machines. Here you can drill down into the exact costs of the most suitable franking machine and supplier.

How much is a franking machine?

The price of a franking machine ranges enormously depending on what features you are looking for and the volume of your mail. It also depends on if you are looking to buy or rent.

There are three main types of franking machines; low, medium & high volume. Low volume is generally between 0-50 pieces of mail per day, Medium volume is up to 100, and high volume is over 100.

According to Franked Mail, these are the estimated prices you could expect as a guide to how much franking machines are in 2022.

Low volume

£20+ rent per month

£1000+ new to buy, or £496+ used

Mail 112 2nd class letters per month minimum to break even

Medium Volume

£50+ rent per month

£2500+ new to buy, or £995+ used

Mail 278 2nd class letters per month minimum to break even

High Volume

£100+ rent per month

£5000+ new to buy, or £1495+ used

Mail 556 2nd class letters per month minimum to break even

Calculating how much a franking machine costs for a business

How much does a franking machine cost?

It's not just the cost of your chosen franking machine. It's also the additional cost of materials, ink, labels, servicing/maintenance, license and labour cost of your employee.

Ink costs according to Expert Market for Franking Machines

Low volume - £80-£150

Medium volume - £200

High volume - £400

How often you need to replace your ink cartridge will depend on your usage but typically every couple of months or so.


There are many different size labels for both automatic and manual feeders. A necessary additional spend for those looking to adhere postage to parcels.

But there are also hidden costs to be aware of:

  • Meter reset fee

  • Dormant fee for dormant accounts

  • The NSF fee - non-sufficient funds

  • The service contract fee for those who opt to rent

Is a franking machine cheaper than stamps?

From the outlook, yes the postage is cheaper when using a franking machine over a stamp.

However, it does depend on what you are mailing and your monthly volume. If you mail less than recommended letters per month then the costs involved for franking mail will make stamps the cheaper option.