06/20/2022, 10:00 AM CEST

Letter prices in Germany among the lowest in Europe

Deutsche Post has once again compared letter mail prices in the 27 member states of the European Union, in the United Kingdom and in the EFTA countries of Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland.

Nominal letter mail prices have increased by 54% in Europe over a five-year period.

  • Deutsche Post examined nominal and real letter prices in European countries
  • Result adjusted for key macroeconomic factors: postage for a standard letter is more expensive in 25 countries than in Germany
  • Denmark has the highest letter mail rate, while Malta has the lowest

Bonn - Deutsche Post has once again compared letter mail prices in the 27 member states of the European Union, in the United Kingdom and in the EFTA countries of Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland. The outcome: despite the postage increase implemented at the beginning of the year, it is still very inexpensive to send a standard letter in Germany compared with the rest of Europe. Postage costs in Germany are in the lower middle of the field in a purely nominal comparison of European letter mail prices. When ensuring an apples-to-apples comparison by also accounting for major economic factors such as labor costs, purchasing power, inflation and the working hours that go into the price of posting a letter, the German postage rate of 85 cents for a standard letter is among the most affordable in Europe. Only in five much smaller countries is the postage for a standard letter less expensive. 

The national postal services have raised the price of a domestic standard letter in 16 countries since the last study was conducted, increasing the European average price to EUR1.25. The postage cost for a standard letter in Germany, at 85 cents, is 40 cents below this average price and thus comes in 20th out of 31 countries. Also meaningful is a look at prices in countries that are most comparable with the German market in terms of size: it costs EUR2.80 to send a letter in Italy, EUR1.43 in France and the equivalent of EUR1.11 in the United Kingdom. Denmark remains the most expensive country with a postage rate of EUR3.90, while the letter price in Malta remains unrivaled at EUR0.30.

Nominal letter mail prices have increased by 54% in Europe over a five-year period. Romania now leads the field, having increased the price of its standard letter by 179% since 2017. Germany raised its letter mail rate by 21% over the same period, which means the price of a standard letter rose more significantly in 22 countries than in Germany.

In addition to the price of a standard letter, sending cross-border mail to another country in Europe has also become more expensive when compared with prices last year. Fifteen countries have increased their rates for letters within Europe, raising the average price for this product to EUR1.89. While postal service customers on average had to pay nearly double the price to send a letter to another European country, this factor is only 1.3 in Germany with its European letter rate of EUR1.10. Cross-border letter dispatch within Europe is therefore also much less expensive for postal customers in Germany than elsewhere. 

In Deutsche Post's comparative survey of letter mail prices in Europe, the rates are always adjusted for inflation over the last ten years. Viewed this way, letter mail has become 85.21% more expensive since 2012 in the countries surveyed. Over the same period and accounting for inflation, Germany's letter mail price rose by only 31.4%. This puts the price for a standard letter in Germany in 23rd place, ranking it in Europe's lower field. With an inflation-adjusted price increase of more than 281% in the last 10 years, Finland tops the list.

In its 21st edition, the Deutsche Post letter mail price survey also uses the example of an industrial worker to show the number of hours that need to be worked in each country to be able to afford the postage for a standard letter. This gives an insight into how affordable the postage rate actually is. Germany has the cheapest letter mail price after Switzerland and Malta, the latter being the most affordable; a worker in Malta has to work 1.52 minutes to earn enough to buy a stamp. The European average is 4.44 minutes; Estonia has the least affordable rate at 9.46 minutes.

Alexander Edenhofer

Spokesperson for Mail Products & Services, Regulation Issues, Postal Policy, E-Mobility, Bonn Topics

Deutsche Post DHL Group
Charles-de-Gaulle-Str. 20
53113 Bonn
Germany

Phone: +49 (0)228 182 9944

Twitter: @dpdhl_edenhofer