Royal Mail Now Picks Up Parcels From Your Home. Here's How It Works

We walk you through how to use the service, which lets people have up to five small or medium-sized items collected from their doorstep.
Lee Smith / Reuters

Gone are the days when you’d have to trudge five miles to the nearest Post Office to send a parcel to your Great Aunt Daisy.

In what is a major move for Royal Mail – one of the biggest changes to the daily delivery since the launch of the postbox in 1852, in fact – postal workers can now pick up parcels from your doorstep.

Under the new home collection service, people can buy postage online and book a collection for up to five items.

This will undoubtedly be welcome news ahead of Christmas, with more families likely to be spending the period apart and requiring simple ways to send gifts.

It will also help those who might be unable to get to their local Post Office, for example if they are in a shielded group or have mobility issues.

So, how does it work?

Postal workers will collect a parcel from the customer’s door or nominated safe place for 72p per parcel, in addition to postage costs. Parcel Collect is also available for pre-paid return items at a cost of 60p per item.

The service is available six days a week and can be booked up to five days in advance and up to midnight the day before.

Before you start, you’ll need:

  • a box or envelope to send your item in,
  • some weighing scales so you can weigh your item,
  • a printer to print the postage label (unless you have a pre-paid returns label)
  • some sellotape to attach the label with.

To arrange a home collection, you need to head to the Royal Mail website and select the option of ‘Click & Drop’. Type in the destination you’re sending it from (the UK will come up as the default) and the weight of your parcel – you can either input the weight in grams or kilograms. Click ‘Send an item now’.

The site will then ask you for more details. You’ll need to select the size of the parcel you’re looking to send (is it a letter, large letter, small parcel or medium parcel?), as well as how quickly you want the parcel to get to the recipient. You also need to input the recipient’s details and your details.

Once you’ve input all of that information, add it to your basket and head to the checkout. At this point, you’ll be able to see the details of what parcel you’re sending and where to. On the right hand side, there’s an option to ‘Arrange collection’ – click that.

Collection costs extra on top of postage, so be mindful of that. You can choose which items you’d like collected, and then input the address you need your package collected from, and the date you’d like it to be collected.

You can also tell your postie where your safe place is in case you won’t be in when they need to collect your parcel. Options include the shed, porch, greenhouse, garage or an outbuilding.

If you have pets, you should also let the Royal Mail know about this so they can make sure they remain safe while collecting said package(s). There’s an option to do this below the area where you choose your ‘safe place’.

All done? Add that to your basket and you will be taken to a page which shows the postage you’ve bought, and the separate cost for the home collection. A word of warning, your collection will only be reserved for a short period so don’t go off to make a cuppa before you’ve paid for the service, otherwise you might end up back at the start.

People who need a next day guaranteed delivery are encourage to take their item to the Post Office and ask for Special Delivery Guaranteed.

If you want to post a Special Delivery Guaranteed item but don’t need it to be guaranteed for the next working day, you can book a collection. Your parcel will likely be delivered to the recipient within two working days.

And one last thing, you can’t use the collect service to return Covid-19 home test kits.