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The last Christmas posting dates for 2018

Find out how long you've got to post your Christmas parcels, and just how late you can leave your online shopping

The last Christmas posting dates for 2018

The countdown to Christmas Day is on, and so is the race to ensure that your cards and parcels get to your loved ones before Father Christmas arrives.

Whether you’re posting a present to Anglesey, Austria or even Australia, we’ve listed the final Royal Mail posting dates below.

We’ve also rounded up the last delivery dates for popular online shops, to help you avoid last-minute delivery disappointment.

Find out which brands score five stars for their online deliveries in our guide to the best and worst shops and websites

Last recommended Christmas posting dates for the UK

In the table below are the last posting dates released by the Royal Mail. Other courier and delivery companies’ last posting dates vary, so it’s best to check them out individually, depending on what you are posting and the level of service you want to pay for.

Tuesday 18 December
  • 2nd Class
  • Royal Mail Signed For® 2nd Class
Thursday 20 December
  • 1st Class
  • Royal Mail Signed for 1st Class
  • Royal Mail Tracked 48 hour
Friday 21 December
  • Royal Mail Tracked 24 hour
Saturday 22 December
  • Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed

Standing in line at the post office in the lead-up to Christmas can be particularly time-consuming, so Royal Mail has issued a few tips to ensure the process goes as smoothly as it can and that your precious parcels arrive safely:

  • Properly wrap your parcel before going to the post office
  • Clearly label your parcels or cards, and always include a postcode and a return address
  • Check the size and weight of your item before you post, so you know how much you can expect to pay and bring the correct postage with you.

Last international posting dates for Christmas 2018

All of the international economy posting dates have already passed, but don’t despair – the last posting dates for standard, tracking and signature services are yet to come.

Region or country Royal Mail – international standard & tracking/signature services
Africa, Middle East 4 December
Cyprus, Malta, Asia, Far East, Eastern Europe (except Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia) 7 December
Caribbean, Central and South America 8 December
Greece, Turkey, Australia, New Zealand 10 December
Canada, Czech Republic, Italy, Poland and USA 14 December
Finland, Sweden 15 December
Austria, Denmark, Germany, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland 17 December
Belgium, France, Ireland, Luxembourg 18 December

Delivery companies, such as Parcel Force, may offer later dates than these, so it’s worth looking for an alternative company if you’ve left it a little late.

Christmas online shopping

With a lot of us opting to order our gifts online, it pays to know the last dates that you can order from some of the big retailers.

Not only do the dates vary, but the cost of each type of shipping will, too. Mark the final standard delivery date for your favourite online shop in your diary – this will be cheaper than using next day or priority delivery, and may even be free if you spend over a certain amount.

Before you shop, check out our guide to the best and worst online shops, to make sure you get a good experience shopping online this Christmas.

Online shop Christmas ordering dates
  • 21 December – standard delivery (order by 11.59pm)
  • 23 December – one day delivery
  • 24 December – same day delivery in Greater London and 13 other cities (order before 12pm)
Currys PC World
  • 22 December – large items (next day delivery, order by 7pm)
  • 23 December – small items (next day delivery, order by 8pm)
  • 17 December – standard delivery (order before midnight)
  • 21 December – next & nominated day (order before 9pm), nominated evening delivery (order before midnight). Click & Collect, Republic of Ireland (order by midday)
  • 22 December – Click & Collect, UK Mainland & Northern Ireland (order before 9pm)
John Lewis
  • 19 December – standard delivery (order by 7pm)
  • 22 December – next day or next day pre-10.30am (order by 8pm)
Liz Earle
  • 20 December – standard delivery
  • 21 December – priority delivery
Marks & Spencer
  • 17 December – standard delivery (order by 10pm)
  • 22 December – store collection, or nominated-day delivery (order by 10pm)

Dates for clothing, home and beauty products.

If your online orders don’t go to plan this Christmas and you end up with damaged or missing deliveries, you have online shopping rights that can help to resolve the issue.

Whether you plan to shop in-store or online, check out our guide to your shopping rights at Christmas.

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