Need to renew your UK passport? Apply before the end of the month to save money

UK passport fees are increasing in February.
UK passport fees are increasing in February.   -   Copyright  Ethan Wilkinson | Unsplash
By Angela Symons

UK passport application fees are set to rise from 2 February 2023.

This is the first time in five years that the country has increased the cost of applying for a passport.

The government says the new fees will help reduce the reliance on taxpayer money to fund and improve the service.

As well as contributing to the cost of processing applications, the fees will support consular services overseas, like replacing lost or stolen passports, and the processing of British citizens at UK borders.

The increased fees will apply to both new passport applications and renewals.

How much are UK passport fees increasing by?

The proposals, which are subject to Parliamentary scrutiny, would see the fee for a standard online passport application made from within the UK rise from £75.50 (€85) to £82.50 (€93) for adults and from £49 (€55) to £53.50 (€60) for children

Postal applications will increase from £85 (€96) to £93 (€105) for adults and £58.50 (€66) to £64 (€72) for children.

How do the UK’s passport fees compare to other European countries?

In France, the adult fee for a passport application from within the country is €86. However, if you are replacing your passport because it no longer has blank pages or because your address or name has changed, it can be replaced free of charge.

Italy’s adult passport fee is €73.50. An additional yearly stamp duty of €40.29 was abolished in 2014. It now only needs to be paid once for each application bringing the total up to €116.

For Spanish passports, the renewal fee is significantly lower at €30.

For all of these countries, including the UK, adult passports are valid for 10 years (or five years for those under age 30 in Spain).

However, since Brexit, UK citizens need to be cautious of their passport expiration date.

Previously, Brits could travel in the EU up to and including the expiry date on their passports. Now, EU regulations classify UK citizens as 'third country nationals,' meaning your passport must be valid for at least three months after the date you plan to leave the country you are visiting.

How far in advance should you apply for your UK passport?

You should apply for or renew your passport well in advance of travel. In the UK, this can be done online - the cheaper option - or via the post using a paper form.

According to the UK government, over 95 per cent of standard passport applications have been processed within 10 weeks since January last year.

If you need a faster service, you can pay extra for an urgent passport renewal application from within the UK.

The Online Premium service can be applied for via the UK government website, but requires you to attend an in-person appointment at your nearest passport office where you will receive your new passport.

The earliest you can get an appointment is two days from when you apply and this service currently costs £177 (€199).

Alternatively, you can get your renewed passport delivered to your home one week after your appointment using the Fast Track service. This currently costs £142 (€160) for adults and £122 (€137.50) for children.

Priority service fees will also be raised in February to align with the price hikes for all other applications.