Whether you’re sending off your Christmas cards or ordering presents online, make sure you know when the last posting dates for Christmas are. The last thing you want in the build up to Christmas day is that mad feeling of panic that your presents won’t arrive in time.
We’ve gone through all the major UK online retailers and the Post Office to find their last delivery dates so you don’t miss out.
- Post Office: last posting dates for Christmas
- Amazon: last posting dates for Christmas
- John Lewis: last posting dates for Christmas
- Asda: last posting dates for Christmas
- Marks & Spencer: last posting dates for Christmas
- Argos: last posting dates for Christmas
In the UK
- 20th December – Second Class
- 21st December – First Class
- 22nd December – Special Delivery Guaranteed
International Standard (airmail):
- 2nd December – Africa, Middle East
- 6th December – Cyprus, Malta, Asia, Far East, Eastern Europe (except Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia)
- 7th December – Caribbean, Central and South America
- 9th December – Greece, Turkey, Australia, New Zealand
- 13th December – Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Poland
- 14th December – Canada, Finland, Sweden, USA
- 15th December – Austria, Denmark, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland
- 16th December – Belgium, France, Ireland, Luxembourg
HM Forces mail
- 27th November – International Standard to operational HM Forces Mail
- 11th December – International Standard to static HM Forces Mail
For more info visit the Post Office website.
In the UK
- 20th December – Free Delivery / No Rush
- 21st December – Standard Delivery / Standard Pickup
- 23rd December – One-Day Delivery (Last order time for delivery by Christmas varies by item and location)
- 23rd December – Express Delivery (Last order time for delivery by Christmas varies by item and location. Availability is limited)
For international delivery dates check out the Amazon website.
But deliveries could be even later, see below.
- 7pm 19th December – Standard delivery
- 8pm 22th December – Next day delivery
- 23 December – For guaranteed pre-Christmas delivery
- If you want your groceries on Christmas Eve, you’ll need to book a grocery collection slot. These are limited so book early. Booking opens on 20th November.
Order cut off dates depend on what you are ordering and which delivery method you choose.
Clothing, beauty and home
- 10pm, 18th December – Standard delivery
- 10pm, Friday 22nd December – Nominated Day Delivery
- 8pm, Friday 22nd December – Store collection
- See website for International dates
- 12pm, Saturday 23rd December
- 6pm, Friday 22nd December
- 7pm, Thursday 21st December
- 7pm, Friday 15th December
Christmas & New Year Food To Order
- 5pm, Friday 15th December – Christmas Food to Order (UK and Ireland only)
- 5pm, Wednesday 20th December – New Year Food to Order (UK and Ireland only)
- 22nd Dec – Next Day Delivery
- 24th December – Same Day Delivery
If we have a heavy snowfall or if the postal workers go on strike then these dates may well change, so be sure to check the last Christmas posting dates one last time before you order online!
The parcel price comparison site, ParcelHero, warns that the trend for later and later Christmas final order dates will be reversed this year.
“Last minute online shoppers are going to get a bit of a shock,” says their Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks. “We’ve all got used putting off Christmas shopping ever later. But Christmas Eve is on a Sunday this year – and that spells trouble.”
Many stores’ fastest available delivery slot is still only the next working day, such as Urban Outfitters and Dell. That means the final date to buy an item online and have it delivered is Thursday 21st December.
Also, Royal Mail won’t be delivering on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day or Boxing Day, which could be a problem for retailers who use Royal Mail to deliver their orders
However, some retailers are vying with each other to be the very last to deliver before the big day. Explains David: “Amazon and Argos are once more battling it out to offer the last possible shopping date and time. Argos is currently saying it can deliver orders taken at 1pm Christmas Eve before Christmas Day; and this year Curry’s/PC World has joined the last-minute race with a 1pm Christmas Eve deadline as well. But the winner looks like being Amazon, which is taking Christmas Eve deliveries right until 9.45pm for those living in some Amazon Prime Now service areas. At this rate we could see the first Christmas Day deliveries this year!”
Have you ever missed a posting date and paid outrageous money to send a parcel? Tell us your Christmas posting nightmares in the comments below.