So what is it about these basic letter combinations that have such a huge impact on how much we pay?
Beginning at the basics, you will discover that UK postcodes usually fall into one of the following formats:
• LN NLL
• LLN NLL
• LNN NLL
• LLNN NLL
• LLNL NLL
• LNL NLL
Considering that there are approximately 1.5 million UK Postcodes, there is an awful lot of data to maintain and monitor. In the above examples, where ‘L’ represents a letter, and ‘N’ a number, the first letter (or pair of letters) identifies the area, the following number the district and so on. Typically, a fully UK postcode represents a street, a part of a street or a small village. Each unique code usually limits the area down to around eighty properties.
The postcode is split into two separate parts – the section prior to the space is known as the ‘outward code’ and is predominately used to route mail to the corresponding regional sorting office. The part after the space is known as the ‘inward code’ and is used to sort the mail into individual delivery rounds from that specific sorting office.
Interestingly, all letters of the alphabet are used as part of the ‘inward code’, apart from C, I, K, M, O and V. This is to ensure postcodes written by hand are not mistaken for alternative letters and sent in completely the wrong direction.
When it comes to using your postcode (http://www.simply-
We have one of the most complicated postal code systems in the world; many organisations from outside the UK simply don’t use the system which often results in millions lost in revenue and wasted postage. Therefore, it is imperative that all companies refer to and use the PAF (Postcode Address File) (http://www.simply-
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