How UK’s increased passport fees compare with Europe and US

Fourteen months after the Home Office increased passport fees by 9 per cent – the first increase in five years – prices are set to go up again this week.

From Thursday 11 April, the cost of renewing an adult passport will rise from £93 to £100 if submitting a postal application, and from £64 to £69 for children’s five-year passport.

Fees are cheaper if applying online: £88.50 for adults (up from £82.50) and £57.50 for children (up from £53.50). The new prices represent an increase of 7 per cent.

HMPO says that the increase will “help ensure that income … better meets the cost of delivering passport and associated operations, reducing reliance on funding from general taxation.” It states that government does not make a profit form passport applications, adding that the fees contribute to the cost of processing applications, consular support overseas (such as lost or stolen passports) and the cost of Border Force operations.

Since the widespread delays and industrial action at passport offices around the UK in 2022-2023, the official advice for application processing times has been reduced from 10 weeks to three. In practice the turnaround time is generally much swifter, taking on average nine days for an adult renewal, according to crowd-sourced information site, UK Passport Waiting Time.

However, many British passport-holders continue to be caught out by post-Brexit red tape – extra time added to renewals before they had expired up until September 2018 is no longer considered valid for entry to the EU.

A British passport must have been issued within the past 10 years on the date of entry, and to have at least three months before expiry on the date of return to the UK.

So how does the new cost of a UK passport compare with overseas? Most countries issue documents for 10 years, but some offer shorter, five-year passports, as well as discounts for pensioners, those with registered disabilities, and war veterans.

In most of the EU and Switzerland, identity cards are also accepted for movement within the bloc, although these can often be more expensive than a passport. They are compulsory in some countries such as Belgium and Cyprus.

We’ve looked at the costs of a 10-year adult passport in Europe and the US to see how the increased British fees compare, revealing that a British passport is the fourth most expensive in Europe.