Understanding a UK Postcode

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The United Kingdom uses the term postcode instead of zip or postal code. The code is actually an alphanumeric code and was introduced by the Royal Mail in 1959. The full code used for mail in the UK is called a postcode unit. They represent a limited number of addresses or they may represent a larger delivery point for mail sent in the UK. This is a very important part of the address when sending mail throughout the UK.
Not only are UK postcodes used for sorting and delivering mail, but they are also used to calculate insurance premiums, form postcode gangs, for census enumeration and to help with the design of route planning software. The postcode data in the UK is updated periodically and stored in a database with about 29 million delivery points stored.
The actual postcode in the UK is five to eight characters in length, including a space between the outward and inwards parts. For example, the code for the House of Commons is SW1A 0AA. The first part of the code is called the Outward part and it represents the postal district. The two letters at the beginning, represent the area, for example, RH represents the Redhill area. The number after the letter represents the post town or the delivery office for the local area. With larger cities in the UK, there may be more than just one number.
The Inward part of the UK postcode represents a smaller area of a town or a delivery office area. The first number is the sector and the other two letters is the property or the group of properties in the specific area. Sometimes the Inward part of the code actually represents just one company or one section of a larger company.
Writing out the UK postcode with the address is a very important part of the address. Without it, your mail won’t arrive where it belongs and will most likely come back to the return address. It’s important to use the correct code and with a postcode finder, you can match the address you need to mail something to with the right postcode.
Another tool that helps if you are unsure of the postcode is a postcode checker. This helps match the exact address to the actual postcode and will help make sure you use the exact postcode for the UK address you need to send mail to. You can access these tools online without any issue and find the right postcode before you send a package or a letter.
Understanding that the UK postcode is used to sort letters, packages and anything else sent through the mail will help you to understand the importance of using the right postcode. Without the right UK postcode, your mail won’t arrive and many of the mail office won’t even accept it. Make sure you double-check the postcode before sending anything through the mail, so that it arrives on time and to the right address.

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