Choosing the right courier service

What to consider when choosing a courier service with Interparcel

19th July 2022, 11:11am in Shipping Advice by Amy Newham

You're sitting with a parcel in front of you. You've carefully packaged your item in a cardboard box. You've entered the parcel details and destination postcode in our online quote tool and are now faced with multiple delivery options. The question is, which one do you choose?

As a courier comparison and booking website, we give our customers a wide range of low-cost and reliable delivery choices so they can choose the best service for their goods. If you're unsure where even to start, below are some questions to ask yourself before you hit the book button:

Is the item I'm planning to send suitable for transit?

As the saying goes, it's better to be safe than sorry, and parcel delivery is no exception. Most couriers are happy to deliver an array of items, but some items are strictly prohibited from shipment.

Prohibited and Restricted items

Prohibited items are not covered by our Transit Cover and should not be sent through our services. Examples of prohibited items include:

  • Gold / Silver / Jewellery including Watches over £250
  • Aftershave / perfume
  • Perishable goods
  • Plasma screens of all sizes

We also have a list of restricted items. These items can be sent, but we do not recommend you send them. Consequently, restricted goods are not protected by transit cover and should be sent at your own risk.

Before confirming your booking, you'll need to tick a checkbox to ensure that you've checked whether or not your item is prohibited. Our Prohibited & Restricted list is always available in our help section, and you can filter our list by destination country and courier.

How quickly do I need my package to arrive?

Speed of delivery is an essential factor to consider. You can choose between Same Day, Economy, Next Day and Timed UK services and Economy and Express international services. Each type of service has varying transit speeds and prices.

It's worth considering a Timed or Same Day service if you need your parcel to be sent super fast because the courier will aim to deliver at a specific slot. If speed is less of a factor, you could benefit from a cheaper but slightly slower Economy service, typically around 3-5 working days.

Do I want to drop off my parcel or have it collected?

To drop or not to drop, that is the question. At least it is when you book with us!

Drop Off services give you the flexibility to drop your parcel off at a local drop-off point or locker. They are often cheaper than Collection services and more suited for smaller packages. We have a handy Drop Off Locator tool online so you can find the most convenient place for you. The majority of Drop Off stores are open seven days a week.

However, if you book a collection service, a friendly driver will collect your package from your chosen home or business address so you don't have to move a muscle!

Once you've decided which one you prefer, select the tick box at the top of the list and you can filter out the services you don't want.

How much am I prepared to spend on shipping?

Save money on shipping

Of course, everyone wants a bargain but the price you pay for shipping depends on many factors:

  • The size and weight of your package
  • The delivery speed
  • The amount of transit cover

As a booking and comparison website, we have it all whether you're looking for a cheap economy service or premium timed delivery. We are also here to help if you need guidance on our carriers and services.

How much transit cover do I need?

Most of our parcel delivery services include free transit cover as standard but the amount of cover differs per service. When you generate a quote, you can quickly see how much free cover is included for each service.

Once you have chosen a parcel delivery service, you can purchase our enhanced transit cover (up to £2000 for selected services) if your item value exceeds the value of the free transit cover.

We recommend you purchase an additional transit cover if your item value exceeds the value of the free transit cover, as we can only compensate for the amount of transit cover purchased at the time of booking.

It's also important to remember that not every item qualifies for transit cover. As mentioned above, you must check that your item is suitable for shipment before booking.

Do I have access to a printer?

No printer shipping

All international delivery services, and most UK services, require a shipping label to be printed and attached to the outside of your parcel. However, we understand that not everyone has access to a printer, so we offer a range of printer-free services where the driver will bring a shipping label for you. Equally, many of our drop-off services provide a 'Print In Store' option so you can print your shipping label at the local convenience store or access point.

Why choose Interparcel?

We are the one-stop shop for all things parcels. Whichever courier you choose, we offer discount delivery services in the UK and worldwide. When you create a free Interparcel account, you'll have access to various helpful shipping tools to streamline sending. Some features include:

If you're not ready to send your parcel, you can click to have the quote emailed to you and book when you're ready.

Get in touch!

If you need any advice or assistance regarding your booking with us, our real-life team of parcel experts is on hand seven days a week to help! You can phone us, email us or message us via live chat or on our social media channels.

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