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Avoid the £5.50 passport fee hike

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This is the discussion thread for the following MSE News Story:

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  • colin_tomlinson
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    I am absolutely appalled at the cost of a passport.

    In 2000, I bought my first passport. I - just - missed buying one for £20, it having then risen to £28 - a 40% rise.

    It's due for renewal early next year, so I'm going to do it now, but am stunned by the increase! My income has nowhere near increased to that extent, but then, nor have other prices.

    During the life of said passport, here's how the cost of one has progressed:

    1999 £28
    2002 £30 (Jan)
    2002 £33 (Nov)
    2003 £42
    2005 £51
    2006 £61
    2007 £72

    This is an absolute scandal. Of course, the service was privatised - but how? Surely this is a monopoly? How on earth can one go elsewhere for a passport? This recent increase is being blamed on fewer people using the service! I wonder why!
  • PolishBigSpender
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    It's almost certain that most of the cost of the passport is to go towards paying for dubious 'upgrades' such as the national identity database and the cost of introducing ID cards that no Brit appears to want.

    It amazes me as to the hassle involved to get a British passport. Here, I go to my local provincial government office, fill in some forms, show them my ID card and give them some photographs. One week or so later, I go and pick it up. The cost? 170zl at current prices, or around 30 pounds.

    Quite why it costs the UK nearly 3 times as much for what is essentially the same thing is beyond me.
    From Poland...with love.

    They are (they're)
    sitting on the floor.
    Their
    books are lying on the floor.
    The books are sitting just there on the floor.
  • BurningSnowman
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    Maybe I'm missing something, but doesn't it make sense to renew even if you've got more than 9 months remaining? The nine months are not lost at all, and the price difference is £5.50. So if passports are now "worth" £7.75 a year, you could justify losing up to 8.5 paid months, on top of your 9 free months. So if you leave it close to the deadline, you would 'break even' if your passport expired Feb 2011. Which would mean anyone with an expiry in 2010 should think about it.

    I'd appreciate a comment if I'm wrong here, as mine expires June 2010. :)
  • smudge56
    smudge56 Posts: 648 Forumite
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    edited 15 July 2009 at 8:53PM
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    What else can you buy that costs you only £7.75 a year?
    The rise in prices has nothing to do with the paying for the National Identity card scheme - which incidentally are a good thing - especially for those who take their passports out for ID to get into pubs and clubs then go on and lose or damage them.
    Passports have changed a lot since 1998, they now have biometric chip in them, and the reason there is "hassle"- if you could call it that -is because they have to be sure the passport is issued to the right person.
    As long as your application is posted by 3rd September you will pay only £72 for the adult 10 year passport.
    And when was the passport office privatised?? As far as I am aware its still part of the Home Office.
  • Beenie
    Beenie Posts: 1,633 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post
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    when are you entitled to a free passport in the UK? Is it 70 years old??
  • Debran
    Debran Posts: 349 Forumite
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    For a free UK passport you have to be 79 years old.
  • PolishBigSpender
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    smudge56 wrote: »
    What else can you buy that costs you only £7.75 a year?


    What kind of argument is that? The UK passport fee is frankly ridiculous - if other countries can provide exactly the same thing for less than half the price, where's the money going?

    The rise in prices has nothing to do with the paying for the National Identity card scheme - which incidentally are a good thing - especially for those who take their passports out for ID to get into pubs and clubs then go on and lose or damage them.
    The rise in prices is *everything* to do with the introduction of ID cards. I suggest you familiarise yourself with NO2ID.

    If you genuinely believe that the UK government, with their shocking track record when it comes to the rights of the individual, really wants ID cards for the benefit of the ordinary person - then you must be absolutely crazy.
    Passports have changed a lot since 1998, they now have biometric chip in them, and the reason there is "hassle"- if you could call it that -is because they have to be sure the passport is issued to the right person.


    Passports have changed a lot, yet the UK is still exploiting people who need one to be able to leave the country. I can get a Polish ID card for around 6 pounds - and this is enough for intra-EU travel.
    From Poland...with love.

    They are (they're)
    sitting on the floor.
    Their
    books are lying on the floor.
    The books are sitting just there on the floor.
  • iceman197258
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    I personaly havent been able to afford to even go on holiday for the last few years due to lack of funds even when in full-time employment...my little girl has been abroad with her mother at least 3 times and she's only 5yrs old and i was hoping to take her on holiday this year now that i had a couple of extra hundred pounds spare...but as a single man who has recently lost my job....even though i do have enough for a holiday its going to cost me nearly £100 before i even consider going anywhere......I can't even leave my own country yet the government don't seem to be able to stop thousands of people getting in....this is a ridiculous situation which needs sorted out....Money saving site????............I'm saving loads......I'm just not going now!!!!!!!!
  • smudge56
    smudge56 Posts: 648 Forumite
    First Post Photogenic First Anniversary Name Dropper
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    To qualify for a free passport you have to be born before 2nd September 1929. i.e. you were 16 years old at the breakout of the 2nd world war.
  • clarkybravo
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    Instead of forking out £4 each at one of the many passport photo booths, adding up to £16 for my family of four I have found a wonderful internet site epassportphoto.com. Upload your own photos following its rules on plain backgrounds, centre the subject, low resolution shot etc with your digital camera. With a bit of wizardry the site will crop your photos perfectly in three easy stages. Using its nice online template and positioning tool you can produce a great set of 7 passport phots ready to be printed for 10p per shot by any high st developer or on your own printer if quality is good. It will even sign you up for 20 free photographs with an online photo developer so that the shots will pop through your letter box 3 days later without spending a penny.
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