It may only be the case that postage becomes a consideration during the holidays or to wish someone a happy birthday.
You may even need it to send home a postcard to let your loved ones know how you are doing.
Knowing how much it costs to post postcards, letters, and packages, both domestically and internationally, should be a key consideration.
Depending on the size, dimensions, and weight of whatever it is you want to post will determine how much it costs when it comes to postage.
In this guide, we will look at domestic postage to post something within Germany as well as packages and international postage from Germany too.
If you want to post a letter or a few documents in Germany, the price you can expect to pay typically depends on the weight and size.
There are four categories of letter mail, which also includes postcards, and each has its own dimensions and weights that go into working out the price.
Each one has a final price that is VAT-free which is in accordance with the German Value-Added Tax Act.
Standard items can include three DIN A4 pieces of paper which would amount to 80g per m².
For instance, this is the correct size if you want to send a pair of paper tickets with a covering letter.
The length will be between 14 and 23.5cm with a width of between 9 and 12.5cm.
Only rectangular formats are acceptable and the height should be less than 0.5cm with a weight of up to 20g.
If those requirements are met then the price will be €0,85.
For only €1,00, you can send a Kompakt letter which will have smaller size dimensions than a Standard letter.
The length should be between 10 and 23.5cm and the width from 7 up to 12.5cm, just like the Standard items the length should be at least 1.4 times the width.
The format can only be rectangular and the height must be up to 1cm and the weight requirement is up to 50g.
You can expect this size to be used for eight DIN A4 pages for 80g per m² which could be a five-page document folded twice and including a return envelope.
With a weight restriction of 500g, you could use the Groß category.
This is ideal for 95 DIN A4 pages (80g per m²) which could be a brochure, an income tax return, or a greeting card put into a square envelope as the square format is possible.
The length should be between 10 and 35.3cm, the width should be between 7 and 25cm with a height under 2cm.
Considering all those dimensions, you would have to pay €1,60.
The Maxi section also has the possibility of a square format which could be ideal for a quirky book.
However, magazines and annual reports typically follow this format and includes 190 DIN A4 pages of 80g per m².
The weight limit is 1kg with a length range of between 10 and 35.3cm, a width range of 7 and 25cm with a height limit of 5cm.
With all of those dimensions met, you can expect to pay €2,75.
For bigger items of postage with bigger dimensions and heavier weights, you should be looking to pay a higher price to deliver a package.
If you are looking to deliver an item rather than documents or a postcard then wrap it up appropriately then take it to a Deutsche Post office or send it via a DHL Package Point to weigh and label it properly.
There is also a distinction between a Päckchen and a Paket which includes liability up to €500 and shipment tracking with Pakets but not with Päckchen.
Should you want to deliver a package within Germany then the price for postage begins at €3,99 with DHL Germany.
That price is specifically for a Päckchen S which has a maximum dimension of 35 by 25 by 10cm.
No liability or shipment tracking is included and the weight should be under 2kg.
That may be ideal for what would be considered a small package.
Again, a Päckchen M does not come with liability or shipment tracking but at €4,79 you can send a bigger package, as long as it weighs less than 2kg.
The dimensions are bigger at a maximum of 60 by 30 by 15cm so should be able to include some appropriate protective layers.
Also for 2kg and with the same dimension requirements as a Päckchen M, a Paket may cost €5,49 but comes with liability and shipment tracking.
This may be ideal if the value, or even sentimental value, of your item is worth insuring.
For the inclusion of those two factors, you can get a lot of peace of mind that your package will arrive at its destination intact and on time.
If you have something to send that is a bit heavier and needs a bit more room then consider a Paket (5kg).
These packages also come with liability and shipment tracking yet for €6,99 you can use dimensions up to a maximum of 120 by 60 by 60cm.
As well as having a much bigger capacity and the same liability and shipment tracking included, the package has a bigger weight limit of 5kg.
For heavier items that can still fit in the same dimensions as a 5kg Paket (120 by 60 by 60cm), try a Paket (10kg).
These cost €9,49 and come with liability up to €500 and shipment tracking.
It should also be noted that postage for parcels and small packages with a weight of between 2 and 10kg is exempt from having a VAT charge in accordance with German law.
For truly heavy items that you may struggle to carry yourself, consider the Paket (31.5kg).
This category also comes with the maximum dimensions of 120 by 60 by 60cm and costs €16,49 including VAT.
To Deutsche Post, international postage is rather simple and is summed up by the mantra that a letter ‘does not know any borders’.
That means each country in Europe and globally has a single price determined by the dimensions and weight of the postcard, letter, or item.
There are six categories of postage to consider, each with its own measurements and weight limits.
They run from postcards to standard, compact, large, and two versions of maxi at a weight limit of 1kg and 2kg.
Postcards are defined by not requiring an envelope and their length should be between 14 and 23.5cm.
The width is between 9 and 12.5cm and should amount to a total of between 150 and 500g per m².
If the postcard meets those requirements then it will only cost €0.95 to post.
This cost will change if the postcard is not rectangular as square postcards will typically cost more to send at €3,70.
Just like the postcards, the length of a compact piece of post should be between 14 and 23.5cm and the required width is also between 9 and 12.5cm.
The height restriction is also up to 1cm with a weight limit of up to 50g. With a considerable height and weight limit, it does cost more to send a compact piece of post at €1.70.
The length of a postage item in the postcard, compact and standard categories should be at least 1.4 times its width.
Its width should also be between 9 and 12.5 cm and as it typically has an envelope there is a third dimension of height which is up to 0.5cm.
The weight also has a maximum limit of 20g. With a lower weight limit and lower height restriction, a standard piece of post should only cost €1.10.
Larger pieces of post typically include A4-sized pieces of paper which are not folded.
These are typically sized with a length of at least 14cm and a width of 9cm.
The dimensions will add up to a maximum of 90cm² and a weight limit of up to 500g.
As long as no single size is longer than 60cm and it is up to 95 pages, you can expect to pay €3.70 to post a large item.
Maxi (Up To 1kg)
The main consideration for a maxi postage item is the weight as the measurements are the same with the 2kg maxi and large categories.
The total size should be a maximum of 90cm² with a minimum length of 14cm and a minimum width of 9cm.
As long as the weight of the item fails to go above 1kg then it can be sent for €7.00.
Maxi (Up To 2kg)
Just like the large and the first maxi size, no side can be longer than 60cm.
The measurement dimensions still include a minimum of 14cm and a width minimum of 9cm with a total maximum size of 90cm².
The weight should be below 2kg and if so the package can be sent for €17.00.
Other Costs Involved In German Postage
Measuring an item of post before you have it delivered will give you the best idea of the eventual cost.
However, there are some other factors that you should consider which include insurance for valuable items and proof of delivery to ensure it has arrived as expected.
Finally, if you were to ask for the item to be express delivered then you can also expect an additional charge.
When it comes to posting anything in Germany, you will typically send it through Deutsche Post.
The company was privatized in the 1990s and remains the official means of sending mail in Germany and internationally from the country.
While Deutsche Post looks after letters and postcards, packages are typically handled and delivered by DHL Germany.
Various dimensions and weights are broken down so it helps to measure and weigh your item before you deliver it to know how much you can expect to pay.
The shape of a letter or postcard is also important as square shapes tend to garner a higher delivery price than rectangular ones.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Correct Format For Writing An Address For An Envelope In Germany?
For the German postal system, you need to get your addresses in the correct format as they are typically read by machines.
Ensure that your handwriting is clear and in capital letters if possible.
Write on the front of the envelope and write your address, as the sender, in the top left-hand corner.
The recipient’s address should be written in the bottom right-hand corner as the top right-hand corner is for stamps and printed postage.
How Do Germans Typically Receive Their Mail And Packages?
To receive mail, Germans usually get their mail through a slot in their front door.
For apartments, large rows of mailboxes are typically big enough to hold postcards and envelopes.
Deliveries are conducted by a delivery person ringing the doorbell or Germans can arrange to have their packages sent to a postal office nearby.