British passport fees will increase by almost 10 per cent in a post-pandemic blow to travellers.
From February 2, anyone applying for a new document or renewing their existing one will face an increase in costs, the government announced.
The price for an adult passport, when made via an online application, will jump from £75.50 ($92.32) to £82.50.
For children, the fee will be £53.50, instead of the current £49.
Postal applications will increase from £85 to £93 for adults and from £58.50 to £64 for children.
The changes were announced on the government’s website.
“The new fees will help the Home Office move towards a system that meets its costs through those who use it, reducing reliance on funding from general taxation,” the statement read. “The government does not make any profit from the cost of passport applications.
“The fees will also contribute to the cost of processing passport applications, consular support overseas, including for lost or stolen passports, and the cost of processing British citizens at UK borders.
“The increase will also help enable the government to continue improving its services.
“The new fees include those newly applying or renewing their passport.”
It will be the first price increase for passport applications in five years, the Home Office said. The department said the proposals are subject to scrutiny by MPs.
In early 2022, before the summer travel season began, the Home Office was hit by “unprecedented demand” for passports as many Britons prepared for their first foreign holidays since before the coronavirus crisis.
The government was criticised for the delays in processing passports, with reports that some people had been waiting months for their documents.
The Home Office pointed out that more than five million people delayed their applications during lockdowns.
In 2022, more than 95 per cent of standard applications were processed within 10 weeks, the Home Office said.
In March 2020, two months after the UK left the EU, traditional blue passport covers returned for Britons for the first time in 30 years.
They replaced the burgundy passports that were in use during the UK’s membership of the bloc.