Franking Machine Ink

All franking machines require franking machine ink in order to be able to print postage onto your outgoing mail items. Without franking ink, you cannot send postage via a franking machine. Fortunately there are lots of places where businesses can purchase franking machine ink cartridges BUT businesses have to be very careful not to purchase cheap franking machine ink cartridges as they can cause more harm than good. Although cheap franking machine ink cartridges will save you money to buy, when they damage the franking machine (which they will) you will find yourself dealing with a huge bill to get it fixed.

While buying cheap ink cartridges from places like eBay can be appealing, our best advice is do not do it and ensure that you ALWAYS purchase your franking machine ink from a Royal Mail Approved company where the franking ink is 100% approved to work in your franking machine.

Franking Machine Ink must only be ordered from Royal Mail authorised & approved ink suppliers. All Smart & Mailmark franking machine users must use Royal Mail approved blue ink, while standard franking machines require approved red ink.

Franking Machine Ink By Company

All of the franking machine suppliers below are authorised ink suppliers by the Royal Mail.

What this means is that Royal Mail have thoroughly tested the franking ink in a range of different franking machines. This is done via their Mail Centre Automation and means the ink can be sure to pass through their systems with ease. Many other cheap compatibles however cannot do such a thing.

Pitney Bowes

Quadient (formerly Neopost)


FP Mailing

Mailcoms Ltd

Totalpost Services Plc.

MML Trading

Clover EU



Just like franking machines, franking machine ink can seem unnecessarily expensive. Nevertheless, you have to be very careful when buying franking machine ink. You cannot just go out and buy any kind of ink for your franking machine. Getting it wrong can invalidate your warranty and contract, leading to a big fine. Follow our tips below to ensure you buy the right ink.


Always ensure the ink cartridge is compatible with your specific franking machine model. Each franking machine has it's own unique franking ink cartridge and in most cases it only fits your specific model.


Always ensure the franking ink used is Royal Mail authorised. Due to the high cost of franking ink, many companies try to pass off and sell generic ink. Whilst it is cheaper franking machine ink, it is cheap for a reason and will cause damage.


Check to see if your franking machine needs to use red ink or blue ink. All smart & Mailmark franking machines require blue ink, whereas older Non-Smart & Non-Mailmark franking machines usually require red ink. Your franking machine supplier can advise here.


If switching from red ink and blue ink it’s highly advised that you do so only based on the advice of your franking machine provider as the process can be tricky. If done incorrectly it will damage your franking machine.

What Is The Difference Between Red & Blue Franking Machine Ink?

Besides the obvious answer that one colour is blue and the other is red, whether or not you need to use red franking ink or blue franking ink in your franking machine is very important and will depend on various factors such as the type and age of your franking machine.

All Mailmark &/or Smart franking machines are required by the Royal Mail to frank mail in blue ink. If buying or leasing a brand new machine your supplier should only supply you with blue ink. If this is not the case, please contact Royal Mail.

However, older non-Mailmark & non-Smart franking machines can still use red franking ink. Royal Mail is working with the franking industry to eventually switch everyone over to blue franking ink, but for now red franking ink can continue to be used on these machines. If you’re unsure what type of franking machine you own or rent please speak to your franking machine supplier.

Do you want a quick franking machine quote?

Here at Franking Machine Guide we can offer you a quick and easy Mailmark franking machine quote!

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