In the UK, the red Post Box has been part of life since it was developed by the novelist Anthony Trollope in 1852. It was a hundred years before the pillar box was standardised and you will also see red fascia Post Boxes affixed into walls. The standard Post Box is a pillar type with an aperture in which to drop your outgoing mail. The only disadvantage is that the slot is quite small and does not allow larger items to be put in the Post Box. On the other hand, you can rest assured that your mail will be safe and cannot be retrieved by any unauthorised person. The postman has a key which he carries on his rounds and he is not allowed to return letters to you which have been put in the Post Box in error.
Outgoing Mail Boxes in the US are of an entirely different design, but no less distinctive if you have lived in or visited the US. In cities and towns in the US, the mail boxes are designed to accept larger letters and even packages which cannot be retrieved except by the postman. As in the UK, you will have to ensure that you have paid the correct postage. With the regulations in the UK which govern the weight as well as the dimensions of letters, it is not feasible to use large US style mail boxes in the UK, unless you have a method of determining the cost for outgoing mail. Some companies offer franking machines and methods of determining the cost at home or office before putting the package in the Post Box. However, you may still need to visit the post office as your package will not fit in the standard UK style Post Box.
For incoming mail, US style Mail Boxes for individual properties are becoming more common in the UK. This type of mail box can be mounted on a post, fixed to a wall or be standalone. There can be problems with Post Boxes which are fixed in front doors, as they can have strong springs which cause difficulties when the postman wants to deliver letters. Ease of use for both the consumer and the postman should be taken into consideration when selecting a style of Post Box. There are many styles and designs of Post Boxes on the market and you will need to do your research to decide which is the easiest and the best for your situation. Making life easy for the postman will ensure a more efficient delivery service. For example, if you live at the end of a long road in a remote area and are the only resident, put a Post Box at the end of the drive and empty it regularly. This will save the postman time and money when delivering your mail. If this is not feasible, make sure that the Post Box is easily accessible and that the postman does not have to deal with aggressive dogs or even geese!