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The countries with the ‘best value’ passports in the world – bad news for UK



The countries with the ‘best value’ passports in the world – bad news for UK

The latest price increase to renew a UK passport occurred in April of this year, seeing the cost rise from £82.50 to £88.50, while the cost of a postal application rose from £93 to £100. Coupled with brand new visa regulations for Britons hoping to visit Europe, which come into force next year, the value of the UK passport has been steadily declining.

Since blue passports were introduced in 2020, Britons have also been subject to the 10-year rule which means some disappointed travellers were turned away from EU countries because their passports had nearly expired.

Before Brexit, they could be used for 10 years and nine months, meaning you didn’t need to replace them as often.

As a result, the UK is nowhere to be seen in the top 10 “best value for money” passports in the world.

Digital PR agency Tank created an index ranking 131 countries, using the Henley Passport Index to find out the number of visa-free access each country’s passport grants, and combined this with the passport price, number of years valid and average salaries. This then led them to determine which passports have the “best value for money”.

Based on their index, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) offers the best value for its passport. The 10-year passport is a steal at just £10.82 where citizens from places like Dubai or Abu Dhabi can holiday in 184 countries.

The passport is also proportionate to their wages – working out to 0.37 percent of a monthly salary.

Spain offers the best value-for-money passport in Europe, according to the ranking. Costing just £25.80, the Spanish passport grants entry to 194 countries at a cost of £25.80.

Spaniards are paying £62.70 less for a passport when compared to the UK and can fly to two more countries than Brits.

South Korea is right on its tail with access to 193 countries for 10 years at a price of £29.10. Following closely behind is Poland charging £28.18 for 189 countries and Latvia slightly cheaper at £24.48 but fewer countries at 186.

By comparison, the UK was way down the list, coming in at number 35. The research revealed that the value of the UK passport has dropped four places following the latest price rise in April. Though it initially ranked 31st out of 131 countries it has now fallen below Luxembourg, Finland, Malaysia, and Trinidad and Tobago.

For each year the UK passport is valid, Brits are paying £8.85 which works out to 2.68 percent of an average monthly salary.

Despite the cost, in 2023, data from HM Passport Office showed the total number of passport applications nearly reached eight million.

Maxine McCreadie, personal finance expert at UK Debt Expert, said: “With over half of Brits planning a foreign holiday this year, passport applications will be a top priority and many may be left surprised at the price.

“Households are already battling the rising cost of living and the cost of passports, plus the 10 percent increase in holiday prices, could put a stop to travel plans.”

“The UK passport has become one of the priciest in Europe, especially compared to countries like Spain, which offers better access to countries for £62.70 less.”

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