THE most popular parcel and postal delivery services have given customers the last recommended posting dates for parcels and letters to arrive in time for Christmas.

The dates for some of the most popular couriers are:

Royal Mail second class and second class signed for Christmas delivery is Tuesday, December 18.

Royal Mail first class and first class signed for the last recommended posting date is Wednesday, December 20.

Royal Mail special delivery guaranteed - last recommended posting date is Thursday, December 21.

Parcelforce Worldwide express48 and express48 Large - only available in some post offices. Last recommended posting date Wednesday, December 20. Check in your nearest Post Office branch or online.

DHL - Last collection date for Christmas delivery is Thursday, December 21 and although the company does aim to delivery all parcels on the next working day, it suggests ensuring your parcel is collected by Monday, December 18 to allow the recipient time to rearrange the delivery if necessary.

DPD - The last date for collection is December 21 so a booking date needs to be made online on or before December 20.

Evri - The deadlines are: Tuesday, December 19 for courier collections; Wednesday, December 20 to send a parcel standard delivery from a ParcelShop or Evri Locker by 11am; Thursday, December 21 to send a parcel next day delivery from a ParcelShop or Evri locker by 11am.

The courier companies recommend you check dates online and post early to avoid disappointment.