What is the PAF?

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The Postcode Address File (PAF) is an address data file maintained by the Royal Mail. The PAF file is kept up to date through daily updates made by postal workers – making it the most up to date and complete address database for the UK. The file contains address data such as:

  • 30 million UK residential and business delivery addresses
  • 1.8 million UK postcodes
  • 1.4 million business names

Why is the PAF important for your address data?

Address data is difficult to keep clean long-term due to the speed in which it decays. The Royal Mail estimate they get an average of 4000-5000 changes to individual records every day. Therefore between house moves and business name changes, address data can quickly become inaccurate. The PAF file removes the risks these changes create, with daily updates covering the whole of the UK.

What are the benefits of having access to the PAF?

Having access to the Postal Address File is critical for keeping accurate address data for your mailing messages and demographic analysis of your customer base. Specifically, validating your address data against the PAF will:

  • Reduce costs from wasted communications going to wrong addresses.
  • Improve customer service by reaching your customers straight away, every time.
  • Speed up your order process by combining the data with an address capture solution.
  • Drive better decisions underpinned by a more accurate view of your customer’s location.

What other datasets can you enhance your data with?

Datasets Guide

Read in more detail how the PAF file and other datasets such as AddressBase Premium and Not Yet Built can be appended to your address data to improve performance.