Online shoppers in Scotland are having to pay more for delivery than in the rest of the UK, a report found.
Research by the Scottish Parliament’s information centre (SPICe) estimates Scots face a £38 million additional cost annually for parcel delivery surcharges.
It is higher than the calculated cost for England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The figure for 2018 has risen since SPICe reported its calculations last year, which were estimated to be £36.3 million
The analysis suggests around 510,238 Scottish adults are impacted by the delivery surcharges, with the cost per adult estimated to be around £74.64 annually.
Over the Christmas period, the total cost of surcharges in Scotland is estimated to be around £11.4 million.
The surcharges added to delivery costs to more rural areas have previously been described by MSPs as a “postcode penalty”.
A rising number of people shop online in the UK, with 89% of adults using the internet at least weekly in 2018, up from 88% in 2017 and 51% in 2006 – according to the Office for National Statistics.
Among all adults, 78% bought goods or services online in the last 12 months, up one percentage point since 2017.
Younger people overwhelmingly shop online, with 95% of those aged 16 to 24 and 96% of those aged 25 to 34 choosing to do so in the last year, according to the data.
SNP MSP Richard Lochhead, whose Fair Delivery Charges campaign seeks an end to such costs, said the rising fees are “hugely frustrating”.
He said: “The campaign is making a positive difference but given that online shopping is on the increase, so is the postcode penalty paid by households and businesses.
“Scottish consumers in rural areas – who are often more dependent on online shopping than those who live on the mainland – should not have to live with these eye-watering surcharges that are often imposed randomly and not by all retailers.
“Having to pay extra delivery charges can really hit families in the pocket, especially when buying Christmas presents for friends and family.
“The authorities have thankfully begun to take action, but it’s now time to put the foot on the accelerator and take more and faster action.
“It is also time for the UK Government, that holds responsibility for regulation, to consider what more can be done, otherwise more Christmases will come and go with Scotland’s delivery surcharge bill just getting higher and higher.”