This is when shops will stop accepting paper five pound notes

  • Marie Claire is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy.
  • It's time to get shopping.

    Let’s face it, us Brits have not behaved in a cool and calm manner to news that we’re getting a new five pound note and the old paper five pound note will soon be going out of circulation.

    First we all got ourselves worked up after discovering that there were rare five pound notes amongst the first batch of new notes to be circulated, and that they were selling for hundreds and thousands of pounds. Then we were told that certain shops are refusing the new five pound note before also discovering that the new five pound note isn’t actually suitable for vegetarians to handle.

    It’s fair to say it’s not exactly been the smoothest of transitions, though hopefully the new pound coin won’t cause as many problems when that starts being circulated later this year.

    But what about the old five pound note? When does it go out of circulation? And what the F are you meant to do with the notes once it has?

    Well, the paper version of the much beloved fiver will stop being legal tender come May 5th (so make sure you’ve splashed the cash by then).

    The good news is, if you do stumble across the odd discontinued note after that date then the Bank of England’s policy allows you to exchange your old (and worthless) note in exchange for real money. All you’ll have to do is pop down to any bank, building society or Post Office in order to swap your old fiver in for a new one.

    The Bank of England confirmed the news in a statement, saying: ‘We will gradually start withdrawing paper £5 notes as they are banked by retailers and businesses. If, after May 2017, you find you still have some paper £5 notes you will be able to exchange them at the Bank of England. But until then carry on spending paper £5 notes as usual.’

    Unfortunately this policy doesn’t apply to coins, so make sure you spend all your old pound coins before the new coin comes into place.

    Reading now

    Popular Life stories