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The end is nigh for the paper £5 note. By the weekend they will no longer be legal tender.

Goodbye to the paper fiver

The end is nigh for the paper £5 note. By the weekend they will no longer be legal tender.

But worry not, as we guide you through the final days of the faithful fiver, including how much longer you can use it for, what to do with them and what will happen to them afterwards.

What’s the deadline?

Midnight on Friday 5 May is the official deadline. At this point the paper fiver is no longer legal tender.

This means when you go to the shop on Saturday morning, they might not accept a paper £5 note.

Can I still use them?

Banks are still accepting the old fiver, so while shops can legally refuse them as payment, some might still take them over the weekend. However, by Monday you will struggle to find anywhere accepting them.

What shall I do with them?

You have two choices. Either spend them before midnight on Friday or take them to your bank.

Banks will allow you to deposit them in your account or exchange them for a new fiver for at least a few months.

You can also take or post old notes to the Bank of England on Threadneedle Street and get them replaced.

How many are out there?

According to the Bank of England, 150 million paper £5 notes still out there, roughly three for every adult in the UK.

Where should I look?

Unlike pound coins, it’s doubtful you would have lost fivers down the back of the sofa, but they might still be hidden in the home.

Check in the back of drawers, piggy banks, coat pockets and old wallets and purses to make sure you don’t have any tucked away.

What will happen to the old fivers?

They will be shredded and turned into compost, according to the Bank of England.

What about the old £1 coins?

It’s not just our paper money that’s changing. At the end of March the new 12-sided £1 coin came into circulation, but there’s no need to panic. Old, round £1 coins will continue to be legal tender until 15 October this year. 

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