Got an old tenner? You can only spend it until 1 March
If you've still got any old £10 notes, beware – you only have until Thursday 1 March to spend them before they're officially withdrawn by the Bank of England. Here's what's happening and what you can do if you miss the deadline.
Following the launch of the new polymer tenner in September, the older £10 notes featuring Charles Darwin have been gradually phased out and will cease to be legal tender in a few days' time.
It's believed that more than a quarter of the old £10 notes, worth a staggering £2.2 billion, remain in circulation - so if you've any old tenners, the last day to use them is Thursday 1 March. After this date, retailers will no longer accept them.
North of the border, older Scottish £5 and £10 notes will also stop being accepted on 1 March, but there are no changes planned for Northern Irish banknotes.
What to do if you still have an old £10 note AFTER 1 March
It's not the end of the world if you happen to find an old-style £10 note tucked down the back of the sofa in the years ahead - while shops won't take them, the Bank of England guarantees that all banknotes it issues hold their value for "all time". That means you can still exchange them at face value with the Bank of England in London, in person or by post (at your own risk).
In practice though, you probably won't need to do that. The Bank of Scotland, Barclays, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds, Nationwide, NatWest, RBS and Santander have all confirmed to us that they will accept deposits of the old £10 note from their own customers after 1 March.
Also bear in mind that the Post Office has agreements with all major UK banks, allowing free day-to-day banking services at all of its branches. So if, for example, you've a Barclays account, you can use your local post office branch to deposit old £10 notes into that account, even after 1 March.
Scottish £10 notes are issued by specific banks, so if you have one after 1 March you'll need to return it to either the Bank of Scotland, Clydesdale or RBS (though you don't need to be a customer). You can either deposit it or opt to exchange it, in which case you can exchange a maximum of £250.
Can I sell my old £10 note for more than its face value?
With previous currency changes, some collectable notes or coins have been sold for much more than their face value online.
There are obviously no guarantees here and the chances are you won't have much luck. But if you want to give it a go with your paper £10 notes, cleaner and crisper ones are likely to be more valuable.
When we checked eBay, uncirculated paper £10 notes in "mint condition" were listed for sale between £11 to £18.50, though it's best to take these asking prices with a pinch of salt. There really are no guarantees, other than exchanging them with the Bank of England.
On the flipside, if you've a newer £10 note and it has a low serial number, it may be worth keeping hold of. On eBay, recent listings for notes with AA01 serial numbers have regularly fetched a tad more than their printed worth, with sold prices ranging from £12 to £20. This follows a similar trend for the polymer £5, introduced in September 2016. - see our How to check if your new fiver's worth £100s blog for more info.
What about other currency changes?
As mentioned above, the current plastic £5 note was introduced in September 2016 and replaced the paper £5 note featuring Jane Austen, which was phased out in May 2017.
Similarly, the current 12-sided £1 coin entered circulation in March 2017, with the old-style round £1 coin being phased out entirely last October.
A new polymer £20 note is set for 2020, though a date for withdrawing the existing paper £20 has yet to be announced. The Bank of England says it is also yet to make a decision on the material for the next £50 note.
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