What to do with old fivers now that they aren’t legal tender

The Bank of England 5
The Bank of England 5

The news probably passed you by without much fanfare but old paper Bank of England £5 notes are now no longer legal tender.

The old notes had to be spent by the public by midnight on Friday 5 May and have now lost their legal status.

One of the new polymer five pound notes

One of the new polymer five pound notes

As of last weekend, the new ‘indestructible’ polymer notes have officially replaced them.

Shops and businesses have now been instructed to stop handing out the old £5 notes in change.

The Bank of England has warned, however, that some 160 million old fivers are still in the circulation around the UK.

What to do with your old £5 notes?

Well, we wouldn’t You can of course exchange them for new notes but you have to be a customer of that particular bank.

Post Office branches will still accept and deposit the old fiver notes into your account.

The Bank of England will also exchange old £5 notes for the new polymer ones in perpetuity - in person or by post - as it would for any old note no longer in circulation or with legal tender status.

People can present the notes to the Bank of England for exchange in person or by post - at the sender’s risk - by sending them to Dept NEX, Bank of England, Threadneedle Street, London EC2R 8AH.

If you’re trying to exchange a large number of notes, you may be asked for ID (such as your passport or driver’s licence).

So what’s so special about the new £5 notes?

The new-look polymer fivers - which feature Sir Winston Churchill on the reverse - are stronger than their paper predecessors, boasting new security features to make them harder to counterfeit.

They entered into circulation in September 2016 alongside the old £5 notes.

Four rare notes featuring a micro-engraved portrait of Jane Austen were also released, valued at £50,000.