From Monday, 16 October the old £1 coins will cease to be legal tender and businesses are no longer obliged to accept them.
But with more than £420m worth of old coins rattling around in coin jars, piggy banks and cars, according to money experts, consumers are being encouraged to trade any unspent £1 coins at banks or The Post Office.
To ensure you don’t waste a trip, call your bank or Post Office first to check whether they are accepting the old pound coins.
“Specific arrangements may vary from bank to bank, including deposit limits. It is recommended that you consult with your bank directly.”
All coin handling equipment, such as vending machines, car park ticket machines, leisure centre lockers, supermarket trolleys and self-service checkouts, should now accept the new £1 coins.
It has however, been reported that some shops around the country may ignore the Royal Mint’s deadline to stop accepting old £1 coins, despite warnings that it could create chaos and continue trading with the old £1 coin. Stores, such as the discount store Poundland, among others has said it will continue to let customers use the old coins to pay for items beyond the cut-off point.
Although, if you’re still being handed back old £1 coins in shops and supermarkets, you have the right to ask the cashier to give you a new £1 coin – if they have any – instead. But businesses don’t have to comply.
A spokesperson for The Royal Mint said: “We have urged businesses and their frontline staff to, where possible, prioritise the new coin when giving customers their change.
The 12-sided one pound coin entered circulation on March 28, replacing the familiar round £1 coin, which has been in circulation since 1983.
The new coin has been called “the most secure in the world” and there are more than 1.5 billion of them in circulation.