Up to £30 million in old pound coins might be lost unless drivers do a search of their cars before October 15, according to the AA. Our motoring journalist, Tim Barnes-Clay, reports.
The old “round pound” will stop being legal tender after October 15 but many drivers keep a stock of them in their cars primarily to pay for parking or supermarket trolleys. Motorists are being advised to do one last sweep of their cars, checking the glove box, ash tray, side door shelves and even on, under and between the seats. The old pounds can be spent until 15 October or taken to banks (some will only accept bags of 20) or deposited into savings accounts.
Edmund King, AA president, said: “We estimate that most cars will have some loose change lurking in hidden places. The pound coin tends to be the most popular coin for use on parking meters, pay & display machines and supermarket trolleys.”
King went on: “If each car had just one hidden pound coin there could be as much as £30 million in cash which will no longer be legal tender after next Sunday. The old pound coin will soon be devalued more than Harold Wilson’s 1967 ‘pound in your pocket’ and part of the problem is that the pound coin often slips out of the pocket and between the car seats.”
It is still estimated there are some 500 million old coins still in circulation. The old pound is round, while the new 12-sided £1 coin has new dimensions. It is thinner than the old coin measuring just 2.8mm in thickness. The coin is also lighter weighing just 8.75g but it is larger in diameter measuring 23.43mm across. The new £1 is designed to show the English rose, Scottish thistle, Welsh leek and Northern Irish shamrock from one stem within a royal coronet.