Old £10 notes: When do paper banknotes go out of circulation?

Old paper banknotes, featuring a portrait of Charles Darwin, must be spent by 1 March, after which shops will no longer have to accept them

Ben Chapman
Wednesday 28 February 2018 12:45
The new £10 note: Security features

Old paper £10 notes will go out of circulation by the end of today, after which they will cease to be legal tender in shops.

From Friday 2 March shops will no longer be required to accept the paper banknotes that feature a portrait of Charles Darwin.

New plastic £10 notes depicting Jane Austen were introduced in September 2017.

The Bank of England recently estimated that around £2bn worth of old tenners were still in circulation.

After the deadline, people can exchange old paper notes by posting them or delivering them in person to the Bank of England in central London. The bank said it would accept the old notes indefinitely.

People may also be able to exchange the old note at a local bank or post office but there is no obligation to accept them after the deadline.

The new £10 note is the second to be printed on a plastic polymer, which the bank has said is cleaner, safer and more hard-wearing than the traditional cotton paper it will replace. The plastic fiver, featuring Winston Churchill, entered circulation in September 2016.

The new polymer notes are said to be significantly harder to forge.

When the design of the new £10 was first unveiled in July last year it was praised by members of the blind and visually impaired community for its tactile features.

Raised dots, similar to braille characters, on the left-hand side of the note and fine raised lines on the right, help those who cannot see to differentiate it from notes of other denominations.

A new polymer £20 banknote, featuring artist JMW Turner, is due to be issued in 2020. Bank of England governor Mark Carney said in October that there were no plans to make a new £50 note.

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