How much can you legally pay in coins?

What are the rules with paying for things with coins?

If you’ve ever been annoyed at what you think is an unfair fine then you may have been tempted to pay it all 1 or 2p coins to reek some revenge. But what are your rights? How much can you pay in coins and are people obliged to accept them?

Just recently a lady from Hampshire in the UK had been paying for her weekly shopping in ASDA with £1 and £2 coins that she’d collected during her job operating an ice cream van. However, after weeks of successfully paying with the coins on her last shopping trip she was refused and told to come back with notes instead!

Understandably she was a bit miffed and following a load of publicity ASDA quickly backtracked and issued an apology as well as a £15 shopping voucher.

In another story a resident from Wales was informed that he was no longer allowed to pay off his debt of £650 in instalments of 4,000 pennies at a time. Also, a man from the West Midlands was refused when he tried to pay off his parking fines with a bucket of 1p pieces.

What are your rights with coins?

Amazingly the British Coinage Act (1971) states that 1p and 2p coins are only legal tender up to the value of 20 pence. However, you can use more coins if the person you’re paying is willing to accept them.

From a legal perspective the meaning of ‘legal tender’ is that you can’t be sued for not paying a debt as long as you give the right amount of money in ‘legal tender’. That’s the long and short of it. For the most part it’s down to the person who pays coming to an agreement with seller.

And if you’re thinking of ways to get some revenge (and by the way, we don’t endorse or recommend this) then you may be interested to know that £1 and £2 coins are legal tender for any amount – even if they are in a block of ice or a bucket of rice pudding.

What are the rules?

1 pence coins > upto 20 pence
2 pence coins > upto 20 pence
5 pence coins – upto £5
10 pence coins > upto £5
20 pence coins > upto £10
50 pence coins > upto £10
£1 pound coins > any amount
£2 pound coins > any amount

So, if you are having problems paying with coins or if you have lots of coins leftover from a foreign trip, why not let Cash4Coins handle them for you?  We can exchange any foreign coins for Sterling or any other currency you like and our team is waiting right now to assist you.  We have helped charities, schools, museums and hospitals to get the most from their charity donations of foreign coins and we have helped people like you to make use of their leftover currency.  Speak to our team today if you need any more advice about our service or send us your coins for quick assistance.

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