How many 'old' pound coins are hidden in your car?

Even in the age of paying for parking using mobile phone apps, many of us still keep small change in our car in case we ever need it. But, as the old ’round pound’ will no longer be legal tender from the end of this week, the AA has warned that motorists should search their cars for hidden coins.

The motoring organisation estimates that there could be as much as £30 million worth of loose change in UK cars, with 500 million old coins still in circulation.

“We estimate that most cars will have some loose change lurking in hidden places,” said AA president, Edmund King. “The pound coin tends to be the most popular coin for use on parking meters, pay & display machines and supermarket trolleys. 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.

Many parking machines have still not been converted to accept the new 12-sided pound coin, meaning it might be a good idea to keep a few ‘old’ pound coins in your car. If you do find a pile of old pound coins in your motor, you can pay them in at the bank. Some supermarkets, including Tesco, have said they will continue to accept the ’round pounds’ after this Sunday’s deadline.

King added: “Drivers might wish to donate their spare change to charities or cash in on those car essentials such as screen wash. After the piggy bank, the car is probably the most likely place to find old pounds.”