accepting coins for payment

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douglasgee | 16:31 Fri 16th May 2008 | Law
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Do shops have to accept any amount of coins for payment or is there a restriction on how many they can accept.If I see an item in a shop for �68 can i pay for it in �1 coins


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I know you can only pay up to 20p in copper but yes I would imagine there's an upper limit for other coins.
Question Author
Has anybody got any idea what the limits are,many thanks age/LegalTenderGuidelines.aspx

In England and Wales the �5, �10, �20 and �50 notes are legal tender for payment of any amount. However, they are not legal tender in Scotland and Northern Ireland.


Coins are legal tender throughout the United Kingdom for the following amount:

�5 (Crown) - for any amount

�2 - for any amount

�1 - for any amount

50p - for any amount not exceeding �10

25p (Crown) - for any amount not exceeding �10

20p - for any amount not exceeding �10

10p - for any amount not exceeding �5

5p - for any amount not exceeding �5

2p - for any amount not exceeding 20p

1p - for any amount not exceeding 20p
yes there are upper limits as to what is considered to be legal tender, these are

coppers upto 20p
5p &10p upto �5
20p & 50p upto �10
�1 unlmited
-- answer removed --
Question Author
Many thanks for your help folks
In the United Kingdom, only coins valued 1 pound Sterling, 2 pounds, and 5 pounds Sterling are legal tender in unlimited amounts throughout the territory of the United Kingdom. In accordance with the Coinage Act 1971, gold sovereigns are also legal tender for any amount. The face values of sovereigns are 50p, �1, �2 and �5; their actual value-being linked to the price of gold-is much higher. The United Kingdom legislation that introduced the 1 pound coin left no United Kingdom-wide legal tender banknote.

Currently, 20 pence pieces, 25 pence coins (although many retail outlets do not recognise or accept this) and 50 pence pieces are legal tender in amounts up to 10 pounds; 5 pence pieces and 10 pence pieces are legal tender in amounts up to 5 pounds; and 1 penny pieces and 2 pence pieces are legal tender in amounts up to 20 pence.

Coins and banknotes do not need to be "legal tender" in order to be used as money to buy and perform other transactions for which money is intended. For example, British banknotes issued by various institutions circulate in the United Kingdom without being legal tender in all the jurisdictions of the United Kingdom.

Easy C&P from here:
Paying at the till in a shop is not a case where 'legal tender' can be invoked. The term has a very specialised meaning in law, with regard to settling debts already incurred.

With regard to paying for a �68 item in �1 coins - it's entirely up to the shop. They are free to accept them or refuse as they wish, as they would be for any other coins you might offer them.

Even if your purchase falls within the legal tender limits, they are still entitled to refuse if they wish. They don't HAVE to sell anything to you at all.
There is a limit to the amount of coins a shop legally has to accept. I worked as a bus driver at one time several years ago and the maximum change which we had to accept in coppers was 20p. Dont forget the banks charge businesses for changing coin which would explain any reluctance to accept payment in this form. Also a shop has the right to refuse to sell you any item without giving a reason for refusing.
That is a load of rubbish, Wily

The reason bus drivers used to refuse to take loads of change was because they had to count it all at the end of the day, nothing to do with legal tender. There are counting machines now so it makes no difference how much coinage they have. In fact they are far more likely to refuse notes because the machines are so temperamental at accepting them.

That was your company policy, wily, not the law.
Nowt to do with company policy either, dzug

It's one of those urban myth rumours circulated amongst drivers and used on passengers when the driver is being an a-hole!

Certainly the company I worked for, my other half works for and my dad worked for has never had a policy about how many coins you can accept for a single fare. Even coppers.

Only company policy with regard to money they can't accept is the �50 note as the machines to count your money does not recognise them.

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