Number of vending machines that won't accept new £1 coin

... and what to do if one swallows your change

Credits: Getty Images Europe

Getty Images Europe

The new one pound coin has finally arrived. The 12-sided cash launched on Tuesday. As with pretty much everything in Britain, people are worried. Some are anticipating chaos, because the new change isn't round like the old ones launched in 1983 – now being discontinued.

The Treasury admitted before the £1 coins came into use that it would be "inevitable" that some organisations will not be ready to accept them, at least to begin with.

See also: Tesco forced to unlock trolleys after missing new £1 coin deadline

See also: New 12-sided £1 coin to edge out old round pound

See also: Why it's time to check down the back of the sofa

About 11 of 18 rail operators warn that their ticket machines may encounter difficulties. It's likely that parking will also be a tricky area, possibly betting shops too.

Tesco last week said it would be unlocking thousands of trolleys as they're unable to take the new £1 coin.

And then there are vending machines. It's a horrific situation – paying for a bag of crisps or a cheeky Twirl, only to be let down by dire technology.

How many are affected?

Approximately 15 per cent of Britain's 500,000 vending machines aren't ready for the 12-sided coins – despite a £32 million upgrade. That means 75,000 across the country will be unusable.

The chances of you stumbling upon one unwittingly, then? Pretty high. It's quite possible you'll decide on a quick packet of McCoy's for your journey on the train, only to be let down.

What can you do if you're hit?

Bewilderingly, there's little you can do if you do encounter the worst. The best plan of attack is to note down the number of the vending machine – usually on the front or right-hand side, and call up at a convenient time. Take down the machine's ID, what time you used it, and how much money you lost.

And remember, the vending machine is nearly always owned by a company not affiliated with the premises on which it's located. The train station staff won't be able to help you, for example.

Credits: REUTERS


The British Parking Authority, meanwhile, said that three-quarters of the UK's 100,000 pay and display parking machines would be prepared. There's a "big queue" for modification.

Around 300 million new £1 coins have been issued to cash centres across the UK. They'll be trickling into use for months. The old pound, which was switched due to vulnerability from counterfeiters, will remain in circulation until October 15.

Treasury Minister Lucy Neville Rolfe insisted the Government had worked hard to ensure "as smooth as possible" a changeover.

Lucy said: "This is a giant step forward to help stamp out counterfeit coins and save businesses and the taxpayer millions of pounds every year.

"Today marks the start of a six month transition period so I'd urge everyone to make sure they spend, return or donate their old round pounds before 15 October."

The British Retail Consortium said: "While there will be natural transition period where some vending machines may only be able to accept the existing pound coin, our industry is committed to ensuring we're fully prepared ahead of the launch.

Incredibly valuable coins

Incredibly valuable coins

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