Currency in the UK
Planning to zip over to the UK?
Currency needs to be on your to do list. Here is some general information about the Great British Pound (GBP) and some tips and tricks on how to get the best deal on your conversion from AUD to GBP.
Before you head off, learn about:
- What UK notes and coins look like
- Can you use Australian Dollars in the UK?
- How to buy Pounds before your trip
- How to buy currency when you get to the UK
What British notes and coins look like
GBP notes are set up a little differently to us in Australia, because they don't have a £100 note. UK notes are made up of:
£5, £10, £20, £50
There are quite a few coins in the UK currency. 1 pence (p) is like a cent in Australia, 100 pence make up £1. The coins in circulation in the UK are:
1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, £1, £2
Can you use Australian Dollars in the UK?
No, you can't.
While Australia is part of the Commonwealth, you cannot use Australian dollars in the UK. Just like you can't use Pounds here! The rest of this article has some information about how you can convert currency for your holiday.
Is it cheaper to convert currency in Australia or the UK?
Because exchange rates change so frequently, and every provider offers different rates it's hard to say the cheapest way and place to exchange currency.
When you're travelling to a popular place like the UK you can often get good exchange rates when you get there, because Australian travellers go there frequently. This means money exchangers in the UK are happy to trade between the AUD and GBP currencies.
Both in Australia and in the UK, steer clear of exchanging currency at the airport. In both places, the rates will be much worse than in the city centres.
To find the best place to buy GBP, you can read our guide here.
How to buy British currency before your trip
This is a convenient way to buy currency but you need some time. You can choose where to pick the order up from, and in some instances can get home delivery. When you order with Travelex, you can choose to order cash, a prepaid Travelex Money Card or both!
Use code CURRENCYSHOP to get a better GBP rate with Travelex.
This is the best way to get currency quickly. You will find them in major shopping centres and towns. Our tip, is that the exchange rates are better in your CBD than what you'd find further out. So it can be worth going there if you're exchanging more than $2,000.
Find the best currency exchange in your states CBD here.
Most banks do exchange currency. The issue is that they often have high fees, and don't offer very good rates. It's always better to compare rates elsewhere before deciding, but as a standard rule it's best to avoid your bank. Especially for a popular currency like GBP.
Yes, you can buy currency at the airport. But that doesn't mean you should. While it's convenient, it's also very expensive. If you have run out of time before your trip, it's definitely better to buy currency when you get to London, or use your Aussie debit card instead.
How to buy British Pounds in the UK
f you decide to buy your currency when you get to the UK, the first thing you'll need to do is make sure you have Australian dollars in cash. This way you can exchange it when you get there.
Similar to doing it in Australia, it's best to avoid buying currency at the airport and the bank, and better to do it in one of the major city centres.
You can use this link to find Travelex stores in the United Kingdom