The ‘new and improved’ five pound notes were released into circulation in September 2016 and you now have just a few weeks left to spend the old ones before they become worthless.

On May 5 2017 the old fashioned cotton paper notes will no longer be legal tender, which means you won’t be able to buy anything with them.

The Bank of England has estimated that the number of old notes in circulation has already halved – but that means there are still around 165million out there to be spent before they are completely phased out.

Ealing Times:

What happens if you haven’t spent your old £5 note by 5 May 2017?

By this point you won’t be able to spend them in shops or restaurants.

If you want to swap the old notes over for new tender you will have to make the trip into a bank, building society or Post Office.

It is possible that a high street bank will stop exchanging them after the cut-off date but The Bank of England is legally obliged to.

What should I do if I am handed one in a shop?

Shops have now been told not to hand over old £5 notes as change to customers.

If you are offered one in a shop, try simply asking the assistant to swap it for a new note or coins if a new note isn’t available.

But you shouldn’t panic if you do accidentally accept one as the following point proves it won’t be the end of the world.

Will there be a point when I can never exchange the old £5 note for new currency?

No, in theory you should always be able to exchange it with The Bank of England.

Bank of England notes keep their face value for all time, so don’t panic if you find one in the pocket of an old pair of jeans, there’s always time!

What happens to the £5 notes when they are withdrawn?

Those eco-friendly chaps over at the bank intend to recycle the old paper fivers using a composting treatment.

Will the Bank of England be releasing any other new notes?

There are plans to release a new £10 note this summer, which will feature classic British author Jane Austen.

This will be followed in three years time by a new £20 note which will feature the British painter JMW Turner.