We tried to destroy the new £5 note
So, you might have heard that there's a new piece of currency on the scene, a new plastic polymer five pound note.
Other countries around the world have been using polymer notes for years now, and we've been pretty slow on the uptake to get rid of our paper money, but by 2020 all fives, tens and twenties will be the new plastic style. So get used to it!
From today (Tue 13 Sep) new fivers will start being dispensed from ATMs around the country, but if you want a guaranteed new plastic £5 RIGHT NOW, the only way to do it is to pop to the Bank of England in the City of London and swap some old money.
Which is what we did. The Bank of England, by the way, looks disappointingly like a normal bank on the inside :(
Now, this new plastic cash is supposed to be sleeker, it's 15% smaller than the old note, as well as waterproof, more hard wearing and more difficult to counterfeit.
We wanted to put these claims to the test, it's definitely smaller and sleeker, the £30 we swapped at the bank looked like a lot more money than the tiny pile of new fivers we got in return. As for counterfeiting, the note has a transparent window that would probably be hard to recreate, so both of those claims seem pretty legit to us.
But we just had to find out how waterproof and hard wearing these notes truly are.
First of all we had a few members of the SMS team try and pull it apart with their bare hands.
Two out of three of us could only stretch the edges a bit, but Will managed to rip it in two. Scissors cut straight through it in no time.
Next, we decided to run it over with a pink Vespa, because we could, basically...
It survived - but how good was my precision driving tho?
We sort of tried everything else then, we got it wet, set it on fire, left it in a cup of tea for a bit, and shoved it in the dishwasher, we wanted to bake it into a cake, but our office is oven-less.
We dunked the new £5 in tea then burnt it. pic.twitter.com/hq3T5E1bR3— Student Money Saver (@studentmoneysvr) September 13, 2016
The verdict: please DON'T set your money on fire. It didn't exactly go up like a match but it definitely will set on fire if you put a lighter to it (good news for any Oxbridge students completing a money-burning in front of a homeless person society initiation ceremony).
You can definitely stir your cup of tea with it, though, then stick it in the dishwasher afterwards if you fancy. Who needs cutlery when you can just use MONEY!
Want to see everything we did to destroy the new fiver in one go? Check out the video of everything we did:
What do you reckon of the new fiver, then?