Last Updated: March 29, 2023
Do you have a cheque that needs cashing? There are several ways to do this in the UK, but not all methods are created equal. Some are faster and more convenient, but they all come with a price tag.
In this guide on how to cash a cheque in the UK, we will walk you through the different cheque cashing methods and explain how each one works. We’ll also tell you how much it costs to use each method so that you can choose the best option for your needs!
What Is Cheque Cashing and How Does it Work?
In simple terms, cheque cashing is an alternative to banking. When you cash a cheque, you are essentially selling the cheque to a third party in exchange for cash. The amount of cash you receive will be less than the value of the cheque, as you’ll have to pay a small fee for exchanging it for cash.
When you take your cheque to a cheque cashing provider, they will verify the cheque and confirm that it is genuine. Once they have done this, they will give you cash for the amount of the cheque minus their fee. It’s that simple!
However, there are a few things to keep in mind when cashing a cheque. First, you will need to have some form of identification with you, as most cheque cashing providers will not cash a cheque without it.
Additionally, the provider may place a hold on the funds from the cheque until it clears, which can take up to five business days. And, as we mentioned before, the provider will charge a fee for their service.
Now that you know how cheque cashing works, let’s look at the different ways you can do it in the UK.
How to Cash a Cheque in the UK
The most common way to cash a cheque is by going to your local bank or building society. Most banks will allow you to cash a cheque for free if you have an account with them. If you aren’t an account holder, they may still cash the cheque but will charge you a fee.
Another option is to use a cheque cashing provider. These providers will charge a fee for their service, but they may be more convenient than going to your bank.
Many large retailers in the UK, such as supermarkets and department stores, also offer cheque cashing services. One of the main benefits of cashing a cheque at a retailer is that they usually have more cash on hand, allowing you to cash a large cheque quickly.
You can use a cheque cashing ATM if you need to get a hold of your money fast and don’t mind paying a bit extra for the convenience. These machines will allow you to cash cheques without having to go through a bank or provider.
Finally, you can always ask a friend or family member to cash the cheque. This is usually the cheapest option, as most people will not charge a fee for cashing a cheque. However, it is essential to remember that not everyone has a bank account or access to cheque cashing services, so this may not be an option for some people.
Can I Cash a Cheque at the Post Office UK?
Luckily, you can cash a cheque at the Post Office in the UK. One of the benefits of using the Post Office to cash your cheque is that they have a vast network of branches, so you should be able to find one close to you.
Additionally, the Post Office is typically open during regular business hours, so it is easy to cash your cheque during your lunch break or after work.
Remember to bring a valid photo ID when you cash your cheque. You should also keep in mind that the Post Office may place a limit on how much money you can withdraw per day.
Which Cheques Are Available for Cashing?
Most types of cheques can be cashed, including:
- Personal cheques
- Business cheques
- Government cheques
- Payroll cheques
- Benefit cheques
- Insurance cheques
- Lottery cheques
However, there are a few exceptions. For example, you cannot cash a post-dated cheque until the date on the cheque arrives.
Additionally, cheques don’t have an expiration date, but in practice, you may have difficulty cashing a cheque at a bank if it is older than six months. So, if going to the bank is your preferred method of cashing a cheque, don’t wait until the last minute to get your money.
How to Write a Cheque in the UK
If you want to write a cheque in the UK, you must hold a bank account. Furthermore, you will need the correct amount of money in your name. On top of that, the cheque has to be valid and error-free, so be sure to fill it out correctly.
To fill out the cheque, write the date, the payee’s full name, and the amount of money in pounds sterling. Of course, it goes without saying that you must sign the cheque, or the payee won’t be able to exchange it for cash.
Once you have filled out the cheque, you can give it to the payee. They will then take it to their bank and deposit it into their account.
Writing a cheque is a simple process, but it is essential to do it correctly. Double-check the date, the payee’s name, and the amount of money before signing the cheque. Being extra careful will ensure that the cheque is processed smoothly and without any problems.
How Much Does it Cost to Cash a Cheque?
The average fee for cashing a cheque in the UK is around £1–£6 per cheque. However, this will vary depending on how you cash the cheque.
For example, banks typically charge less than cheque cashing providers. Additionally, some methods (such as using a cheque cashing ATM) may be more expensive than others.
Some service providers will charge you a percentage fee. It’s advisable to avoid these cheque cashing services, especially if you have a larger cheque.
How to Find the Best Cheque Cashing Service Provider
When looking for a cheque cashing provider, there are a few things you should keep in mind, so let’s discuss them.
- Convenience: Cashing a cheque should be convenient. So, it would be best to find a service provider that is located close to where you live or work.
- Fees: Compare the fees charged by different providers. You don’t want to pay more than you have to, so calculate how much money you’ll have after paying the fees.
- Trust: Ensure the provider you choose is reputable and trustworthy.
One of the best ways to find a reputable cheque cashing provider is to ask around. Talk to your friends, family, and co-workers and see if they have any recommendations. You can also check online forums and review sites to see what others say about different providers.
How Long Does a Cheque Take to Clear in the UK?
It typically takes around two to three business days for a cheque to clear in the UK. However, this will vary depending on the bank and the type of cheque. For example, personal cheques typically take longer to clear than business cheques. That is because banks must verify the funds before releasing the money.
If you need your money quickly, you can ask the person or business who issued the cheque to write “for deposit only” on the back of the cheque. Surprisingly, this will speed up the process, as it tells the bank that they can release the funds as soon as they receive the cheque.
You can also ask the payer to use a “guaranteed” or “certified” cheque. These types of cheques are typically processed more quickly, as they are guaranteed by the bank. However, these cheques can be more expensive, so compare the fees before choosing this option.
Finally, you can always cash the cheque at a cheque cashing provider. These providers typically have a rapid turnaround time, as they do not have to verify the funds before releasing the money.
Note: some banks may offer a faster clearing service for an additional fee.
Pros and Cons of Cheque Cashing
Cheque cashing offers several advantages. For example:
- It is a convenient way to get your money.
- It is typically quick and easy to do.
- It can be less expensive than other methods of cashing a cheque (such as using a bank).
However, there are also some disadvantages to consider.
- You will have to pay a fee to cash the cheque.
- You may have to wait a few days for the funds to be available.
- Some people may find it challenging to locate a reputable cheque cashing provider.
When deciding whether or not to cash a cheque, be sure to weigh the pros and cons carefully. A calculated decision will help you find the most convenient method and avoid hefty fees.
Now that you know how to cash a cheque in the UK, it’s time to find a provider that offers these services. Be sure to compare the fees and services before you choose a provider, as this will help you find the best deal. Finally, keep in mind that it typically takes two to three business days for a cheque to clear. Thanks for reading!
Some service providers allow you to pay with checks online via their mobile banking apps. Essentially, you will have to take a picture of your cheque, and the app will read the details on the paper and put the exact amount into your account.
Online cheque cashing is relatively new, but it’s safer than going to unauthorized businesses to exchange a cheque for the money.
You can cash a cheque online in a few minutes. First, you’ll need to locate the account to which you want to deposit your cheque. Then, follow the instructions provided by the bank, and take a picture of your cheque using the app. The app will then scan the cheque and deposit money into your account.
If you don’t have a bank account, you can go to a cheque cashing provider or an ATM. Another option is to find a retailer who offers cheque cashing services.