Travellers abroad could be losing out when it comes to exchanging their currency depending on where they bought their notes in the UK, research by a consumer organisation suggests.
Which? magazine exchanged £500 at currency exchange shops in 10 different places in Britain on a particular day in March and discovered “significant” differences in the number of euros they were given.
In London and Glasgow, Which? researchers were given 578.50 euros, but they only received 565 euros in Birmingham, Haverfordwest and Sheffield.
Researchers found their best Thomas Cook offer of the day in Sheffield at 585 euros, while it found the worst Thomas Cook offer was in Manchester at 553.80 euros – a difference of more than £25 that could be used to cover airport transfers to or from an airport.
Marks & Spencer, however, gave the same currency exchange rates throughout the UK and Sainsbury’s also offered very similar amounts in all their branches tested. According to Which? there were also occasional, but uncommon, differences in the amounts offered at different branches of Asda and Tesco.
The consumer organisation urged holidaymakers to shop around for their currency exchange rates, as there were considerable variations in the amounts given by internet and central London outlets across eight weeks.
Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd, said: “Holidays don’t come cheap and these anomalies don’t help hard-pressed consumers. Currency providers need to make sure their rates are consistent to ensure a fair deal for everyone.”