Europe: Paying with cash? Find out the legal limits before doing so

Europe: Paying by cash? Find out the legal limits before doing soThe rules and practices for paying for goods and services in Europe vary from country to country. Certain countries impose limits, others don’t. To clarify the situation, the European Consumer Centre has published a detailed report and map showing countries that have a cap on cash payments, countries where there is no regulatory limit but where restrictions are imposed and countries that have no limit.

For example, in France the cash payment limit is €3,000 (for residents) and no one can refuse payment up to that sum. However, a merchant is entitled to refuse payment if the payee wants to make the payment with more than 50 coins. On the other hand a merchant can refuse payment in anything but cash up to the authorised ceiling of €3,000.


European Cash-Payment Limits



Cash Payment Limit


Fiscal residents €3,000 (non-residents €15,000)

Germany, Malta, Cyprus, Slovenia, Iceland, Austria, Lithuania

No limit

Finland, Estonia

No limit with some restrictions on number of coins and value of bank notes


No limit between consumers. €1,000 limit between a consumer and professional.


€5,000 between professionals and between a professional and consumer. €15,000 between consumers/private individuals.

Czech Republic

Approx. €14,000/day


Fiscal residents €2,500 (€15,000 non-residents).


10,000 lev (about €5,130)


€3,000 (Note: cash payment for property is now prohibited from January 2014.)




No limit. However: the payee may be jointly liable if the professional being paid does not pay tax and VAT on the sale price.


No Limit. However: payment must be made in £5, £10, £20 and £50 notes. Notes from England and Wales may not be accepted in Scotland or Northern Ireland and conversely notes of the same denomination from Scotland and Northern Ireland may not be accepted in England and Wales. Some limits to payments in coins.


Note: a professional or merchant does not have to accept cash provided the limit is clearly indicated before the sale is made.



Source: European Consumer Centre France (if a country is not listed, it is because data was not available).