The BBC is reporting that although fee-charging cashpoints (ATM’s) are on the rise, with over 40% of UK cash dispensers now run independently of the bank,s and charging for withdrawls, people are well aware of this, and are avoiding them!
Only 5% of ATM withdrawls are through fee-charging machines. They’re easy enough to spot – pull into a Motorway Service station, see the big orange “CASH POINT IN PETROL STATION” sign, and it’ll be a charging one – the “free” one operated by a bank will be in the main building.
I avoid using the fee-charging ones whenever possible – although I generally plan ahead when I’m getting cash (I don’t carry much normally) so I can get cash out when I’m near a free machine, rather than getting caught out and having no choice but to use a charging one.
It’s also getting more complicated to work out whether a machine will charge you from another bank – it used to be simple – Barclays and Lloyds, or Natwest and HSBC – stick to the chain and you’ll be fine. Now it’s far less clear… I know I won’t be charged by Natwest, Barclays or Abbey machines (I bank with a well known internet bank) so I tend to go with those if I can find one.