Cardtronics UK Ltd and others v Sykes and others (Valuation Officers) [2020] UKSC 21 full judgment available here:

The Supreme Court has dismissed the appeal of the Valuation Office and agreed with the ruling by the Court of Appeal in November 2018 that none of the 4 types of automated teller machines (ATMs) was rateably occupied separately from the shops and therefore are not liable for separate business rates. The respondents consisted of some of the UK largest retailers, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Co-op.

The ATMs in the case were installed and operated not directly by the retailers but under contractual arrangements with third parties. The case distinguished between external ATMS, internal ATMs, convenience store ATMs and moveable ATMs.

Sources believe that this ruling will cost the Valuation Office £430m in repaying the business rates charged on ATMs since 2010.

The process the Valuation Office will implement in connection with such refunds is yet to be confirmed.

The ruling will be welcomed by not only retailers but also by communities. A study by Which? research in 2018 identified more than 200 communities in Britain with poor ATM provision or no cash machines at all. It will also be interesting to see whether card machine fees will be affected.

If you have queries concerning this case or would like to discuss your business rates liability please contact Simon Walker of our Commercial Property team on 01264 721 705 or