TV Licence UK: Do I need a TV Licence, how much does it cost, what can I watch without one, how can I cancel and what are the potential fines?

Following last week’s news that almost two million people stopped paying their licence fee last year, here’s everything you need to know if you are thinking of cancelling yours and whether you will be breaking the law.

By Jon Peake
Wednesday, 20th July 2022, 1:28 pm
Updated Wednesday, 20th July 2022, 1:28 pm

If you’re in the category of people who think that you don’t need a TV Licence as long as you don’t watch anything on the BBC, you’re wrong. Here’s what you need to know ...

Do I need a TV Licence?

You need a TV Licence to watch programmes LIVE on any TV service - such as terrestrial TV, Sky, Virgin and BT, plus ITV Hub, All 4, Amazon Prime Video and Now TV.

Do you know the rules around TV licensing?

I have more than one TV, do I need a licence for all of them?

No, only one is required per household.

What can I watch without a TV Licence?

You don't need a TV Licence if you only ever watch on demand programmes on any TV service, apart from BBC iPlayer.

How much could I be fined if I watch live TV without a licence?

You are breaking the law and will be fined if you:

Watch or record programmes as they're being shown on TV or live on an online TV service.

Download or watch BBC programmes on BBC iPlayer – live, catch up or on demand.

This applies to any device or provider you use, including a TV, desktop computer, laptop, mobile phone, tablet, games console, digital box or DVD/Blu-Ray/VHS recorder.

You could be prosecuted if you have been watching, recording or downloading programmes illegally. The maximum penalty is a £1,000 fine plus any legal costs and/or compensation you may be ordered to pay.

How much is a TV Licence?

A standard TV Licence costs £159. You can spread the payments over 12 months.

Are there any concessions?

If you’re aged 74 and over and you, or your partner living at the same address receive Pension Credit, you could get a free licence.

If you live in a care home or sheltered accommodation you may be able to pay a discounted fee of £7.50.

If you’re blind (severely sight impaired) you can apply to pay half of the licence fee (£79.50).

A black and white licence costs £53.50

Where can I get a TV Licence?

You can get a new licence or renew your current licence here.

You can also pay for your TV Licence at a PayPoint using cash or a debit card. Just tell the person behind the counter that you want to pay for a TV Licence. They will ask for your name, address and postcode. If you are renewing your TV Licence, show them the reminder you should have been sent in the post.

Find your nearest PayPoint here.

How can I cancel my TV Licence?

There are full details on how to get refunds, move your licence to a new address or cancel online via the TV Licensing website.