T is for TV Licensing

Date published: 3rd February 2021


Do you need a TV Licence?

The law says you need to be covered by a TV Licence to:

  • Watch or record programmes as they’re being shown on TV, on any channel.
  • Watch or stream programmes live on an online TV service (such as ITV Hub, All 4, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, Now TV, Sky Go, etc.).
  • Download or watch any BBC programmes on iPlayer.

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

You only need one TV Licence per household, even if you use more than one of the devices listed above.

TV Licence types and costs

It currently costs £157.50 for a colour and £53 for a black and white TV Licence. In some cases, you may be entitled to a reduced fee TV Licence (see below).

You can pay for your licence all in one go or spread the cost.

If you are aged 74 or over, you could be entitled to a free licence. Anyone aged 75 or over receiving Pension Credit is eligible to apply for a free TV Licence, paid for by the BBC. Pension Credit can be in the name of the licence holder, or in their partner’s name if they are a couple.

As a resident of a residential care home, supported housing or sheltered accommodation you may be able to benefit from a concessionary TV Licence. This is known as an Accommodation for residential care (ARC) licence. It costs £7.50 per room, flat or bungalow.

You’re entitled to a 50% reduction in your TV Licence fee if you’re blind (severely sight impaired).

Ways to pay for a TV Licence

Yearly | £157.50

With an annual Direct Debit, your licence will be automatically renewed each year.
Make a single payment by debit or credit card. You can also pay by cheque, postal order or BACS, or by taking a debit card or cash to any PayPoint.

Quarterly | from £40.62

Make four Direct Debit payments throughout the year. If you pay this way, each payment will include a £1.25 charge.

Monthly | from £13.13

Pay for your first licence by Direct Debit in six months, at around £26.25 a month. Then pay for the next one in monthly instalments of around £13.12.

If you think you don’t need a TV Licence

  • No TV and not using any device to watch live TV on any channel or TV service, or any BBC programmes on iPlayer?
  • Empty property or unoccupied address?
  • Covered by another licence?

Please contact TV Licensing if you think you don't need a TV Licence.

For information on how to spot a TV Licence Scam visit Helping you avoid TV Licensing scams – and how to report one - TV Licensing

If you have difficulty in paying any ongoing bills or want to discuss any debt issues call our Money Advice helpline on 0345 140 0094, or Text Service for the Deaf Community 0787 2677 904, Monday to Friday, 8.30am – 4pm.



Back to news