TV licensing costs
Caring often brings unexpected costs and it can be difficult to keep track of standard bills. We provide information about TV licensing costs and discounts with details on how to apply or renew your licence.
Who needs a TV licence?
You must have a TV Licence if you watch or record programmes on any channel on a TV, computer or other device as they’re broadcast, and if you download or watch BBC programmes on iPlayer. It currently costs £159 for 12 months.
Who is entitled to a free TV licence?
The rules have changed recently meaning that a TV licence is no longer free to everyone who is 75 and older. To be entitled to a free TV licence, you must be at least 75 and you/a partner living with you must be receiving Pension Credit.
How do I apply?
You can apply online or by phone (0300 790 6112). It is a good idea to have your National Insurance number to refer to in order to prove your age.
If you do not have your National Insurance number to hand, you should call TV Licensing on 0300 790 6112 to arrange for another way to prove your age.
Discounts if you’re blind or severely sight impaired
You may be able to get a 50% discount if you’re registered blind or severely sight impaired, or live with someone who is. The licence has to be in the name of the person who is blind or severely sight-impaired. If it isn’t already, they need to call TV Licensing on 0300 790 6112 to transfer their name onto the existing licence.
To apply for this discount, you will need to complete a form and post documents that prove you’re certified as blind or severely sight impaired (but make a copy and keep the original documents). For more information, including the address to send them to, visit this TV licensing website page.
Discounts if you’re in residential care
You can get a special licence for £7.50 if you are in residential care and one of the following applies:
- you are retired and over 60
- you are disabled.
The manager of the residential care home can apply on someone else’s behalf. You can find further information about this discount on the TV Licensing website.
Ways to pay your TV licence
A TV licence currently costs £159 for 12 months. The TV Licensing website also offers guidance on the different ways you can pay for your TV Licence. If you do have to pay, it can be paid in stages and not all in one go, depending on what would suit your situation.