Save £145.50 a year by not paying for a TV licence
By Kelly Henderson (follow Kelly on Twitter: @kellythekiwi)
I have heard a lot of different theories about how to avoid paying your TV licence – tuning out BBC channels and only watching TV on your laptop or tablet are two of them. But neither of these theories is entirely correct. This is my guide to avoid paying the TV licence and saving £145.50 a year in the process.
#1 If you only watch catch-up TV you do not need a TV licence
You only need to have a TV licence if you watch shows as they are being shown on television (live TV). If you have a TV but only use it to watch catch-up TV (BBC iPlayer, ITV Player or 4oD) then you do not need a TV licence.
If you record a program to watch later then you will still need a TV license – it doesn’t matter how they are recorded or when they are watched. This is because you are recording them as they are shown on live TV.
#2 People signed up to a TV/film subscription service do not need a TV license
There are a number of online film/TV services that you need to pay a subscription for. Two of the most popular are Amazon Instant Video and Netflix. If you pay for these services or watch TV for free on YouTube then you will not need a TV licence. This is because you are not watching the programmes as they are being shown on live TV.
#3 Students can get a refund on their TV licence
If you are a student who goes home for the summer then you can get a refund for the months that your TV will not be getting used – this could be about £37. It is not an automatic process so make sure you check out the TV licensing website to find out how to apply.
#4 Clearing up some TV licensing misconceptions
A number of people have told me that if I do not watch BBC channels, I will not need a licence. This is not correct. You need a TV licence regardless of which channel you are watching and which device you are using to watch the shows. That means that if you are watching live TV through your computer or smart phone, you will still need a TV licence.
If you pay for a TV service such as Sky or Virgin Media then you will also need a TV licence, the same applies for pay-per-view content. It doesn’t matter how receive the shows, or if you have already paid for them, if you are watching live TV at the same time as everybody else, then you will need to pay.
#5 Cancelling your TV licence
I personally watch too much live TV to even consider not paying for my TV licence, but if you are one of the growing number of people who only watch catch-up TV then find out how to cancel your licence and apply for TV licence refund. But please be careful, the fine for not having a TV licence when you should have one could be up to £1000.
FIW: The cost for a TV licence is £145.50 for colour and £49.00 for a black and white TV signal.
You may also want to check out our post on the best ways to save money on household bills for more handy tips.