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How to legally cancel your TV Licence and get a £159 refund before price rise in April

How to legally cancel your TV Licence and get a £159 refund before price rise in April

The price goes up soon

If you watch TV in the UK, there’s a good chance that you need a TV licence - but if you’ve been paying for one you don’t actually need you're able to claim a refund for up to two years.

The TV licence is currently £159 for standard colour per year. It's set to go up in price in April this year and will then cost £169.50.

When do you need a TV Licence?

In the UK, to watch any live TV broadcasts residents must have a TV licence - this includes watching live TV through a streaming service such as Amazon Prime Video or BBC iPlayer as well as via TV channels and services such as ITV, Channel 4 and Sky.

And that doesn’t just mean live events such as sport and news, but also dramas, documentaries, soaps and films - if you’re watching them as they are broadcast.

And anyone found to be watching live TV without a TV licence could be hit with a maximum fine of up to £1,000.

Most Brits need a TV licence.
Getty Stock Image

When do you not need a TV Licence?

The TV Licence site explains: “You don’t need a TV Licence if you only ever download or watch on demand or catch up programmes on services other than BBC iPlayer. You also don’t need a licence to watch S4C TV on demand.

“You do need a licence to use BBC iPlayer, on any device.”

And if you’ve been paying for a licence you don’t actually need, you can be refunded.

How to get a refund for your TV Licence

You could be eligible for a refund if:

  • You move to an address which already has a TV licence.
  • You move abroad.
  • You transfer your existing TV licence to someone else.
  • You move into a care home.
  • You no longer watch ANY live TV on ANY channel, TV service or streaming service (including live content on streaming sites such as YouTube).

The TV licensing website says: "You can apply for a refund if:

  • You won’t need your licence again before it expires, and you have at least one complete month left on it AND
  • Your licence expired less than two years ago*.

*If you’re eligible for an over 75 or blind concession, you can apply at any time and for any length of time left on your licence."

You can get a refund if you’re eligible.

The TV licence website adds: “You can apply for a refund up to 14 days before the date you no longer need the TV Licence. If your licence has already expired, you can apply if less than two years have passed since the expiry date.”

How to cancel your TV Licence

You can cancel your TV Licence online. The process is usually sorted with 21 days and, if approved, your refund will land directly into your bank account, or you can receive a cheque, if you’d prefer.

You can find out more here.

Featured Image Credit: Getty Stock Photo/

Topics: TV and Film, UK News