Legally, every household is required to have a TV licence if they watch or record live TV but how much does it cost?

Currently, a standard colour TV Licence costs £159 with a black and white licence costing £53.50.

The £159 fee has been frozen for the past two years but it was previously agreed that it would rise in line with inflation after April 2024.

Some Brits are eligible for concessions on the fee for instance, if you are blind (severely sight impaired), you can apply for a 50% concession, so your licence will cost £79.50.

Echo: A colour TV licence currently costs £159 per year. ( PA)A colour TV licence currently costs £159 per year. ( PA) (Image: PA)

Other concessions and arrangements are available, including for people living in certain types of residential care and for over 75s receiving Pension Credit.

There are also different requirements for hospitality businesses and entertainment venues.

They can apply for a licence to cover guest accommodation or mobile units (hotels, hostels, mobile units and campsites).

Entertainment venues such as corporate boxes or sports stadiums also need to apply for a different kind of licence with the cost depending on the number of units or rooms where a licence is needed.

For more information and guidance about the licence types and costs, visit the TV Licensing website.

When do I need a TV Licence?

You do not need a TV Licence to watch:

  • Streaming services like Netflix and Disney Plus
  • On-demand TV through services like All 4 and Amazon Prime Video
  • Videos on websites like YouTube
  • Videos or DVDs

You do need a TV Licence if you:

  • Watch or record live TV on any channel or service
  • Use BBC iPlayer

Can I get a free TV Licence?

For those of us aged 75 or over who are in receipt of Pension Credit, the TV Licence can be obtained for free rather than costing £159.

Guidance from TV Licensing says: “Free TV Licences are only available if you’re 75 or over and you, or your partner living at the same address, are receiving Pension Credit.

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“If you think you’re eligible for a free licence but can’t apply online, please call 0300 790 6117* and speak to one of our advisors to request an application form (our lines are open between 8.30am and 6.30pm, from Monday to Friday).

“Once we’ve received your application it may take a few weeks to process. If there are any problems we’ll write to let you know. We may also call you if you have given us your phone number.

“There are separate arrangements in place for over 75s on the Isle of Man, the Bailiwick of Jersey and the Bailiwick of Guernsey.”