How much is the TV Licence fee?

In April, the TV Licence fee will rise by £1.50.

BBC logo

The TV Licence fee is rising again this year in accordance with the government’s plan first announced in 2016, which outlined that the payment would rise in line with inflation until 2022.


That means that anyone buying or renewing a licence after 1st April 2021 will pay the new fee, £159, which is an increase from the previously set level of £157.50.

People who are paying for their current licence in instalments and those who buy a new licence before 1st April 2021 will continue receiving the lower price until the time comes for them to renew.

The licence fee equates to 43p per day and funds the BBC’s varied services including nine national TV channels, regional programming, BBC iPlayer, BBC News, 10 national radio stations, 40 local radio stations and the BBC Sounds app.

How much is over 75 TV Licence?

Last year, the controversial news broke that most people over the age of 75 will have to start paying for their TV Licence, as the BBC cannot afford to fund the government scheme any longer.

The £745 million price tag attached to the free licence policy would have resulted in the closures of BBC Two, BBC Four, the BBC News Channel, BBC Scotland, Radio 5 Live and several local radio stations.

As a result, most over-75s will now need to pay the full licence fee, which will come at a cost of £159 from 1st April 2021, however there are opportunities to apply for discounts and free licences.

Who qualifies for a free TV Licence?

If you are aged 75 or over and receiving Pension Credit, you are eligible to apply for a free TV Licence, but these will no longer be assigned automatically.

The Pension Credit can be in the name of the licence holder themselves or in the name of their partner, so long as they are living at the same address.

Chairman Sir David Clementi clarified in a statement that the corporation does not have final say on who can be awarded a free licence: “Critically, it is not the BBC making that judgement about poverty. It is the government who sets and controls that measure.”

For an application form, call TV licensing on 0300 790 6117 or visit their website.

TV Licence discounts

People who are registered as blind or living with a severe sight impairment can claim a 50 per cent discount on their TV licence, but official documentation will be required as proof of the condition.

This can include a CVI (Certificate of Visual Impairment), BD8 Certificate, or a certificate issued by a Local Authority or Ophthalmologist.

An Accommodation for Residential Care (ARC) licence is charged at just £7.50 and may be an option if you live in a residential care home, supported housing or sheltered accommodation.

Retirees applying for an ARC licence must be 60 years old or over and working no more than 15 hours per week, while the concession is also available to those living with serious disability (see the TV Licensing website for full criteria).

What TV can I watch without a Licence?

You cannot watch live television from any broadcaster in the UK without a TV licence, no matter whether you are watching on a television set or other device.

Likewise, a TV licence is required to watch or download BBC programmes from the iPlayer online service.

However, you do not need a licence if you are only watching on-demand or catch-up on other, non-BBC services.


Looking for something to watch? Check out our TV Guide to see what’s on tonight.