Thursday, 7 August 2014

{Ask Mary} What is a TV License?


Kate G. asked:: "A TV License??"


You must have a TV License in the UK if you watch or record programmes on a TV, computer or other device as they're broadcast. A TV license (or broadcast receiving license) is mainly used to fund the BBC.

The cost per household is £145.50 (£49 for black and white tv sets) per year. You can pay weekly, monthly, quarterly or yearly.

You can be fined up to £1,000 if you watch or record live television without a TV License.

When I first moved here I thought this was the dumbest tax I had ever heard of. I still think that.  But, along with the license you receive all the BBC channels/radio stations and a handful of other channels. It's like basic cable accept they make you pay for it. We could just not have a TV, computer, tablet or mobile in the home. Don't think I haven't considered it!  Now it is just part of our budget and I don't notice.

I don't want you to be fined so when you move to the UK you must obtain a TV License ASAP.

You can get one here::

ps. There are some great discussions/comments on my Facebook page about this. Great insight!


  1. Whoa! That is interesting. And crazy. So if we aren't planning on having a TV set in the flat, but want to use our computer to stream Netflix or websites that air past episodes, do we still have to get a license for that?

    1. Hi Becki. Licences aren't needed for tellies, computers etc - you can have hundreds of these without needing a licence. You only need a licence to allow you to watch or record LIVE tv. This is something misunderstood by a lot of people, including many Brits. Check out the TV Licensing FAQs for very detailed information on what you can and can't do....

      Watching Netflix is specifically mentioned and they say that you don't need a licence to cover this activity, however you watch it. Happy viewing!


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