How to cancel your TV Licence and ask for a refund – are you eligible for money back?

BBC: Public share their views on TV licence fee

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The current TV licence fee is frozen at £159 for the next two years, following this freeze it will begin rising with inflation each year. There are various reasons why a person may need to cancel their TV Licence, such as if they don’t watch or record live TV on any channel or device, and they don’t watch or download BBC programmes on BBC iPlayer any more.

Britons need a TV licence in order to watch or record live broadcasts regardless of the channel, country of origin or language of broadcast. 

BBC iPlayer users also need a licence to watch any on-demand content on the service. 

These programmes don’t necessarily need to be watched on a TV as the licence covers a variety of devices such as mobile phones, laptops and game consoles. 

However, there are certain circumstances that would entitle Britons to a refund or discounted licence fee. 

Households that don’t watch or record live TV programmes or BBC programmes on iPlayer do not need a TV licence. 

This means that households only watching pre-recorded programmes or using on-demand services like Netflix and YouTube do not need a licence. 

Residents that are moving to an address that already has a licence or are moving abroad or into a care home may need to cancel their licences too. 

TV Licensing explains that households that do not need a licence must let them know either through the website, by calling or writing to them.

This may stop TV Licensing sending a letter to their home encouraging them to purchase a licence.

TV Licensing may still send licensing officers to these homes to ensure that the residents are not illegally watching licensable content. 

Doing so can result in a fine of up to £1,000 with Guernsey residents facing a potential £2,000 fine. 

To cancel a licence Britons must contact the phone number found on the TV Licensing website depending on how they pay for their licence.

For people who pay with a TV Licensing payment card (cash plan), the number is 0300 555 0286.

If people pay by Direct Debit, they should call 0300 790 0368.

Calls to TV Licensing’s 0300 numbers cost no more than a national rate call to an 01 or 02 number, whether from a mobile or landline. 

If a person gets inclusive minutes, calls to an 0300 number will be included free of charge.

Britons who are cancelling their licence at least one whole month before it expires could be due a refund. 

Britons may be asked for evidence to support their request for a refund. 

TV Licensing calculates the amount of refund one receives based on when their licence was issued, when it expires and when the licence holder will no longer need it. 

Additionally, the following Britons could be due a discounted or free TV licence:

  • Aged 75 or over and receiving Pension Credit
  • Blind or severely sight impaired
  • Living in a care home or supported housing.

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