How to set-up your TV license


In this guide

How much does a TV licence cost?

As of May 2018, a TV license now costs:

  • Colour/live streaming: £150.50
  • Black and white: £50.50

A TV Licence covers you by law to watch or record programmes on any channel as they are being shown on TV or live on an online TV service, and to download or watch BBC programmes on iPlayer.

Buy your licence now and it will start today. You’ll then be covered for the rest of this month and 11 months after that.

You can be fined up to £1000 if you watch or record live TV without a TV Licence.

What is covered under a TV licence?

A single TV Licence covers all of the following in a single property:

  • TV sets (live)
  • Computers (live/streaming)
  • Laptops (live/streaming)
  • Tablets (live/streaming)
  • Mobile phones (live/streaming)

What can you watch without a TV licence

  • On demand – including catch-up TV such as All 4, ITV Player, My5 , BT Vision, Virgin Media, Sky Go, Now TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku
  • On demand movies from providers like Sky, Virgin Media, BT Vision, Netflix and Amazon Instant Video
  • Recorded films and programmes either from a disc (e.g. DVD or Blu-ray) or downloaded from the internet
  • On demand internet video clips through services like YouTube.
  • Videos/DVDs/USB content
  • Closed circuit television (CCTV)

How to set-up and pay for you licence

The main ways to pay for a TV licence are.

  • Direct debit/credit card
  • TV licensing payment card
  • Cheque
  • PayPoint

For a full comprehensive list have a look at the TV licensing website.

Direct Debit

Direct debit is the easiest and most popular payment option. With a direct debit, your TV licensing is automatically renewed annually.

TV licensing payment card

A TV licensing payment card gives you flexibility. Rather than one annual payment, you can pay fortnightly or monthly.

You will then receive a payment plan from TV licensing which states what you need to pay and when.


If you’re paying the full annual amount, you can pay by cheque.

  • Payable to TV licensing
  • Use today’s date
  • Write your name and address on the back of the cheque
  • Ensure its signed
  • Use the date signed

For more information and TV licensing’s address, click here


There are over 29,000 UK PayPoints. You will usually find them in newsagents, supermarkets and petrol stations. The establishment will have a sign inside or out like this one.

At a PayPoint you can buy, renew or make payments towards your TV licence.

Find your nearest PayPoint.

What should I do with a TV licence when moving house?

You must inform TV licensing when you move as it does not follow you automatically. You can update your details online. You will need to fill in your last name, TV licence number and postcode.

You will normally be covered if the other person is your partner, family member or joint tenancy or joint mortgage holder. If you’ll be a tenant at the new address, you will need your own licence. In this case you should move your licence to your new address.

Click here to update your details.

What if I move in with someone who already has a TV licence?

You can cancel your licence up to two weeks before you move. You may be eligible for a refund if you have at least one full month left in your licence.

You will have to fill out a short form and TV licensing will probably ask for some evidence to support your request. Find out more about how TV licensing work out refunds.

What should I do if I don’t need a TV licence?

If you’re not planning to watch any live television or stream any content on BBC iPlayer, you legally do not need to pay a TV licence.

Remember it’s not just TVs that play live television – laptops, desktops and mobile phones all possess the capabilities, so think carefully if you watch anything live on any device.

If you do not need a TV licence, you simply tell TV licensing. You declare that you do not and will not watch any live television or download any BBC iPlayer television programmes.

Remember: TV licencing will check that you are not breaking the law. 

Cut the faff – Split The Bills!

TV licencing is another annoying bill in a long line of annoying bills. It gets especially difficult when you have to then split these bills with your housemates! Someone ends up having to be in charge of chasing missed payments (nobody wants to be that person) and everything can end up a bit stressful.

Split The Bills can get rid of that stress by organising all your bills for you! We’re the experts in managing shared house bills for students!

It only costs £1.50 per week!

For your free sixty second quote, click here!