TV Licence Fees 2020
The annual TV licensing fee is due to increase again from 1st April 2020. In addition, the TV licence will no longer be free for over-75s from then.
How much does a TV Licence cost in 2020?
Currently, a TV Licence costs £154.50 in total for one year. From April 2020, renewed TV Licences will then increase to £157.50 for the year. This £3 increase is due to the government setting the fee to rise with inflation every year until 2022. For those who pay for a TV Licence in instalments, the new fee works out at £3.02 per week or £13.13 a month.
TV Licence holders should receive a reminder by letter whenever their licence is due for renewal. If your TV Licence is due for renewal up until 31st March 2020, it is important to renew on time to avoid the new fee. You will only pay the current rate of £154.50 for the next year instead.
The same applies to new TV Licences if you buy them before this date. However, any TV Licences bought or renewed from 1st April 2020 onwards will be charged at the new rate of £157.50 for the next year.
Who can get a free TV Licence in 2020?
When the new fee comes into effect, so does a rule change which is abolishing free TV licences for over-75-year-olds. Unfortunately, this means that around 3.7 million pensioners will now have to pay for a TV Licence at the new rate in order to watch television legally. The BBC is scrapping the free TV licences because the annual cost is far too high.
However, those who are over 75 and claiming Pension Credit should still be eligible for a free TV Licence due to their low income. The Age UK charity is urging pensioners to check whether they are eligible to get Pension Credit, as only 3/5 people who can claim this benefit actually do so. To receive Pension Credit you must earn no more than £167.25 per week, or £255.25 a week for couples. Otherwise, you must pay the fee.
What if I do not pay for a TV Licence?
Non-payment of the TV Licence fee is a criminal offence, and compliance is enforced through the courts. The government will be negotiating with the BBC to decide whether or not to decriminalise non-payment of TV Licences from 2022. Until then, failing to pay is still breaking the law.
You only need to buy a TV Licence each year if you watch programmes broadcast on TV or record them, or download or stream programmes through iPlayer. A valid TV Licence allows the household to legally access national TV channels and radio channels, plus BBC iPlayer, the BBC Sounds app, and TV and radio websites. If you do not use these services, then you don’t need to have a TV Licence and can avoid paying.