Do you need to pay for a TV Licence?

Last year, the automatic entitlement for free TV licences for all aged over 75 was scrapped and anyone not in receipt of pension credit now has to pay for their TV licence.

There has been a transition period which has meant anyone who hadn’t initially bought a licence would not be given a penalty charge.  This has now ended and so now if you haven’t bought a licence you could be prosecuted – although the BBC has said it will be arranging ‘customer care’ support visits initially.

If you are over 75 and not receiving Pension Credit, you will need to pay for your TV Licence, it currently costs £159 a year but there are a number of instalment options.  See 

If you get Pension Credit and are over 75 it continues to be free but you do have to apply for it:

If you are under 75, nothing has changed and you still need to buy your licence.

You need a TV licence to watch or record live programmes on any television channel in the UK or if you’re watching something live using an online streaming service on any type of device.

If you are over state pension age and not receiving Pension Credit, it is worth checking if you might be entitled to it, you can find out more at You can use the online Pension Credit calculator which will provide you with an indication of how much you might get.