How To Cancel Your TV Licence in 2022

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With so many more options available for watching TV shows and films, people up and down the country want to cancel their TV licences. So how do you cancel your TV licence and what can’t you do after? In this guide, we walk you through how to cancel your TV licence legally so you can continue watching on-demand TV!


Who Cancels Their TV Licence?

The number of people who have wanted to cancel their TV licence has been steadily falling over the last few years. However with the TV licence fee at £159 a year for a standard colour television and the ongoing cost of living crisis, the number of cancellations is likely to rise.

Last Updated: 29/07/2022
Source: TV Licensing

People cancel their TV licence for many reasons. Either they don’t use any of the services that require a TV licence or they simply don’t like the BBC. Whatever the reason, it’s important to cancel the TV licence legally so you don’t get into trouble.

Cancelling or just moving? If you’re planning on moving house rather than cancelling your TV licence, you will need to go through a different process. Since moving just requires you to change address, if you cancel your licence, you will have to set it back up again. TV Licensing allows you to change your address on the same licence.

Check Out Our TV Licence Change of Address Guide!

Do I Need a TV Licence?

tv with remote

Before you cancel your TV licence, you need to consider whether you need one or not. This is very important before you cancel your licence since if you want to continue watching TV legally without one, you need to make sure you don’t break the law!

The general rule for requiring a TV licence is if you want to watch, record, or download live TV programmes. This means that if you want to watch live broadcasting on the BBC or any other channel, you must have paid for your TV Licence. You’ll need a TV licence to cover all your devices you use for live-streaming, including:

  • A television
  • A desktop computer
  • Mobile phones
  • Tablets
  • Game consoles
  • Digital boxes
  • DVD/VHS recorders

How Much Is the TV Licence?

The TV licence has varied in price over the years and is now currently frozen for two years by the government. The amount you’ll pay for your TV licence will depend on what type of TV you have and your age:

TV Licence Fees
Type of Licence Annual Cost Monthly Cost
Colour TV £159 £13.25
Black and White TV £53.50 £26.75
Over 74 Free Free
Living in a Care Home £90 £7.50
Severely Visually Impaired or Blind £79.50 £6.63

Last updated: 16/06/2022
Source: TV Licensing

What Can I Watch Without a TV Licence?

woman holding a remote

Before cancelling your TV licence, you’re perhaps wondering what life is like without one. A lot of people are most likely uncertain about what they can and can’t watch legally after they cancel their TV licence, but as long as you hang on to the general rule of no live TV, you should be fine.

Do I Need a TV Licence To Watch Netflix?

Without a TV licence, you can still enjoy all the on-demand services that you can get a subscription for. In short, all of these services you can use freely without having to pay for the TV licence:

You can even enjoy ITV Hub and Channel 4 catch-up as long as you do not watch any live broadcasts. Without a TV licence, you will not be able to watch or use:

  • All BBC channels
  • Live sports channels such as Sky Sports
  • BBC iPlayer

Do I Need a TV Licence If I Don't Watch the BBC?

Although the TV licence goes mostly to funding the BBC’s programming and news channels, the TV licence is required for much more than just the BBC. Even if you don’t watch any BBC channels, you’ll still require a TV licence to watch Sky Sports or anything else broadcast live.

Do I need a TV Licence for my TV package? TV Packages are becoming the standard for Smart TVs. From Now TV to Netgem TV, traditional TV channels are losing their appeal. However, even if you’ve left traditional programming completely, you will still need a licence if you want to watch shows live.

Check Out Our Guide to the Best TV Packages!

How Do I Cancel My TV Licence?

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If you’ve finally decided that cancelling your TV licence is the right way to go, you’ll need to follow a few steps in order to let TV Licensing know that you’re planning to end your licence.

  1. Find Your TV Licence Number
    To cancel your TV licence, you’ll need to make sure you have your TV Licence number on you. This is a 10 digit number that can usually be found on any emails or bills that you might have from TV Licensing. You’ll usually need this number to sign into your TV Licensing account.
  2. Fill In the Form
    After you’ve found your TV licence number, you’ll need to fill in an online form with your personal details and your licence’s expiry date. You’ll need to make sure these details are the same as the ones on your licence.
  3. Send Off the Form
    After you’ve filled in the details, you’ll need to submit the form and TV Licensing will cancel your TV licence for you.
ripped direct debit

How Do I Cancel My TV Licence Direct Debit?

If you’re paying by direct debit and want to cancel your TV licence, don’t cancel your direct debit with your bank straight away. Like with utilities contracts, TV Licensing will cancel your direct debit for you after they have accepted your request.

If TV Licensing continues to take money out of your account, you are within your rights according to the Direct Debit Guarantee to cancel your payments.

Is There a Contact Number To Cancel My TV Licence?

If you are paying by payment card, you will need to get in contact with TV Licensing over the phone. Call TV Licensing on 0300 555 0286 to confirm you want to cancel your TV licence. The lines are open from 8:30am to 6:30pm between Monday and Friday.

Can I Cancel My TV Licence in a House Share?

If you’re renting together with a number of people, you’ll only need one TV licence to be able to watch live broadcasting to cover the whole household. The arrangement of who pays what portion of the licence fee will need to be decided among you since it’s very rare to have it in your tenancy agreement.

If you do need to move out of your shared home, where you go forward with the TV licence fee will depend on who pays for what. If you are the one paying, make sure to transfer the TV licence to someone else staying the flat to avoid any complications. If it’s not you paying, make sure to come to an arrangement with the person who is before leaving.

Can I Get a TV Licence Refund?

You can also request a TV licence refund if you haven’t needed your TV licence. Typically, you can request a refund if:

  1. You TV licence expired up to 2 years ago
  2. You won’t need it before it expires and you have 1 month left on it

You’ll need to fill in the same form as the cancellation form and make sure you’ve selected that you want a refund. It will usually take around 21 days for TV Licensing to have refunded the money back into your account.

If you’re student you’ll probably benefit from the refund. Since there are no student discounts on TV licences and you need one if you’re living in a halls of residence, TV licensing does allow you to get a partial refund for the months out of term when you’re not using it.

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Will I Go To Jail for Cancelling My TV Licence?

You are well within your right to cancel your TV licence if you’ve decided that you no longer need or want one. The TV licence isn’t like the council tax where you have to pay whether you like it or not. However, you must make sure that you no longer are required to have one before you cancel so you don’t end up with any legal problems. After you’ve cancelled, you must not watch or record any live TV or use BBC iPlayer.

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