If you have arrears on your licence you should contact TV licensing to come to an arrangement to repay them in instalments.
You may be eligible for a new trial payment plan devised for people struggling with debts and arrears.
The Simple Payment Plan
The Simple Payment Plan trial scheme offers an affordable and flexible way of paying your TV licence as payments are spread out evenly over the 12 months of the licence.
Payments towards a standard licence work out around £3 per week. If you meet the eligibility criteria you can sign up between 1 April 2018 and 30 September 2018.
If you fall behind with your payments on this scheme, you will be able to spread out payments towards the debt for the remainder of the plan.
This trial isn’t open to everyone, it’s aimed at people who are struggling to pay. If you sign up for the scheme you can stay on these payment terms for a year and renew on the same terms on the same terms for a further year.
You may be able to apply, if you’ve been referred by:
- An approved debt charity, including us
- TV Licensing
The advantages of the Simple Payment Plan are:
- Payments are roughly the same each month or each fortnight, making it easier for you to budget
- If you fall into arrears, the cost of these can be spread over the remaining term of the licence, rather than being payable immediately
- A maximum of two months of arrears can be carried over to the next licence year
- You can pay for this monthly or fortnightly through all the usual routes, including Direct Debit, through the TV Licensing call centre and over the counter at any PayPoint location
You can take part in this trial payment scheme whether you currently own a TV licence or not. There are no restrictions for people going through insolvency.
There's more information on the Simple Payment Plan website.
How do I sign up?
If we’re helping you with your debts, contact our support team and ask them for more information. They will be able to talk you through the process.
You may be contacted directly by TV Licensing and invited to join the scheme. If you have a TV licence at the moment, you’ll be asked to cancel it and buy a new one under the Simple Payment Plan.
How do I buy a TV licence?
There are many ways to buy a TV licence. You can pay weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually and choose how you’d like to pay, whether that’s by cash, Direct Debit, debit/credit card or by post.
To find out more about how to buy a licence visit the TV Licensing website.
TV licence concessions
In some cases you can apply for a reduction on the cost of your licence. This applies if you, or someone you live with are:
- 75 years old or older - You’re eligible to apply for a free licence by calling 0300 790 6112 or visiting the TV licence website
- Blind (severely sight impaired) and can provide appropriate evidence – You can apply for a 50% blind concession on your licence. However if you’re partially sighted you won’t be eligible for any reduction
What do I do if I don’t need a licence?
If you don’t watch TV at all or your property is empty or unoccupied you still need to contact TV Licensing and let them know. This should stop any letters being sent to the address for up to two years.
TV Licensing has a policy of visiting some addresses reported as not needing a licence. If you’re found to be watching TV illegally you risk being prosecuted and fined up to £1,000.
Can I go to prison for not having a licence?
No, you can’t go to prison for not having a TV licence. The court can only give you a fine for this. But if you don’t pay, the court can take further action to collect the fine, including sending you to prison as a last resort.
This will usually only happen if you’re refusing to pay and other methods of recovering the fine, such as enforcement agents (bailiffs) or deductions from your wages or benefits have failed.
Struggling with TV licence arrears?
If you’re falling behind with your TV licence payments, or have a fine that you’re struggling to repay, then please call us. Our expert advisors can give you advice on dealing with arrears and getting your payments up to date.
You can also use our free online debt advice tool Debt Remedy or our 60-second debt test.
By answering a few simple questions we'll be able to tell you if you need debt advice. Answer the questions below and we'll help you understand how close you are to having a debt problem and suggest what your next steps could be.