How to get a Refund on a TV Licence

Author: Category: Saving Money Date: 23rd August, 2012

Most students will only end up staying at university for nine to ten months of the year – some students will end up at university for even less time. If you’ve purchased a TV Licence then you can request a refund for the final quarter if you move out of your university accommodation before the quarter commences. TV Licences aren’t cheap – and you can reclaim a figure of around £37.

How do you get a refund?

If you’ve determined that you won’t be around in the address you’ve purchased the TV Licence for, for more than three months, you can obtain a refund through one of two ways. You can either follow this link to apply for your refund:

Or, you can always call the TV Licensing people on 0300 790 6090.

Why do you need a TV Licence in the first place?

If you’re watching live TV in your home or accommodation, the law states that you must have a TV Licence. They’re often overlooked by students who either don’t realise they need one, or because they think they’re covered by their parent’s TV Licence. This is not the case – so if you have a television that’s hooked up to an aerial or satellite dish, make sure you invest in a TV Licence!

A lot of students simply don’t have room for a TV in their student digs, and that’s fine. If you’re using applications like BBC iPlayer or the ITV Player to watch shows that have already been aired, you do not need to have a TV Licence. You only need a TV Licence if you’re watching programs as they broadcast live.

If you watch programs as they broadcast live on TV on a laptop or other device you must still have a TV Licence. The penalties for not having a TV Licence are pretty severe with fines of up to £1,000 being doled out if you’re prosecuted.

It’s free money

If you’ve paid your TV Licence up front and you aren’t going to be around to for the whole term it really does make sense to get the cash back. On average students reclaim around £37 – this isn’t a life changing sum of money but it’ll pay for a nice meal out, or even a week’s rent at your parent’s house. £37 would probably pay for mobile phone contract for a couple of months, or even for a tank of fuel – so it’s not a figure to be sniffed at.

There are other times in later life when you may also need to think about reclaiming some of the money you’ve paid for a TV Licence, these include:

  • When you move house: You may decide to move in with a partner or friend, if they already have a TV Licence you don’t need to pay for two – you can then claim a partial refund. This is the case for students; if you’re moving from a shared house back to your parent’s house and they have a TV Licence, you don’t need to pay for two, hence why the refund option is available.
  • If you don’t watch TV: If you find that you don’t watch TV, or you don’t even have a TV, you might want to think about claiming a refund on your TV Licence. Remember if you watch live TV or record it on any other device like a tablet PC or laptop, you must have a TV Licence. If you claim you’re not watching or recording live TV but you’re found to be lying, you could be liable for prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000. Suddenly that yearly cost of around £150 doesn’t seem too bad after all!
  • You’ve got two TV Licences at the same address: You might pay for two TV Licences by mistake – if this happens you can claim a refund on one of them. Double check you have definitely paid for two though, because you’ll still need one valid TV Licence in order to watch live TV, or make recordings of it.

You can read more about how students are affected by TV Licences, and how students can go about claiming a partial refund here:–tv-licensing-refund-for-students-NEWS36/