TV Licence evasion much lower than people think

Some TV viewers incorrectly believe the level of TV licence evasion to be over 50 per cent, according to recent research with licence payers.1

Around 94 per cent of homes are correctly licensed, meaning evasion is at a low level of around six per cent and has been around this level for the last five years. There are many ways to pay for your licence and TV Licensing make every effort to help people pay.

More women than men have higher perceptions of evasion rates, with females, on average, thinking that 26 per cent of households watching live TV or iPlayer are doing so without a licence. Those in London also have a higher perception of evasion rates, with residents in the capital believing evasion rates stand at 28 per cent.

Scotland has the highest perception of the number of evading households, with one in five claiming the evasion rate is over 50 per cent.

TV Licensing works with more than 450 organisations across the UK2, to communicate when a licence is needed and the range of ways to pay. Jason Hill, spokesperson for TV Licensing, said:

There is a huge disparity between what some licence payers believe and the reality - in fact, evasion rates across the UK remain low, at around six per cent.

We want people to be aware that the vast majority of people pay their licence fee and that you can pay your TV Licence in regular weekly, fortnightly or monthly payments, from as little as £6 a week.

The research also indicates that just over two in three believe it is fair for letters to be sent to those who evade and six in ten say it is fair that TVL visits addresses where a licence hasn’t been paid. 90 per cent of those aged 65-74 also think it’s fair to send letters to households who have not paid for their TV Licence.

TV Licensing visits unlicensed properties which have not responded to attempts to make contact. On average, more than 700 evaders are caught every day. Last year 256,600 people were caught watching TV without a licence.

A colour TV Licence currently costs £147 and is required by anyone watching or recording TV programmes as they are shown on TV. This also means that a TV Licence is needed to watch or download BBC programmes on iPlayer. This applies whether using a TV set, computer, or any other equipment.


1. Harris Interactive Research, July-Sep 2017

2. TV Licence Annual Review 2016/17

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