Wait, do you need a TV licence to watch Netflix?!

Asking for a friend, obviously


You’re in bed, watching the fifth episode of Big Mouth in a row when an intrusive thought creeps in and won’t leave you alone. “Wait, do you need a TV licence to watch Netflix?” And now it’s become your sleep paralysis. Just joking, but you’ve googled it now and reading this aren’t you?

Because if I’m honest, I don’t have one and I’m not intending to get one either because I never watch live TV at home and TV licences are expensive af if you don’t need to use one! So what’s the deal, do you need a TV licence to watch Netflix in the UK or what?

So, do you need a TV licence to watch Netflix?

In short, no. You don’t need to have a TV licence to watch Netflix. It’s because you’re not watching live TV and therefore you do not need a tv licence for it. You also don’t need it for catch-up websites like 4OD and ITV catch up, but you would need a TV licence for BBC iPlayer or if you are watching live TV on a catch-up service.

do you need a tv licence to watch netflix, netflix, laptop

How much does a TV licence cost?

TV Licences cost £154,50 per household. One licence covers all devices in a household, so if you’re house-sharing, you can split the price of a TV licence between you all.

Can I watch TV without a licence when I’m living at halls?

If you’re living in a university halls, you may be covered by your parents’ licence. You just need to tell TV Licensing your out of term address (the one covered by a TV Licence.) You also need to make sure your TV receiving equipment is powered by its own internal batteries and isn’t plugged into the mains.

Can I watch TV without a TV licence in general? Is there a legal way to do it?

You can watch TV without a licence in a way that’s completely legal. You just have to make sure you never watch live TV. So you can sign up to streaming services like Netflix, Amazon or Now TV and you can avoid the £154,50 fee.

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