TV Licensing launches refund campaign for students moving home for the summer months

Posted: 15-05-2013

As students across the UK prepare for their exams, TV Licensing is reminding those moving home for the summer to claim a refund on their TV Licence, worth £36.37.

To be eligible, students need to have a TV Licence, be leaving their halls or rented accommodation and moving back home to a licensed address.

Any finance-savvy student who purchased a TV Licence at the start of the academic year will have a full three months remaining on their licence. This means they can now claim a refund for the final unused quarter. The savings could pay for a ticket to a gig, a one-way flight to Amsterdam or night out to celebrate the end of student exams. 

Spokesperson for TV Licensing, Glen Morris said:

“With exams fast approaching and the Easter term coming to an end, the student refund is fantastic news for students who planned ahead and bought their licence at the start of the academic year. It’s vital students understand the law when it comes to watching or streaming live TV or they risk prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000.”

Recent research* by TV Licensing shows three out of five students watch at least an hour of TV a day, and 71 per cent of students use their laptop to watch TV. A TV Licence is needed to watch, record or stream programmes at the same time as they are shown on TV. This is the case whether you use a TV, laptop, games console, tablet, mobile phone, or any other device.

Phil Davis, Chair of the National Association of Student Money Advisers (NASMA), added:

“The summer is a great opportunity for students to repair their bank balances, and it’s important they use every opportunity to do so. Getting a refund on the unused three months of a TV Licence is a really easy step to take.  

“It’s important students buy a TV licence at the earliest opportunity when starting university and take advantage of the flexible payment options available to them. Most of all, it’s vital students avoid fines for not holding a  TV Licence – a quick visit to helps students ensure they are covered to watch TV on a range of devices.”

To arrange a refund, or for further information, simply visit:, or call TV Licensing on 0300 790 6090.


For further information or to arrange an interview with a spokesperson please contact the TV Licensing Press Office on 020 8752 6606.

Notes to editors

*Research was conducted by Harris Interactive among 220 students spread across universities in the UK in November 2012.

TV Licensing, students and the law

When do you need a TV Licence?

A licence is needed if you’re watching or recording television programmes at the same time as they are being shown on TV. This is true no matter what device you’re watching on (including TV sets, laptops, mobile phones or game consoles) and no matter how you’re receiving the programmes (including terrestrial, satellite, cable or digital television channels). Anyone without a valid TV Licence who watches or records television programmes as described above risks prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000.

  • If you live in halls of residence and use a device to watch or record TV in your own room, you need your own separate TV Licence.
  • You also need your own licence if you are sharing a house with other students and use a device to watch/record TV in your room, and your room is a separately occupied place (a separate tenancy agreement would normally indicate that this is the case).
  • If you have a separate tenancy agreement but a television is only being used in a communal area, then only one licence is required.
  • If you are sharing a house with other students and you use a device to watch/record TV in your own room, but the house can be treated as one place shared by all, then only one TV Licence is required (a joint tenancy agreement would usually be evidence that the house is a single licensable place for this purpose).
  • A device powered by its own internal batteries - a pocket sized TV or a mobile phone for example - may be covered by a licence at the student’s parents' address.  However, you must not install the device (plug it into the mains) when using it to receive television. If there is no TV Licence at your parents’ address, you will need to obtain one to watch TV.

Costs and refunds

A colour TV Licence currently costs £145.50, and a black and white licence is £49. The licence fee is frozen at its 2012 level of £145.50 until the end of the current BBC Charter period in 2016.