A common question that arises for many new static caravanners and owners whose static is a second home or holiday home is ‘do I need a TV licence for my static caravan?’. To help you better understand the rules and regulations surrounding TVs in caravans we’ve put together the following helpful guide.
All of the information in this article is based on information from the TV Licensing Authority. Please always check their website for the latest information as it may change over time, and if you’re unsure, contact them directly.
What is a TV licence?
In the UK the law states that it’s mandatory to have a TV licence to watch or record TV. This includes watching live TV on any channel, watching online TV services such as BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub or Netflix, and watching or downloading any programmes on any online TV service.
A TV licence can be paid annually, quarterly, monthly, fortnightly or even weekly. Once the licence has been paid for you are covered to watch tv on any device in your static caravan.
Applying TV licences to various devices
Your TV licence isn’t just confined to your traditional television set. It also extends to any device that can receive a TV signal, including laptops, smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles, digital boxes, DVD, VHS recorders, and even that trendy, new static caravan TV you’re thinking of buying.
When do you need a TV licence?
Typically, the need for a TV licence arises if you want to watch or record live TV or are using BBC iPlayer – irrespective of the time of day, the device, or the place.
Do you need a TV licence for your static caravan?
The answer is YES if the following applies:
- Your static caravan is your main residence
- If anyone at your main licensed address is watching or recording live TV, or watching or downloading BBC programmes on iPlayer at the same time as someone in your static caravan
TV licences for secondary residences and holiday homes
If your static caravan is a holiday home or a secondary residence, things become slightly more complex. According to the TV Licensing authority, you are covered by your home TV licence to watch TV in your static caravan, but only if the TV receiving equipment isn’t being used at both addresses at the same time. Essentially, if someone’s watching TV at home while you’re watching TV in your caravan, one of these places would technically be unlicensed.
In such situations, you’d need to fill out a declaration form to indicate that the TV at your main residence and static caravan won’t be used simultaneously. And if they are used concurrently, you would have to acquire a separate TV licence for your static caravan.
What if you rent your static caravan to the public?
If you rent out a static caravan and the caravan includes television receiving equipment or access to streaming services that your guests can use, then you are responsible for ensuring that it is correctly licensed.
What if you don’t watch TV?
You will not need to get a TV licence if you don’t have a TV in your static caravan and aren’t going to:
- Watch TV
- Watch BBC programmes
- Watch live programmes
- Watch streaming services
It’s probably safest to be sure that this will definitely be the case before your stay, as if you will watch live TV, you will need to pay your TV licence beforehand.
Why is a TV licence required?
The primary reason why you need a TV licence is to comply with the UK laws that help fund public broadcasting services. The revenue from TV licences goes towards the funding of the BBC, providing the public with a wealth of information, entertainment and news services.
It’s essential to remember that not having a TV licence when required can result in prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000. Therefore, even if you’re in doubt, it’s worth seeking clarity from the TV Licensing authority or a legal expert.
What else do you need to consider?
If you’re moving to live in a static caravan for the first time, you probably have many questions like the one above. Perhaps you’re unsure about site fees, how to transport your static once you’ve bought it, or even how to keep it warm in winter.
At N.Doe Caravans we are here to support our caravanners and customers and are always adding to the resource content on our blog – for more information start with ‘What To Do When You’ve Found The Perfect Static’ and ‘A Guide To The Different Types Of Static Caravans’.
For more information and to book a static caravan viewing at our showground in Horsham, please call us on 01403 274877 or submit an enquiry form. We’ll be more than happy to help.
Please note that this post is for guidance only and that if you are in any doubt about whether you need a licence or not, you should contact the TV Licensing Authority directly.