A caravan is not your usual bricks and mortar property and the question is sometimes asked if you need a television licence. The answer is yes if you are planning to watch any live television and/or use BBC streaming services regardless of where you are watching.
A television licence is not dependent on where you are consuming the media, which is why you also need one to watch live television/BBC streaming services (such as iPlayer) on a mobile device which you can take anywhere. That means that, whether you are streaming at home, in the park, on the beach or, indeed, in your caravan – you will need a television licence.
Why Do You Need a TV Licence in a Caravan?
You require a television licence by law if you are planning to consume media such as live broadcast television and any BBC streaming service in your caravan. This applies to any device that you own that you can watch on, such as a television, desktop/laptop computer, tablet and mobile phone. Even if you are not watching on television but are using another device, the television licence fee is still applicable to you.
Equally, if you plan to record live television as opposed to catching up via a non-BBC streaming service, this will also require you to pay for a television licence. Even though you may not be watching the programming live, you are still watching it as a live show.
When a TV Licence Wouldn’t Apply to You
If you do not watch any television or use any BBC streaming service on any of the devices you own, you do not have to pay for a television licence. However, even without a television licence, you can still watch programmes and films on-demand through non-BBC streaming services (such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, ITV Hub and All 4 etc…).
When watching programming through any of these non-BBC services, although you can watch anything on-demand (i.e. not live), you will still be required to pay for a television licence if you watch live programming via a non-BBC service. For example, this means that you cannot watch ITV1 via the ITV Hub without paying for a television licence simply because it is not a BBC service.
Do You Need a TV Licence for a Holiday Caravan?
If you have booked a stay at a holiday caravan, you will not need to buy a television licence to make use of any television that has been provided as part of the property. This means that you are free to watch live television on the unit provided as this will be covered by the holiday park’s television licence.
However, although this means that you can watch live programming on a television owned by the resort, you will still require your own television licence if you are to watch live broadcast television/use any BBC streaming service on your own devices. Your television licence covers your devices wherever you are, so if you do not have one then that means you cannot use them to watch live television/BBC streaming services regardless of whether you are in a property with a television licence.
What Can Happen if You Watch TV Without a TV Licence
If you watch live television or any BBC streaming service without paying for a television licence you can face a fine of up to £1,000 (rising to £2,000 if your main residence is in Guernsey). If you do not pay the court-imposed fine, you could face imprisonment (you cannot face imprisonment for television licence fee evasion).TV Licensing employs enforcement officers to carry out routine checks, so if you are watching live television without having an active licence there is every chance that you will be found out, so it is not worth taking the chance.
You Do Not Need a TV Licence Just Because You Can Watch Live TV
Some people falsely believe that just because you own a device on which you could watch live television – even if you have no intention of ever doing so – you need a television licence. This means that, if you were to have a television or any other device in your caravan which you could watch live television on, you do not need to pay a licence fee unless you use it to do so.
Even if your property has an aerial or satellite dish installed, as is commonplace in many properties including caravans, unless they are used to watch live television the licence fee still does not apply to you.
Devices such as televisions, computers and mobile devices can all be used for other reasons than to watch live broadcast television. Anyone who is into gaming will know full well that more time can be spent on a games console (which may utilise a TV in place of a monitor) than watching any kind of programming.
Staying with Allens Caravans
While a caravan in many ways is the same as a traditional brick and mortar property in that you are required to pay television licencing fees, as well as council tax, in many more ways it is completely different. The freedom that our residents’ benefit is unlike anything you can expect to find living in a built-up estate.
If you would like any more information on life on a caravan park, as well as to ask any questions that you are unsure about, please do not hesitate to get in contact with a member of our team today.