Do You Need a TV Licence for a Caravan? (Updated 2024)

Do you need a TV licence for a caravan?

Do a quick search for the rules around TV licence holiday home and caravan rules and you’re likely to come away confused. Some websites say you need a licence for your static or tourer – whereas others say you don’t.

So, do you need a TV licence for a caravan? Since you could be fined £1,000 if you’re caught watching TV without a licence – it definitely pays to make sure you’ve got the right info!

In this guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about TV licences in a static caravan or touring caravan. And don’t panic! We’re not taking a guess – we’ve made the phone calls and done our research with the TV Licensing team in 2024!

Do You Need a TV Licence for a Caravan? Quick answer!

As long as no one’s watching live TV in your home at the same time as you’re watching live TV in your caravan, then the one licence you have at home will cover your caravan too. However, you’ll need a separate TV licence if your caravan is your permanent home. If you have no TV or smart device to watch TV on at your caravan, then no licence is needed.

Caravan TV Licence: What do the official rules say?

When we asked the TV Licensing department about whether a TV licence was needed for a static or touring caravan, their official response was:

You’ll need to buy a TV Licence for your static caravan, mobile home or moveable chalet if:

  • anyone, at the same time, is watching TV channels on any TV service, watching live TV on streaming services, or using BBC iPlayer at your main licensed address.
  • the caravan or mobile home is your main residence.

They also explained that these rules only apply if:

Your caravan, mobile home or chalet is capable of being moved by being towed or transported on a motor vehicle or trailer and you have a TV Licence at your home address.

To keep things simple, let’s look at 5 different scenarios – then you can quickly find the one that applies to you:

1. You’re going to be watching TV in your caravan, but no one’s watching, streaming or recording at home

If you’re in your static or touring caravan and want to watch TV and you’re certain that no-one is watching, streaming or recording at home – you DON’T need a separate TV licence. 

2. You’re going to be watching TV in your caravan, and someone IS watching, streaming or recording at home

Headed to the caravan for some peace and quiet and left people at home? If they’re going to be watching, streaming or recording live TV – you DO need a separate licence.

3. Your tourer or static caravan is your permanent home

If you’ve shaken off the bricks and mortar and you’re living in a static caravan or touring caravan with no other address – you DO need a valid TV licence.

4. You don’t have a TV or watch TV in your static caravan or tourer

No TV or means to watch any kind of TV in your caravan? If not – you DON’T need a TV licence for your caravan.

5. You’re at home, and someone else is using your TV in your caravan

Rent your caravan out? Maybe friends and family sometimes use it while you’re at home? If your caravan has a TV in it that you provide to guests and they’re going to be using the TV at the same time as you – you DO need a separate TV licence. However, if there’s no TV provided by you and they’re watching TV on their own devices, then they need to make sure they’re sticking to the rules around their own licence.

What kind of devices are TV licences required for?

Now, you might have picked one of the above options out as being the correct one for you – but before you make a final decision, you need to be absolutely certain you’re clear on what kind of devices TV licences are required for.

We know – back in the old days it was easy to work out what’s considered a television and what wasn’t – but today it’s a bit trickier!

For the purposes of TV licensing, all of the following devices can be considered a “TV” if they can receive a TV signal – which they usually can with an internet connection:

  • Any kind of television
  • Laptop
  • Mobile phone/smartphone
  • Tablet
  • Games consoles (Xbox, Playstation, etc)
  • Digital boxes (such as Apple TV, Google TV, Amazon Firestick, etc)
  • Boxes that can record live TV even if you’re not there (including Sky boxes and similar)

What kind of TV services are licences required for?

Again, in the past, understanding what a TV licence was required for was easy – but today it’s a little more complicated than watching the 4 or 5 channels we used to have.

Generally speaking, you need a TV licence for watching live TV on an online TV service. This means that programmes that are shown live on, say, ITVX, Sky Go, Amazon Prime, and Netflix DO require you to have a TV licence. However, if you watch these programmes on-demand (i.e. after they were first broadcast) then you don’t need a licence to watch them on online TV services.

The main exception to this is the BBC iPlayer. Regardless of whether you’re watching live BBC programmes or re-runs of Fawlty Towers from 50 years ago, you’ll need a licence to watch any BBC service.

Don’t need a second licence? Make sure you fill out a declaration form

If you’re confident that you don’t need a second licence for your static or tourer, you need to complete something called a “Non-Simultaneous Use Declaration Form”. You can click here to download the form from the TV Licensing website.

You’ll have to print it and send it back to the address on the form – but it will let the TV licensing authority know that you’re aware of the rules and not using TVs or devices in your home and caravan at the same time.

TV licence holiday home FAQs

How much is a separate holiday home TV licence?

Unfortunately, there’s no discount for a second TV licence – even for statics or touring caravans. As such, you can expect to pay £169.50 for a licence for a colour TV or device or £57.00 if your TV only shows a black and white picture.

Do I need a second TV licence for my caravan if it can’t be moved?

You’ll notice that the wording on the TV Licensing website says that a second licence applies if “Your caravan, mobile home or chalet is capable of being moved by being towed or transported on a motor vehicle or trailer”. As such, you’d be right to wonder if the same rules apply if your static or tourer can’t be moved.

Honestly, this is a strange choice of words from the TV licensing service. All caravans and statics can be moved – but even if they couldn’t, they would then fall under the category of being a second home or holiday home, in which case you’d need a separate licence anyway. 

Moveable or non-moveable, if any of the scenarios we’ve listed above apply to you, then you’re going to need a licence. 

TV Licence for Caravan: A Summary

Unfortunately, the rules around TV licences for static caravans and touring caravans aren’t always clear – so it’s important to find a source of information that you can trust. 

Although there are lots of rules around different scenarios, the most important factor to consider is whether or not anyone will be watching TV at your home at the same time as someone’s watching TV in your caravan. If they are, you’ll need a separate TV licence – but if they’re not, your one licence should cover you. 

The rules change fairly quickly around TV licences – so it’s always a good idea to make sure you’ve got the most recent information by checking the TV Licensing website.

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