Ahead of a planned increase in the TV licence, finance experts have today revealed how thousands of Brits can claim a free one in 2024.
The cost of the licence is set to rise by £15 in April in line with the inflation, after being frozen at £159 for the past two years.
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Lucy Frazer, today said she was concerned a “significant rise” in the fee would add to cost of living pressures.
However, the good news is you may be exempt and could funnel the annual fee into savings instead of spending it on the annual TV licence.
Lucinda O’Brien, expert at money.co.uk savings accounts, said: “To legally watch or record live TV in the UK, you must have a TV licence. This applies whether you watch on a TV, PC, laptop, tablet, or phone. Failure to have one is a criminal offence, risking a possible £1,000 fine.
“However, there are a couple of exceptions, with some people able to get an exemption – potentially providing you with a handy savings boost in 2024.
“Students could be covered by their parent’s licence even if they live away from home, although they should note this only applies for viewing on a device such as a phone, tablet or computer – not a television plugged into the mains.
“Anyone on Pension Credit who’s over the age of 75 can get a reduction in the cost too. Pension Credit is a benefit that helps cover costs if you’re over the State Pension age and on a low income. Find out if you’re eligible on the government website.
“Others may be eligible for a reduction, including those with a severe sight impairment, who can claim a 50% discount, and people living in a residential care home or sheltered accommodation, who can pay as little as £7.50.
“If you were expecting to pay the licence in 2024 but are eligible for an exemption, then one of the best ways to repurpose the fee, which is set to increase to £173.30 in 2024, is into savings.
“Currently, Hampshire Trust Bank’s Online Easy Access account provides an excellent return, offering a competitive 5.15% rate. What’s more, the savings account can be opened for just £1 with instant access to your money when it’s needed.”
For more information and guidance on saving, including the best savings rates available today, visit: https://www.money.co.uk/savings-accounts