TV licensing laws have changed, relatively recently, and this has not helped the ongoing confusion surrounding them, especially insofar as they relate to touring, as opposed to static caravans.
When it comes to caravans and similar holiday accommodation, there are, basically, two main options;
- Static caravans and moveable chalets
- Touring caravans, vehicles and boats (including folding campers etc).
Different rules apply, depending on which of the above we are staying away in.
Static Caravans And Moveable Chalets
Although not really relevant to those of us who have folding campers and other touring units, it is important to understand the rules, as they relate to statics, as these are, often, confused with those appertaining to tourers.
The simple rule for any static caravan or moveable chalet is that we are covered by the TV licence we have at home, and do not require a separate TV licence for these, PROVIDED the TV in the caravan is not being watched at the same time as the one at home. This is more common than you might imagine, with many couples going away and leaving older children, or family members, at home to look after the house, pets etc. That said, it is nigh on impossible to imagine how this might, possibly be enforceable, and seems to be on a, largely, voluntary basis. To notify TV Licencing that you don’t need a separate licence, you can download and complete a; Non Simultaneous Use Declaration Form.
It is important to emphasise that this only applies to static caravans, not tourers. They must be able to be moved, either by towing or on a flat bed lorry or trailer. A fixed premises, such as house, cottage, bungalow or flat will not apply, and you must obtain a separate licence to watch TV in one of these. (Unless the item is powered by its own batteries and is not connected to either a power source or aerial point, in which case it is covered by our home licence).
Touring Caravans, Campers, Vehicles & Boats
The rules for tourers are even more straightforward. Any touring unit (even one sited on a seasonal pitch) will be covered by our home TV licence, and will not require a separate one, under any circumstances (unless we don’t have one at home). This includes all caravans, folding campers, trailer tents, tents and motor homes.
TV Licencing. General Points
There are a couple of general, non camping specific, facts relating to TV licencing, which are, also, worthy of note.
- Until recently, no TV licence was required for watching catchup or streamed TV, only. This has now been revised, and a TV licence is now required to download and watch programs on BBC iPlayer. This does not apply to the downloading of programs via applications other than iPlayer.
- It is a common misconception that you don’t need a TV licence, if you don’t watch any BBC channels. This is not true. A licence is required to watch any live TV program. The ‘BBC only’ restriction applies only to downloaded programs, watched on BBC iPlayer.
Irrespective of these two points above, the domestic TV licence we hold at home will cover us for all touring units, and, provided we have one in our main house, we will NOT require one for watching TV, of any kind, in our folding camper, caravan etc.
If you want to check out the specific criteria for requiring a TV licence, you can do so in the Do You Need A TV Licence section of the TV licencing web site.