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The charity making life better by water

Long term boat licences

You can buy your long term licence at any time of the year. They start on the first day of the month and last for either three months, six months or 12 months.

Boats moored with the sun reflecting on the water

Who is this licence suitable for?

If you're a boater who has a home mooring, or you're a continuous cruiser, these licences will be appropriate for you.

Please note that you can only buy a three-month licence if you have a home mooring.

What do I need to do before I buy a long term boat licence?

Before buying your long term licence, there are a few things you need to do.

*Correction: between Tuesday 19 - Monday 25 March, the new Boat licence Terms & Conditions on our website contained an error. The line “You will need a home mooring for your boat for this licence type”, was incorrectly included. This has now been corrected.

What types of long term boat licence are there?

If you use your boat for business, such as a floating café, renting it out for people to live on or as a holiday boat, or a boat share where one owner has a majority share and/or manages everything for a fee or service charge, you need a boating business licence.

If your boat is purely for your own private use, there are two options, regardless of whether you have a home mooring or are continuously cruising.


Our standard canal and river licence covers all navigable routes within our network.

Rivers only

Our 'rivers only' licence covers:

Lots of boats moored at Limehouse Basin, surrounded by high-rise buildings

How much does a long term private boat licence cost?

Your licence fee depends on the length and width (beam) of your boat, along with the length of time you want the licence for - three months (home moorings only), six months or 12 months.

Are there licence fee discounts?

Yes. If you renew your boat licence before it expires, you can get a 2% prompt payment discount off your licence fee.

To qualify for the discount you need to complete your application before the start date of the licence and also pay in full or by direct debit. There is also a discount of 0.5% for renewing online.

Further licence fee discounts can be found in our private boat licence terms & conditions.

What does the licence include?

All long term licences allow you to keep and use your boat on our waters. You also get access to some boaters' facilities, such as water points. See our boaters' services pages for details.

What doesn't the licence include?

You don't get windlasses, keys or cards with your licence. You can buy these from our online shop. Windlasses are available from most local chandleries.

There may also be booking fees or service charges for things like passage on a specific date or time, such as on the Anderton Boat Lift, or for pre-bookable moorings. Please see our booking portal for more details.

You can also pay your boat licence by calling our customer service team on 0303 040 4040, or by getting in touch online.

Last Edited: 23 April 2024

photo of a location on the canals
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