News article created on 7 November 2018

New boat licence fees for 2019-2020

Today we're able to confirm that private and business boat licence fees will be frozen for 2019 and will remain at current prices until 1 April 2020

Boating through Middlewich Boating through Middlewich

As previously announced, following our national boat licence consultation, which concluded in March, several changes will be taking place over five years starting from 1 April 2019. 

The prompt payment discount will be retained but reduced to 5% from 1 April 2019. This is the only change made to licence fees for 2019.

From 2020, part of this discount (2.5%) will apply for those who manage their payments online (for example by credit/debit card or by direct debit). This means that boaters who may not be able to afford to pay the licence fee in one lump sum will also be able to benefit from a discount.

In addition to length-based pricing, from April 2020 two additional pricing bands for boat widths over 2.16 to 3.24m (7ft 1” to 10ft 7¾”) and those over 3.24m width (10ft 7¾”) will be introduced.

Jon Horsfall, head of customer service support at Canal & River Trust, said: “Income from boat licences accounted for around 10% of our annual income last year, and helps ensure that we can carry out the vast amount of work needed to keep the waterways available to boaters.   

“The changes we’re making to boat licensing are intended to ensure the financial contribution made by boaters towards the cost of looking after the waterways is spread fairly across the boating community. We’re staggering the changes we announced in March over a five-year period so there’s no sudden impact on any boaters, and we’re keeping headline licence fees frozen for the next year which will help offset the reduction in the prompt payment discount from 10% to 5% for those who pay their full licence fee upfront.”