April price hikes: Council tax, water, TV licence and more going up

Many steep price hikes are coming into force from April 1. Here’s a list of what’s going up and how to beat the rises.

Many price increases are being introduced in April.

Have a look below to find out which bills are rising and how you might be able to dodge them.

TV licence
From April 1, the annual cost for a colour TV licence will rise from £145.50 to £147 and the cost of the annual black and white TV licence fee will rise from £49 to £49.50.

This is the first increase to the licence fee since 2010.

You only need a TV licence if you watch or record live television and if you watch BBC iPlayer.

So you can avoid shelling out for a TV licence if you only ever watch other ‘on demand’ or ‘catch up’ services like Netflix and ITV Player.

Anyone over 75 can get a free TV licence to cover their main home.

Council Tax
Council Tax bills will rise in England, Wales and Scotland from April 1.

The average Band D bill for households in England is rising 4% to £1,591, which means households will have to pay an extra £61 a year.

In Wales, the average Band D bill is going up by 3.3% taking the typical bill to £1,420 an increase of £46.

In Scotland, the nine-year freeze on Council Tax bills has ended and from April local authorities can increase bills by up to 3%.

Northern Ireland doesn’t have Council Tax, instead it uses a system called rates. But residents will have to wait until May to find out how their bills will rise.

The Land & Property Services (LPS) has confirmed that there will be a delay in the issue of rate bills for 2017/2018 as the Regional Rate have not yet been set.

The LPS says it will be issuing a letter to every rate payer about the delay of 2017/2018 rate bills with advice and further information for ratepayers.

Water bills
Water and sewerage bills in England and Wales will rise by 2% from April 1.

This increase will add an extra £6 to the average annual household bill pushing the cost of combined water and sewerage services to £395 a year.

Water UK says the extra cash will go towards a £44 billion investment in services and environmental improvements.

Water is one of the few household bills you can’t switch suppliers to save money. But there are things you can do to cut your bill.

If your home has the same or more bedrooms than people you could save money by installing a water meter. This allows you to only pay for the water you use.

You can use the Consumer Council for Water calculator to see if this makes sense for you.

Some water companies that can’t install a water meter will sometimes offer those that live alone a single occupancy tariff.

You could also use your current account to make a saving. Both the Santander 123 Current Account and NatWest Reward Current Account pay cashback on water bills as well as other household costs.

NHS prescription charges
From April 1 the cost of NHS prescriptions in England will rise 2.4%.

This will push the price of single prescription from £8.40 to £8.60 – a 20p rise.

The change only applies to prescriptions in England. Those living in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland get free prescriptions.

If your health means you need multiple prescriptions you could save money with a Prescription Payment Certificate (PPC).

This acts as a season pass and allows you to get unlimited prescriptions for three months or a year for a one-off cost.

NHS dental care
The price of NHS dental care in England and Wales will increase from April 1.

The lowest-cost band one treatment for things like check-ups and urgent treatment is going up by 90p, from £19.70 to £20.60.

A band two treatment including things like root canal and extractions will rise by £2.40 taking the cost from £53.90 to £56.30

While a band three treatment for more complex procedures like crowns and bridges will increase by £10,60 from £233.70 to £244.30.

You might be entitled to free dental treatment if you in full-time education, receiving certain benefits or pregnant.

Energy bills
A number of energy firms are hiking prices in April.

Co-operative Energy is increasing the cost of its standard variable tariff by an average of 5%, adding £58 a year to household bills, from April 1.

E.ON is hiking the cost of it standard dual fuel tariff by 8.8% from April 26, adding £97 a year to a typical bill.

And SSE will push up the cost of energy prices by a whopping 14.9% from April 28 – adding £73 a year to the average bill.

Anyone sitting on their provider’s standard variable tariff is not only vulnerable to price hikes but is also almost certainly paying far too much for their energy, so check your deal and see if you could save by switching.

Compare gas and electricity tariffs to see if you could save.

Car tax
Vehicle Excise Duty is being overhauled from April 1 for those buying a new car.

Under the existing rules, cars that emit less than 100g/km don’t attract any tax. But from April 1 only electric cars and those powered by hydrogen will be exempt.

Under the new rules VED tax will kick in at 1g/km for the first year you have the car and rise further and faster than before. A car emitting 131g/km for example will be taxed £200 instead of £130 and those emitting 151g/km will be charged £500 instead of £180.

After the first year, a flat Standard Rate of £130/£140 will apply every year depending on fuel type, except for zero-emission cars. Cars with a list price above £40,000 will attract a supplement of £310 on their standard rate for a further five years after their first year.

All cars first registered before April 1 2017 will remain in the current VED system.

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Written by: Houseladder