Skip to content Skip to footer

Cancelling a gym membership

This advice applies to England

You’ll normally have to pay the full cost of your contract if you want to cancel a gym membership early. For example, if you cancel a one-year contract after 6 months, you'll usually have to pay for the remaining 6 months.

Check your contract for details to find out how much you’ll have to pay if you cancel early.

There are a few circumstances when you might be able to cancel without paying a fee. Even if you can cancel, it’s likely that you’ll have to give a notice period (eg 30 days).

You probably can’t cancel if you’ve changed your mind about wanting the gym membership. You can try, but you’ve legally entered into a contract with the gym that you’ll need to stick to. 

When you can cancel without paying

If you’re injured or have a serious illness

Your gym should let you cancel your contract if you have a serious injury or illness that is preventing you from exercise.

You’ll need to get evidence from a doctor or medical professional to prove that you can’t exercise.

Talk to the manager at your gym. If they won’t let you cancel, you should say the following (or put it in writing):

“The Competition and Markets Authority advises that a gym contract is unfair if it doesn’t let a member cancel through serious injury or illness.”

If you can’t afford to pay anymore

Your gym should let you cancel your contract if you’ve had a change in circumstances that means you can’t afford the monthly payments. It would have to be something significant, eg you’ve lost your job or suddenly found yourself in a lot of debt. You’ll need evidence to prove this to your gym.

Talk to the manager at your gym. If they won’t let you cancel, you should say the following (or put it in writing):

“The Competition and Markets Authority advises that a gym contract is unfair if it doesn’t let a member cancel because they’ve had a change in circumstances which means they can’t afford the membership.”

If you think your contract terms are unfair

It’s possible that the contract terms dealing with cancellation are unfair. If this is the case, those terms might not be legally binding so you should try to get the the gym to let you cancel.

The terms of your contract could be unfair if they, for example:

  • allow your contract to be automatically renewed without your permission
  • set a minimum contract term that’s more than one year
  • allow the gym facilities to change significantly
  • allow the price of the gym to change significantly mid-contract

For example, if the gym significantly changes the price of the membership mid-contract, you could argue that you should be allowed to cancel without penalty.

Talk to the manager at your gym if you think there’s an unfair term in your contract that’s preventing you from cancelling. If they won’t let you cancel, you might want to mention the law that deals with your rights in this situation. Choose the relevant law depending on when your gym contract started.

If your contract started before 1 October 2015, you should say the following (or put it in writing):

“The term in the contract that’s preventing me from cancelling is an “unfair term” under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999. It should be removed from the contract, allowing me to cancel my membership.”

If your contract started on or after 1 October 2015, you should say the following (or put it in writing):

“The term in the contract that’s preventing me from cancelling is an “unfair term” under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. It should be removed from the contract, allowing me to cancel my membership.”

If the gym won’t let you cancel

If you think you have the right to cancel but the gym won’t let you, you can get advice from the consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06. You can also use an online form.

An adviser at your nearest Citizens Advice might be able to help you argue your case or argue for you.

Get help with bills and budgeting

If you're trying to cut your spending, or are having problems with your outgoings, you could get help with bills. You could also use our budgeting tool to see exactly where your money goes each month.

Was this page helpful?
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •