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Understanding SORN

As any owner or driver should be aware, it is illegal to use a car in the UK if such car is untaxed or uninsured. If you are caught breaking the law you will be liable for paying heavy penalties, and in some cases you may be prosecuted. Under certain circumstances, however, you may be allowed to keep an untaxed, uninsured vehicle. But to do so you will have to SORN that vehicle. SORN stands for Statutory Off Road Notification.

Stay Within the Law

It may happen that owners may prefer not to drive a car for a lengthy period of time. You may want to travel or live overseas for a long time – or you may simply keep the car until such time that you want to strip it for parts. Why you keep it off the road is not the issue – the issue is that you may want to save a bit of cash by not having it taxed and insured – and still stay within the law. The answer lies in obtaining what we call a SORN from the DVLA. You will not get around this. The DVLA knows when your road tax expires and they regularly check with the national insurance database which vehicles are not insured.

You may wish to take the car off the road immediately, in which case you supply the 11-digit number on the vehicle’s log book (V5C)  – alternatively at the beginning of the next month by supplying the 16-diit number on the car’s tax reminder number (V11).

SORN is Compulsory When You

  • for whatever reason, do not tax and insure the car;
  • buy a car which is under SORN by the previous owner; SORN is not transferrable.
  • if the vehicle is sold, it’s a good idea to let the new owner (whether a private individual or a car buying website) whitest the vehicle is SORN

How to SORN your vehicle

  • You can only SORN your car for the time you’re not using it;
  • It is not on the road, not even in a parked position;
  • It can only be in your garage, driveway or on private land;
  • You have to apply for a SORN by contacting DVLA;
  • You apply in one of 3 ways
  • On the DVLA website
  • A telephone call to DVLA;
  • By post to DVLA;

Driving without SORN

It is illegal and will land you in serious trouble – even prosecution and fines of up to £ 2,500. The only exception is driving it to the garage where you have made a MOT appointment.

When You Want To un-SORN Your Car

You simply ensure the car’s MOT is in place and that it has valid insurance cover. Now you tax the car; the SORN is automatically removed.