IF AN owner does not intend to drive their car or motorcycle for a certain period of time, they may decide to save money on tax and insurance by declaring their car off the road using a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN).
A SORN is a declaration to the DVLA that an owner does not plan to use or park their vehicle on a public road for the length of the SORN.
Do I have to make a SORN on my vehicle if I’m not driving it?
If you do not plan to drive or park your car on a public road for a while, then, to avoid being liable for tax and insurance for the period, you must declare your car off the road with the DVLA. If you have more than a month of tax remaining, it’ll be refunded to you. Your vehicle’s MOT can legally expire under a SORN too.
It’s important to make a SORN rather than just letting a vehicle’s tax expire as drivers can be fined £80 for letting their tax and insurance lapse.
How do I make a SORN?
If you’ve just bought the vehicle and are not yet the registered owner, you can only apply by post, completing the applicable section in the V5C logbook.
Otherwise, if a vehicle’s tax is due to expire the owner can declare it off the road up to two months in advance using the 16-digit number on their vehicle tax reminder letter.
Where can I park my vehicle if it is under a SORN?
Owners of vehicles under SORN must park on private land such as in a driveway or garage and not on the street. SORN or not, if a vehicle is parked in a public place such as the street outside the owner’s house, the owner will still be liable for any fines resulting from being caught without tax or insurance.
Do I have to renew my SORN?
No, a SORN runs indefinitely and is valid until the owner taxes, sells, scraps or exports the vehicle.
Does a SORN transfer between owners?
No. If you buy a car that is already under SORN, if you intend to continue keeping it off the road without tax, you must immediately make a new SORN to the DVLA.
Can I drive a vehicle on the road under a SORN?
No, except under one limited circumstances (see below). Drivers caught on the public road with a SORNed car could face fines of up to £2,500.
How do I end a SORN?
To end a SORN, you just have to tax the vehicle, which can be done online using the 11-digit reference number found on the V5C.
However, that could be slightly trickier if you’ve let the vehicle’s MOT lapse or declared it off the road due to a failed MOT. There is a provision in place whereby an owner can drive a SORNed car to a pre-booked MOT provided they have the appropriate insurance in place. This is the only occasion where a SORNed vehicle can be driven on a public road.
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