SORN - Statutory Off Road Notification
If you have a car that is not currently being driven or have decided to stop driving for a medical or non personal reasons, then you will need to declare your vehicle as off road. You must let the DVLA know and fill out a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) form; you can do this online, over the phone or when applying for a road tax refund.
Usually students and people who have classic cars are the ones who apply for SORN as they will not drive it for most of the year or none at all. Those who are struck down with illness that prevents them from driving safely may also apply for SORN as there is money to be saved by Statutory Off Road Notifications. They were introduced as a way to keep track of those who pay insurance and road tax; if a car owner suddenly stops renewing and hasn’t declared SORN, then they are breaking the law by not informing the DVLA of their intentions.
Saving money by declaring SORN
When you declare a vehicle as being off road, the DVLA will send you a letter usually within 30 days acknowledging and confirming it has been registered on their system. If you do not receive an acknowledgment letter to confirm this, you must contact them and let them know otherwise you could be fined £80. Here are the things you should know about SORN:
- When you declare a vehicle SORN you do not have to pay road tax as the vehicle is not being driven, you can apply for a refund for the months that are remaining on the tax year.
- You can also save money on insurance, either call up your current insurer and cancel the cover, or reduce cover to the minimum fire and theft. The insurer should reimburse you some money back for the reduced months cover.
- If the car is not being driven, a current MOT is not needed and can be deferred until the vehicle needs to be on the road again. When SORN runs out or you decide to cancel it, you must then insure the vehicle, apply for road tax and get an MOT done. You are allowed to drive the vehicle to a pre-booked appointment for MOT testing and this is perfectly legal.
Best of all it is completely free; there is no fee to be paid by letting the DVLA know that the vehicle is SORN, just the cost of the stamp if you decide to post it.
Remember that if a vehicle is declared as off road (SORN), it is not allowed to be parked on a public road, the vehicle should be in a garage or private driveway. If a vehicle that is SORN is found to be parked on public roads, then a fine of up to £5,000 could be issued.