Not using your car? You need a SORN!
21 January 2019
Picture this…. You own a car and for whatever reason, you’re no longer driving it. Maybe it needs some repair work or you’re trying to sell it. You have cancelled your insurance as advised – so what’s the problem? It’s just sitting pretty in the driveway! This however could be a VERY costly mistake.
Many drivers might not realise that if you’re taking your car off the road and cancelling your insurance - even for a short time - you need to apply for a Statutory Off-Road Notification – otherwise known as a SORN.
WHAT IS A SORN?
A SORN is a declaration that you’re officially taking your car off public roads. By applying for one, you’re informing the authorities that your vehicle is registered but it will not be used for a period of time.
WHEN DO I NEED TO GET ONE?
As we all know every car needs to be taxed, insured and have a valid MOT - even if they’re just chilling in the garage or sitting in the driveway, unless you have a SORN!
So, you’ve cancelled your insurance, but you will still need to apply for a SORN for the below examples,
- You’ve got a classic car that you’re repairing in your spare time.
- You’re selling your car but it’s taking a bit of time to shift.
- You’ve bought a car, but you haven’t passed your driving test yet.
- You can’t afford to run your car for a few months.
Why is a SORN so important?
A SORN is so important because it’s the only way you can legally stop paying for tax and insurance on your vehicle.
Police and authorities can check for uninsured cars, and if your vehicle comes up as being uninsured and without a SORN, you could face a fixed penalty notice and risk your car being clamped, seized or even crushed. In some cases, you could even face prosecution with a maximum fine of £1,000.
Also, if you didn’t realise you needed to SORN your vehicle, you may find it more difficult to reinsure. Insurers will review each case on an individual basis, but you may find that some will not offer insurance due to this gap in cover. Thus, we urge road-users to be aware of what a SORN is, why and when you need one.
HOW DO I APPLY FOR A SORN?
Luckily, it’s easy to get a SORN and it’s completely free as well! The most straightforward way to apply for one is to visit the government website and fill in the details. You can choose when the SORN date starts, and if you have any outstanding tax on the car you’ll get a refund for it. Alternatively, you can apply by post or over the phone. For more information, check out the direct.gov.uk website.
IS IT ILLEGAL TO DRIVE A CAR WITH A SORN?
The only occasion when authorities will permit a SORN vehicle on the public road is if you’re on your way to a pre-booked MOT test. However, you must be able to prove that the test was booked ahead of time.