How to SORN a car

Author Name – Louise Helsby

    2 people

As we’ve entered a new year and unfortunately, a new lockdown, you may be wondering when you’ll be in a position to use your car again. You might be considering cancelling your vehicle tax or insurance or if it’s due, not renewing to save yourself the money. If this is the case, you will need to ensure that you register your vehicle with a SORN (statutory off-road notice).

how to sorn a vehicle

What is a SORN?

SORN is the abbreviation of a Statutory off-road notice, which you can apply for if you wish to take your car off a public road. You can also SORN a vehicle if it is parked on a driveway, in a garage or on private land.

How long does a SORN last?

Once you have registered your vehicle as being off road, the SORN will last until such time that you wish to tax and insure it again.

How do I register my vehicle with a SORN?

To register your vehicle as off road you will need to apply for a SORN notice from the DVLA (driver and vehicle licensing agency). This can be done online, via the post or over the phone.

Can I save money by declaring my car off road?

Yes. Not only will you be saving money on fuel and maintenance but you will also be refunded for any full months of remaining tax that you might have on the vehicle.

What documents do I need to apply for a SORN?

To apply for a SORN you will need either the 11-digit number in your log book (V5C) or the 16-digit number on your tax reminder letter (V11).

What happens if I don’t register with a SORN but cancel my insurance and car tax?

If you don’t declare your car off road with a SORN you must tax and insure your car or risk an automatic fine of £80. If you do declare your vehicle off road but subsequently drive it you could be prosecuted and fined up to £2,500 for the offence, the only exception to this is if you are driving the car to or from an MOT test. Please note, if you do not have valid car insurance, you are not legally allowed to drive your vehicle. Failure to pay any fines issued could result in your car being clamped or crushed and your details being passed on to a debt collection agency.

Check that the car’s MOT is still current, if not you can book an MOT at one of our MOT testing stations.

Tax your car, this will declare the car back on the road and invalidate the SORN notice.

It is important to remember that if your car is left stationary for long periods of time that certain maintenance checks should be carried out before you put the car back on the road.

  • Battery – batteries can be maintained by regularly switching the engine on and leaving the car running for approx 20 minutes at a time. This will prevent the battery being drained and eventually not starting.
  • Fluid levels – before starting the engine, check all the fluid levels.
  • Check your tyre pressures – checking tyre pressures is an essential part of car maintenance. Over-inflated tyres and under-inflated tyres can both compromise the safety of the tyres and cause uneven wear.
  • Brakes – cars parked up for long periods, especially in the wet winter months could have signs of corrosion on the brakes, when starting the car up again drive slowly and carefully and get the brakes tested as soon as possible.

If in doubt about the condition of your car, pop down to your local National Tyres and Autocare where one of our highly trained technicians can carry out a free safety check for your vehicle.


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