Understanding SORN: Declaring Your Car Off the Road and Saving Money

Aug 30, 2023

Understanding SORN: Declaring Your Car Off the Road and Saving Money | Sweven Plates - Supplier of 3D Gel, 4D Number Plates, Replacement Plates and 4D Gel Number Plates (Number Plate Maker)

Understanding SORN: Declaring Your Car Off the Road and Saving Money

If you're planning to leave your car unused for an extended period, you'll need to submit a Statutory Off-Road Notice (SORN) to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

A SORN, which stands for Statutory Off-Road Notice, is a legally binding declaration informing the DVLA that your car won't be used on public roads. This action exempts you from paying road tax for the vehicle.

This guide will lead you through the process of SORNing your car.

What Does SORN Mean? The acronym SORN represents Statutory Off-Road Notice, which essentially notifies the DVLA that you won't be using your car on public roads.

When Would I Need a SORN? You should apply for a SORN if you plan to park your car unused for more than two weeks. This action takes your car off the road and exempts you from tax and insurance obligations.

When Should You SORN Your Car? You should consider SORNing your car in the following situations:

  • If you haven't paid road tax and don't intend to drive the car.
  • If you lack insurance and don't plan to use the vehicle.
  • If you have a non-operational project car.
  • If you intend to scrap your car or use it for spare parts.
  • If you've purchased a new car but won't be driving it immediately.

Failure to SORN your untaxed or uninsured car can result in fines and penalties.

How Can I Get a SORN for My Car? You can declare your car as SORN via phone, mail, or online. The quickest method is online, and you'll need your V5C logbook.

Online: Visit the government's website and follow the steps. If you want an immediate SORN, you'll need the 11-digit reference number on your V5C. If you prefer a SORN starting the following month, use the reference number from your V11 tax reminder. After declaring your car as SORN, you'll receive a tax refund for the unused period.

By Mail: To SORN your car by mail, download the V890 form from the government's website or collect it from a post office. Fill out the form and send it to DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1AR. Expect confirmation within four weeks, or follow up if you don't receive it.

By Phone: To SORN your car over the phone, have your V5C reference number or V11 tax reminder details ready. Call the DVLA at 0300 123 4321 and explain your intention. Confirmation should arrive within four weeks, but if not, follow up.

Is There a Fee for SORNing My Car? Declaring your car as SORN is free, and you might receive a tax refund, depending on the remaining tax period.

How Long Does It Take to SORN a Car? If you use the V5C to notify the DVLA, the SORN takes effect immediately. With the V11 tax reminder, it starts on the 1st of the following month. If you use the DVLA's online tool, the process is also immediate. You should receive confirmation within four weeks; if not, follow up.

Don't assume your SORN is in effect; errors can lead to tax and insurance liabilities.

How Can I End a SORN? To end a SORN, simply pay the tax, which automatically removes the SORN status. Ensure proper insurance before taking the car on the road again.

FAQs on SORNing Your Car:

Can I SORN My Car Without the V5C Logbook? No, you need a V5C logbook to SORN your car. If you lack one, apply for a new logbook by filling out a V62 form and sending it to the DVLA along with your V890 form. There's a £25 fee for a new logbook.

Does a SORN Car Need to Be Taxed? No, a SORNed car is off the road, so you don't need to pay tax. However, it must be parked on private land, or you could face fines for not taxing it.

Does a SORN Car Need Insurance? Legally, a SORNed car doesn't require insurance, but it's wise to have coverage for fire, theft, and accidental damage, even if the car isn't drivable.

Can I Drive a SORNed Car? No, a SORNed car must stay off the road. Driving it on public roads without tax and insurance can result in fines and legal consequences, except when driving it to or from a pre-booked MoT appointment.

How Long Does a SORN Last? A SORN remains in effect indefinitely until you decide to put the car back on the road.

How Do I End a SORN? To lift a SORN, simply tax and insure the car. The SORN will automatically be canceled.

Can I Park a SORNed Car on the Street? No, you can't park a SORNed car on public roads. It must be parked on private land.

Is There a Cost to Get a SORN? No, applying for a SORN is free.

Do I Get a Tax Refund for a SORNed Car? Yes, you will receive a tax refund for complete months of tax when you SORN your car.

Do I Need Insurance for a SORNed Car? Legally, you don't need insurance for a SORNed car, but it's advisable to have coverage for fire, theft, and accidental damage.

Can I Sell a SORNed Car? Yes, you can sell a SORNed car. The buyer must either tax it before driving it away or arrange transport for it. If selling privately, it's easier to sort the tax and insurance before advertising it.

Do I Need to Redo a SORN When Buying a SORNed Car? Yes, a SORN isn't transferable between owners. When buying a SORNed car, you must either tax it or redeclare it as SORN.