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Should you SORN your vehicle?

Everything you need to know about taking your car off the road.

What is a SORN?

SORN stands for Statutory Off Road Notification and is how you tell the DVLA that you’re taking your car off the road. If you declare your car as off the road your are no longer legally obliged to insure or tax it. You can’t drive the vehicle or park it on any public road; it has to be stored on private land, in a garage or on a driveway. If the vehicle is found to be on a public road you could potentially be prosecuted and fined up to £2,500!

You can only legally cancel your insurance and tax if you have submitted a SORN to the DVLA, otherwise you could be fined up to £1,000.

If your vehicle is off the road there is no requirement to have a valid MOT, although taking the car to a pre-booked MOT is the only reason for legally driving the car on a public road.

Why SORN my vehicle?

There are a few reasons why you might consider making a SORN for your vehicle, including:
  • Your car has been written off and stripping for parts before scrapping it
  • You have bought a classic car and want to restore it
  • You’re going away for a while but don’t want to sell your car

What about insurance?

You’re not legally required to have insurance for a SORN vehicle. The risks are quite low with it not being on the road, but accidents can still happen and you are also at risk of theft or fire damage. You might not realise but if you’re potentially worried about not having insurance while your car is off the road you can get laid up car insurance (also called SORN insurance) to protect yourself for either 6 or 12 months.

How do I declare my car off the road?

You can contact the DVLA by phone or fill in an online or postal form – you’ll just need to have the V5C to hand to provide the relevant information.

How do I get back on the road?

This is the easy bit – simply insure and tax your car. By doing this the SORN automatically expires and you’re ready to go!