4x4 Off Roading ›› UK Driving Tips ›› SORN

When to Make a SORN

So, you want to take your vehicle "off the road" to stop paying tax and insurance? If so, this is the time when you need to tell the DVLA that you will make a Statutory Off Road Notification.

The information in this help guide explains the rules for SORN in the United Kingdom with further details about the exceptions for motor traders.

UK Rules for Making a SORN Declaration

The DVLA recognises a vehicle as being off the road if it's not used on any public roads (e.g. kept inside a garage or on a driveway).

Therefore, you need to make a Statutory Off Road Notification if (any):

Remember, you can't transfer a SORN from a previous keeper. But, there's no need to make a SORN if you have a vehicle road tax reminder for one that you already sold.

Plus, once you tell DVLA you've sold, transferred or bought a vehicle, they will send you confirmation that you are no longer the registered keeper.

Warning: There is an automatic fine of £80 for failing to tax and insure a vehicle without a SORN. You can also get fined for not having adequate vehicle insurance.

When Does SORN Start and End?

Even though you can't backdate a Statutory Off Road Notification, it starts with immediate effect if (either):

The DVLA will cancel the SORN if you tax it again, sell it, have it scrapped, or permanently export it. But, because a SORN is only valid in this country, you need to inform them if you will be taking a vehicle out of the UK.

How to Get a Road Tax Refund?

After you register your vehicle as off the road (online, by phone, or by post) you can cancel your vehicle tax and get a refund for any full months that are remaining.

Important: You can only drive a vehicle that has been SORNED on a public road if you are going to (or coming from) a pre-booked MOT or other testing appointment. Using it on the road for any other reason can result in a fine of £2,500.

SORN Exceptions (e.g. for Motor Traders)

The UK rules for making a SORN on a vehicle do not apply to motor traders and vehicle testers, as long as (all):

For the purpose of needing to make or SORN, the term "motor trader" refers to motor dealers, motor auctioneers, dismantlers, and some insurers or finance companies.

Pro Tip: The GOV.UK website explains when you need to make a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) in Welsh language (Cymraeg).

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