If you own a vehicle that you don’t use or intend to stop using for a while, you could benefit from declaring it SORN.

SORN meaning: What is SORN?

SORN stands for Statutory Off Road Notification. You must make one if you plan to take a vehicle ‘off the road’ and you want to stop taxing and insuring it.

If you’ve SORN a vehicle in the UK, the SORN status lets DVLA and the police know that your car doesn’t legally need vehicle tax, an MOT or insurance, because you’re not keeping or driving it on public roads.

What is a SORN?

What are the benefits to making a SORN?

Declaring your vehicle as being off the road will enable you to save money on associated costs of running the vehicle.

If you SORN a vehicle you can cease payments of insurance and road tax (VED).

A SORN vehicle does also not require a valid MOT


Not using your car, but not declared it as SORN?

If you do not have a SORN, you must insure and tax your vehicle, even if you are not using it.


Penalties for untaxed / uninsured cars

Cars that are not declared off-the-road and which are not taxed and insured will face an automatic fine of £80 for not having a SORN, as well as potentially facing an additional fine for having an uninsured vehicle.


Reasons for declaring a car off-the-road

You may not need your car for a particular period, or, for example, have a classic car that you wish to store but not drive.

Other reasons include:

  • You're studying away from home and won’t need your car during that time
  • You have a car but plan to scrap it
  • You've purchased an old car to fix up and don’t plan to drive it on public roads

Before you decide to declare your car as off-the-road, be certain you won’t need it for things like shopping, picking up medications - or in an emergency.

I have my SORN car parked outside my house – Is this ok?

If your car is on private land such as your driveway, then it is ok for you to have your SORN car parked outside your house.


Can I store my SORN-declared car on a public road?

No, if your car has been declared as SORN, you must keep your car on private land, such as a garage or driveway.

If you're caught using public roads with a SORN vehicle (even just parking an unused vehicle on them), without insurance or VED, you'll face a fine from the DVLA.

Drive a SORN car to an MOT

Can I drive a SORN car to an MOT?

You are permitted to drive the vehicle to a pre-booked MOT even if it is declared off-the-road.

It’s worth noting that some car insurers will not cover your vehicle if it has been declared SORN.

Before you do decide to drive your SORN car to an MOT, check your insurance policy wording to make sure that you are covered.


Can I drive a SORN car to an MOT without insurance?

While it is legal to drive a SORN car with no MOT to a pre-booked appointment at an MOT station – the car must be insured. 

You must at least have third party motor insurance in place, to drive your vehicle on UK roads.

Find out how to check your car insurance is up to date.


How to SORN a car (How to cancel tax on car):

Wondering, how do you declare your vehicle as off-the-road?

SORN a car online

Use the government website to declare your car off-the-road with the DVLA.

SORN a car via post

Not the registered owner of the vehicle?

Use the V890 form and apply by post.

SORN a car via phone

You can also complete the process to SORN a car by calling the DVLA on 0300 123 4321. It's a 24-hour service.

Can you choose when a SORN starts?

If applying to SORN your vehicle by phone or online, there are two options as to when you can start the SORN from:

To immediately SORN a vehicle

Use the 11-digit number on your vehicle log book (V5C) to take the vehicle off the road immediately.

To SORN a vehicle on the first day of next month

Use the 16-digit number on your vehicle tax reminder letter (V11) to take the vehicle off the road from the first day of next month. You can only use this number once.

If you apply to SORN a vehicle by post, the date of the SORN will start on the date you put on the form.

This can be any day either:

  • this month
  • next month or the month after (you will need to include a letter saying why you cannot send the form nearer the time)

Note: It is not possible to backdate a SORN.


How much does it cost to declare a car as SORN?

It is completely free of charge to certify your car as SORN.

If you require a new V5C log book in order to declare your car as SORN, you will need to get this from the DVLA, and you’ll have to pay £25 to get a replacement.


How long is a SORN valid? Do I need to renew my SORN?

No, there is no need to renew your SORN; it will be cancelled automatically the next time you tax or sell your car.


If I buy a car does my SORN transfer over?

No, a SORN cannot be transferred from a previous owner.

If you buy a car that has been registered as SORN and you intend to keep it so, you'll need to declare another SORN under your own name.

If you are selling a car which has been registered as SORN, the new owner will either need to apply for a SORN themselves or re-tax and insure the vehicle.

If I sell my vehicle do I need to SORN?

You do not need to make a SORN for a vehicle you’ve already sold.

Tell DVLA you’ve sold a vehicle instead.

SORN Car on driveway

Can you check If a vehicle is SORN?

Unsure is my car sorned?

Looking to find out if another vehicle is SORN?

You can check a vehicle’s SORN status online on the Government website.


Can I get a refund for any remaining road tax (VED) once I declare my vehicle as SORN?

Yes, you can get a refund on any full months of road tax you have paid for once your vehicle has been declared SORN.

Some insurers may offer refunds too - contact yours to find out.


SORN insurance – What is laid up car insurance?  

You must have Third party motor insurance as a minimum legal requirement, to drive your vehicle on UK roads.

Whilst you don’t legally need insurance if your vehicle is SORN, you could still benefit from having insurance in place.

Remember that your car may still be stolen or damaged while declared off-the-road, so you may wish to continue insuring it.

You can get laid up car insurance – also called SORN insurance – for your car while it has a SORN. 


How much does SORN car insurance cost?

Like standard car insurance, the cost of SORN insurance (laid up insurance) depends on a host of risk factors such as the make, model and value of your car, where you live, and your claims history.

SORN insurance tends to be cheaper than standard vehicle insurance because you’re not insuring your car to be driven anywhere, and so the risk factors tend to be lower.


Getting a SORN vehicle back on the road:

Do I need to inform anyone if I no longer have SORN in place on my vehicle?

You do not need to inform the DVLA if you no longer want your vehicle SORN; as soon as you start to pay road tax on the vehicle again, it will be automatically taken off SORN.


How do I tax my car after SORN?

To get your car taxed again, use the 11 digit reference number on the V5C.

Taxing your vehicle can be done:

  • Online
  • By phoning the DVLA
  • At some Post Office branches.


MOT and insurance requirements for a car taken off SORN

Ensure you have valid MOT in place if you intend to start using your car again.

You will also need to ensure that you have appropriate insurance in place.  

SORN insurance doesn’t cover you for driving, so if you have had this in place whilst your car has been off road, you need to cancel your SORN and buy regular car insurance before you take your car out on a public road.