SORN stands for Statutory Off Road Notification. You must make one if you plan to stop using your car for a while - while ceasing payments of insurance and road tax (VED).

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


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

No, you must keep your car on private land, such as a garage or driveway. If you're caught using public roads without insurance or VED, you'll face a fine from the DVLA. However, you are permitted to drive the vehicle to a pre-booked MOT even if it is declared off-the-road.

Cars that are not declared off-the-road and which are not taxed and insured will face an automatic fine.

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.


How to declare your vehicle as off-the-road

Use the government website to declare your car off-the-road. You'll need certain information to hand, which you'll find in your car's vehicle log book or a recent vehicle tax reminder letter.

Not the registered owner of the vehicle? Use the V890 form and apply by post.

You can also complete the process by calling the DVLA on 0300 123 4321. It's a 24-hour service but access may be limited due to staffing reductions resulting from the ongoing Coronavirus situation.


Do I need to renew my SORN?

No, it will be cancelled automatically the next time you tax or sell your car. If you buy a car that has been declared off-the-road, you'll need to declare another SORN under your own name.


Can I get a refund for any remaining VED?

Yes, you can get a refund on any full months of road tax you have paid for. Some insurers may offer refunds too - contact yours to find out. Remember that your car may still be stolen or damaged while declared off-the-road, so you may wish to continue insuring it.