Many Britons are feeling the financial pinch of COVID-19, and are understandably seeking ways to manage their outgoings.

What is SORN?

If the coronavirus has temporarily reduced or eliminated your need for a car, you may decide to avoid paying car tax by informing the DVLA that your car is off the road. This is called a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN).


Should I apply for a SORN?

You are only able to apply for a Statutory Off Road Notification if you can keep your off-the-road vehicle on private land; it must not be parked on public land at all.


Be certain you don’t need it

The length of the lockdown and the pandemic, in general, is not clear. As such, adding a SORN to your car might be premature - if the country gets back to normal sooner rather than later.


Also, be aware that you won't be able to use your car at all - that means grocery shopping trips and even emergency journeys would mean you're breaking the law.


What's the penalty for having no car tax?

If police find you've been driving your vehicle without car tax, you could face a fine of up to £1,000 - which would certainly eliminate any savings you made on placing a SORN on your car!


Other savings: MOTs

You will still need to insure your vehicle, even if it is not being used. However, be aware that MOTs which expired on or after March 30, 2020, are automatically exempt for six months - which means you have half a year before you need to do an MOT from the previous expiry date.


The MOT extension is automatic, so you don’t need to do anything.