A Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) is a formal declaration that you’re taking your car off the road. People do this when they aren’t going to be using the car and no longer want to pay car tax or insurance on it – having a SORN makes that legal.
Here’s everything you need to know about SORNs.
Who Needs a SORN?
Do you want to take your car off the road? No intention of driving it in the near future? If so, you should get a SORN.
Some people get a SORN when they are planning to restore their vehicle or have it scrapped. People who buy classic, collectable, vintage, or otherwise unique cars may make their purchase with no intention of ever putting the car on the road.
You’ll also need to get a SORN if there’s an unavoidable delay in renewing the vehicle’s insurance policy. In this case, you need a SORN to prevent getting fined for owning an uninsured car – simply not driving it isn’t enough.
Keep in mind that you need to physically keep your vehicle off the road. It must be left in a lockup or garage. It cannot be left on a public road.
Do SORNS Make Financial Sense?
Good news, the SORN application is completely free, so you don’t need to worry about saving to get your car off the road.
Once you get the SORN, you’ll no longer have to pay car tax or insurance on that vehicle. However, the act of applying for a SORN doesn’t necessarily mean you can immediately stop paying vehicle tax. You must continue making payments until you are specifically notified otherwise. If you stop right away and get caught, you’ll risk an £80 fine. If you don’t pay, that fine can rise to £1000.
But it’s not all bad. You’ll automatically receive a full refund of any vehicle tax you owe for remaining months within 6 weeks of getting your SORN.