How to register your car as off the road

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Written by Michael Foote , founder of Quote Goat, with over 13 years experience working in the finance, insurance and currency sectors.

Sometimes you may not need to use your car for extended periods of time. This could be because of certain incidents; maybe someone is out of work and can’t afford to run their car? Maybe the car is being kept for someone who is currently away?

No matter what reason your car is off the road for, you need to register it with the DVLA with a ‘Statutory Off Road Notification’ (SORN).

When would I need to SORN my car?

If you buy a car already issued with a SORN you will need to declare with the DVLA that the vehicle is off the road with the new details.

If you buy a car and decide not to insure it immediately or if you aren’t able to tax your car you will need to apply for a SORN. Also, if you are going to scrap a car but wish to strip it for parts first you will need to declare the car as off the road with the DVLA.

Why would I SORN my car?

Registering your vehicle as off the road means you no longer have to pay car insurance or tax. If you don’t register it with the DVLA first, these tax exemptions aren’t in place and should you fail to pay your tax or insurance you could face an on-the-spot fine or even further prosecution.

In order to SORN your car you must make sure that:

  1. Your car isn’t used at all for the period of the SORN
  2. You secure the car off public roads, which can include your own driveway or garage.
  3. You officially apply for a SORN with the DVLA to declare your car as off the road.

Once you have applied for a SORN and it is accepted you won’t have to do renew or extend the SORN or inform the DVLA until you tax, sell or scrap your car.

If you wish to drive your car again you will need to inform the DVLA, tax the vehicle and contact your car insurance company to insure the car again before it can be driven anywhere.

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