HOW DO I GET MY CAR BACK ON THE ROAD AFTER SORN?

How Do I Get My Car Back On The Road After Sorn? In April 2024

If your vehicle has been declared SORN, also known as Statutory Off Road Notification, you may be wondering how to get it back on the road. This common question has a clear and straightforward answer, which this article will discuss. 

Here’s why you should read this article:

– You’ll gain further understanding into the process of reinstating your vehicle for road use after SORN.

– The article covers topics such as the background of SORN, how to cancel your SORN status, and the necessary steps for taking your SORNed car back on the road. 

– It will also discuss the legal and insurance considerations which occur after ending your SORN status.

Topics that you will find covered on this page

Background to SORN and Reinstating Vehicle Use

Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) is a declaration made by the vehicle’s registered keeper that it is not being used on public roads. By determining this, you won’t need to pay vehicle tax, also known as road tax, or pay car insurance.

However, the vehicle must be kept on private land, such as a garage, driveway, or private car park

If you want to use your SORNed car again, you must ensure that it is roadworthy, taxed, and insured. Therefore your vehicle needs a valid MOT (Ministry of Transport) test certificate. This proves that your vehicle is in accordance with road safety and environmental standards.

Between April and June 2020, roughly 1.9 million SORN declarations were made in the UK Consequently, this illustrates the necessity of understanding how to get your vehicle back on the road after declaring it SORN.

How Do I Get My Car Back on the Road After SORN?

In order to get your car back on the road after declaring it SORN, you will need to take several steps. Firstly, ensure that your car is roadworthy. 

This might involve checking the tyres, brakes, and lights. If your vehicle has been off the road for an extended period, you may need to consider a thorough service.

The next step is to obtain car insurance. In order to find a policy that suits your specific needs and budget, you should compare a variety of different insurance companies.

Remember to check that the insurance company is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority, and appears on the Financial Services Register.

Finally, remember to tax your vehicle. You can do this online on the DVLA website using the 16-digit reference number from your vehicle tax reminder letter (V11) or the 11-digit reference number from your log book (V5C).

You can also watch this video on Youtube here.

Steps to Cancel Your SORN Status

Cancelling your SORN status is a straightforward process. Rather than needing to contact the DVLA to tell them that you would like to cancel your SORN, you can simply tax your vehicle. This can be done online, by phone, or at a Post Office that deals with vehicle tax. 

To tax your vehicle online, you will need the 16-digit reference number from your vehicle tax reminder letter (V11), or the 11-digit reference number from your log book (V5C). If you don’t have these documents, you should apply for a new V5C by phone or post.

Remember, it’s illegal to drive on a public road before you have taxed your vehicle. However, it is important to note that you can still drive to a pre-booked MOT testing appointment.

Essential Checklist for Taking SORNed Car Back on Road

Before you take your SORNed car back on the road, you should consider the following points:

– Ensure that your vehicle is in roadworthy condition. This includes checking the tyres, brakes, lights, and oil levels.

– Look for a car insurance policy that suits your needs and budget. Remember to always check that the insurance company is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority.

– You need to tax your vehicle, which can be done online, by phone, or at a Post Office that deals with vehicle tax. You cannot legally drive on a public road until you have taxed your vehicle.

Legal Implications and Insurance Considerations After SORN

Once you have cancelled your SORN status, you need to consider several legal implications and insurance factors. 

Firstly, your vehicle must be insured the moment it is taxed. If your vehicle is uninsured, you could be fined £100 or have your vehicle clamped, seized or destroyed.

Secondly, all vehicles that are taxed must have a valid MOT. This test confirms that your vehicle adheres to strict road safety and environmental standards. You can be fined up to £1,000 for driving a vehicle without a valid MOT.

Finally, it’s important to remember that if you don’t use your vehicle and it’s not SORN, it must still be insured. This is to ensure that all vehicles on the Motor Insurance Database are insured, consequently reducing the number of uninsured drivers on the road.

Updating Your Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) Records

SORN Rules and Your Responsibilities

Declaring your car SORN means that you won’t be driving it on public roads. This also means that you are not required to pay car tax or maintain standard car insurance. 

However, if the vehicle is stored outside, you might consider SORN car insurance to protect against theft or accidental damage. 

In case you decide to use your vehicle, keep in mind the SORN rules. You must have valid car insurance, pay the car tax, and ensure your vehicle has a valid MOT certificate. 

It is crucial to note that driving an uninsured or untaxed vehicle on public roads can lead to substantial penalties.

Remember, you can drive your vehicle to a pre-booked MOT test even if it’s declared SORN. However, you will be required to provide proof of this appointment if you are stopped by the police.

"Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) is a declaration made by the vehicle's registered keeper that it is not being used on public roads."

The Classic Car Exception

For classic car owners, SORN rules come with a unique consideration. If your classic car was built before 1 January 1981, it is exempt from vehicle tax. However, declaring SORN will prevent any potential confusion about its status.

If you wish to use your classic car again, you must follow the same procedures, remembering to ensure that the car is roadworthy, taxed (even if it’s zero-rated), and insured. 

If the classic car has been stationary for a prolonged period of time, you should think about a comprehensive check or servicing before taking it for an MOT test.

Becoming a Registered Keeper After SORN

Switching from SORN to Temporary Insurance

For when you want your SORN car back on the road for the short-term, temporary car insurance could provide a potential solution. This type of insurance policy can offer cover from one hour to 28 days, which could be beneficial if you need to use your vehicle for a short period of time.

Applying for temporary car insurance is typically quick and easy, with documents sent via email. If you need a larger vehicle for a short term, some companies even provide temporary van insurance.

However, you should note that cancelling a typical car insurance policy early might come with a cancellation fee. This makes it crucial to compare the cost of temporary insurance with the potential cancellation fee.

Electric Vehicles and SORN

If you own an electric vehicle, the process of declaring SORN and bringing it back on the road remains the same. Although electric vehicles are exempt from vehicle excise duty, also known as road tax, you still need to apply for it. 

When you’re ready to use your electric vehicle again, you must guarantee that it’s roadworthy, insured and taxed. Consequently, this also includes having a valid MOT test. 

Whilst the MOT test for electric vehicles skips the emissions test, it covers all other key areas. For instance, brakes and tyres.

Understanding the SORN Declaration Process

In order to declare your vehicle as SORN, you need to complete and send a V890 form to the DVLA. This form serves as your SORN declaration, and you can use either the 16-digit number on your vehicle tax reminder letter or the 11-digit number on your vehicle log book to complete it. 

It is crucial to note that when a vehicle is SORNed, it cannot be on public roads and needs to be stored on private property. 

This could be a garage, driveway, or any private land where you have permission to store your vehicle. If your vehicle is found on a public road, you might receive an insurance advisory letter or face penalties. 

Even after declaring SORN, you can still sell your vehicle. Therefore, the vehicle logbook would need to be updated with the details of the new owner. However, the new owner will need to tax the vehicle before driving it on public roads.

Motor Trader and SORN

Insights for Motor Traders on SORN and Trade

Motor traders often deal with SORN vehicles, either buying them or taking them in part exchange. In such cases, the remaining tax cannot be transferred to the new owner or motor trader. 

For any full months of remaining tax after the vehicle is sold, the previous owner will be eligible for a refund. 

Before a motor trader can use the vehicle, it needs to be taxed. If the motor trader wishes to store the vehicle rather than use it, they could declare it SORN. However, if the vehicle is to be driven (even for pre-booked MOT), it will need to have valid insurance cover. 

A motor trader can also apply for a trade licence, allowing them to drive uninsured vehicles on public roads legally. However, the vehicle still needs to be roadworthy. 

A vehicle with a SORN status can be driven on public roads to a pre-booked MOT without needing to tax it, as long as it is insured.

A Case Study On Bringing SORN Back to the Road

Here’s a case study to help bring the process of getting a SORN vehicle back on the road to life. Consequently, this example will be relevant to vehicle owners who have declared their vehicles as SORN.

John is a car enthusiast who owns a classic car. He declared his car as SORN (Statutory Off Road Notice) when he went abroad for an extended period. This means that his car was stored in his garage and kept off the public road, in accordance with the SORN rules.

Upon his return to the UK, John decided to bring his SORN vehicle back on the road. To begin, he wanted to guarantee that his car was roadworthy. This meant that he needed to check the tyres, brakes, and lights. 

He also booked a MOT test in advance, ensuring that his car met the required safety and environmental standards.

Following this, John looked into car insurance. He did some comparison shopping and found a policy that suited his needs. 

Before buying the policy, he made sure that the insurance company was registered with the Financial Conduct Authority. With insurance in place, John moved on to taxing his car.

To tax his car, John used the 11-digit number from his vehicle log book (V5C), also known as the registration document. He applied online through the DVLA website, and his SORN status was automatically cancelled after his car was taxed.

John’s story is a typical example of how a vehicle owner can navigate the process of getting a SORN vehicle back on the road. 

This process involves making sure the vehicle is roadworthy, arranging for insurance, and taxing the vehicle. As long as you follow these steps, any vehicle owner can easily transition from SORN to road-ready.

The Classic Car Exception

Key Takeaways and Learnings

This article has offered a detailed guide on how to get your car back on the road after declaring it SORN.

Here are the key points to remember:

– A vehicle declared as SORN must be kept off public roads and stored on private property.

– In order to cancel your SORN status, you need to tax your vehicle. This can be done online using the 16-digit number from your vehicle tax reminder letter or the 11-digit number from your vehicle log book.

– Your vehicle needs to be insured before it can be used on public roads. You should also guarantee that your insurance company is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority.

– As your vehicle needs a valid MOT test certificate, you are able to drive your SORN vehicle to a pre-booked MOT test.

– If you own a classic car built before 1 January 1981, it is exempt from vehicle tax. However, the same SORN rules still apply.

In conclusion, navigating the process of getting a SORN vehicle back on the road involves several important steps. These range from ensuring that the vehicle is roadworthy, to arranging appropriate insurance and taxing your vehicle. 

By keeping this article’s key information in mind, you should now feel able to manage this process smoothly. You should also remember to always check your vehicle’s status, keep it insured, taxed, and roadworthy to avoid any legal issues.

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Meet the author

Jane Parkinson

Jane Parkinson

Jane is one of our primary content writers and specialises in elder care. She has a degree in English language and literature from Manchester University and has been writing and reviewing products for a number of years.

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