June 26, 2018
Old Car

How  SORN can save you money

If you manage a motor fleet you will no doubt know what SORN is and how it can be used to the benfit of your company. In a nutshell applying for SORN will enable you to stop paying tax and insurance for a fleet vehicle that will no longer be driven on the public roads in the UK. 

For those of you that have an off-road only vehicle you need to know what SORN is and how it will affect your pocketbook. Understanding this legal technicality about owning a vehicle that will not be used on a public road begins with what the acronym stands for or Statutory Off Road Notification.

What can I declare as SORN?

Examples of vehicles that will fall under this category of motorized vehicles include land transportation that will only be used on private land of the owner of the vehicle. It will also include off road vehicle that will be transported to locations off of public roads for use as entertainment or amusement by the owner of the vehicle.

Other vehicles that can be classified as SORN include this collectible and scrap vehicles stored in garages.

  • Vehicles that are not taxed or insured are considered SORN.
  • If the owner of a vehicle plans to part it out and sell it in pieces it can be listed as SORN. This can be an older vehicle that no longer operates or one that has been involved in a motor vehicle accident and is no longer road worthy.

What if I don't apply for SORN

As a legal point, if a SORN is not declared or the official paperwork is not completed, an owner of a vehicle can be fined up to £80 for owning a vehicle and not paying taxes on it.

How to get a vehicle listed as SORN

If you vehicle is not road worthy, not taxed and uninsured it must be declared SORN as soon as possible. If this is not done you may well be fined. 

  • To have a vehicle listed as SORN, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency or DVLA of the UK has to be officially notified by registry that a vehicle is now declared SORN.
  • If the owner of a vehicle plans to part it out and sell it in pieces it can be listed as SORN. This can be an older vehicle that no longer operates or one that has been involved in a motor vehicle accident and is no longer road worthy.
  • When the owner of a vehicle decides to deport the vehicle like selling a vehicle to a new owner in a different country it is also considered SORN.
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    Once the paperwork is complete with the DVLA, the SORN will take effect on the first day of the next month.

Recent change to SORN

A recent change to the SORN system is that once a vehicle is listed as a SORN, it will remain there indefinitely. In the past each vehicle had to be relisted every 12 months. That requirement has been removed.

For the car restoring enthusiasts, once their vehicle is close to or is ready for use on public road, insurance and taxes must be paid before the vehicle can be tested on a public road in the UK. If this is not done, then the owner and driver of the vehicle can be fined for operating an illegal vehicle on public roads.

Article contributed by Eamonn Turley

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