How long is a SORN valid?

How long is a SORN valid?

When it comes to owning a car there are a lot of acronyms being thrown around, from MOTs, to the DVLA, to SORNs. And even once you’ve figured out what they mean, there’re often lots of complicated details that come with them. Well, in this blog we’re going to break down one of these acronyms: SORN.

Standing for Statutory Off Road Notification, a SORN is the way you declare your car as not in use in the UK. Once you’ve declared your car as SORN though, does it end there? How long does a SORN last? And what’s SORN, really? Buckle your seatbelts, we’re about to go through it all.


What does SORN mean?

As we’ve mentioned, SORN stands for Statutory Off Road Notification. It’s the way you can let the government know the car you own doesn’t need to be insured and that you don’t need to pay road tax because you won’t be using it on any public roads. Sometimes, though, it can be a good idea to keep your insurance in case of any accidental damage that could come to the car from things like storms.

You can declare your car as SORN online or over the phone through the DVLA or GOV.UK. It’s also possible to do so any some post offices.

Once you’ve notified the government that your car is SORN, you’ll no longer be able to drive or park it on public roads. You should be able to use it on private land, however.


How to check if a vehicle is SORN?

Maybe you’ve been given a car that you think might still be registered at SORN? Or you think you declared it as SORN a while ago when you stopped driving, but you can’t quite remember? In that case, you might be wanting to check whether your vehicle is registered as SORN or not.

One way to do this is by using GOV.UK’s vehicle enquiry service - for this all you’ll need is the car’s registration number. Also, if you’re using the portal to check on a SORN you’ve just made and you’re not seeing it, don’t panic! It takes 5 or more days to update so you might just have to bide your time for a little while.

There are some other useful online tools like the one from Car Analytics you can also use to check if your (or someone else’s!) car has SORN status.

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How long is SORN valid?

If you’ve declared your car SORN and you think you won’t be using it for a long time, you might be wondering how long does a SORN last? Are you going to have to renew it every year? Or every 5?

Well, there’s good news there. Once you’ve declared it as SORN, you won’t have to declare it as SORN again unless you decide to “un SORN” your vehicle and then decided you want to declare it as off road again later.

One exception to this rule that’s worth noting is if you’re purchasing a car from someone. If they’ve declared the car as SORN but then sell you the car, the SORN status of the car will be voided.

So even if you’re a vintage car collector buying a SORN car from another collector and you never plan to drive the car, the SORN status of your new vehicle may be voided by the sale. It’ll be a good idea to check the SORN status of the new car when you get it because of this. Otherwise, if the car isn’t SORN when it should be, you’ll still be expected to pay road tax on the car, and could get fined £80 for not paying.

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How to un SORN a vehicle?

Now say you’ve taken a break from driving and you’re planning on getting back on the road, or maybe a family member had a SORN car they weren’t using that they’re giving to you? If you’re in this situation or one similar, you might be wondering how do you “un SORN” your car?

This is also a fairly simple process - if you’ve decide you want to be able to drive your car on public roads again, then you’ll need to tax it to do so. So, the way you “un SORN” your car, is simply by taxing it!

You can tax your car online, by calling the DVLA vehicle tax service (0300 123 4321), or at a post office.


A few final tips…

It’s definitely a good idea to be sure of whether the car you’re driving is SORN or not - if it is you shouldn’t be driving it on any public roads at all, and you could get a £2,500 for doing so!

If you’re looking for some more top tips on taking car of your car, you’re in the right place! Why not check out some of our other blogs on car services and car valets. Also, when it comes to your MOT we’ve got all the facts - from how early you can MOT your car, to how long an MOT is valid for.

Or if you’re on the lookout for some great tip on making the most of your garden this summer, check out our blogs on how much gardeners charge, how to level a garden, and how high garden fences can be.

Urban Jungle is not a financial advisor and information in this article should not be taken as advice or recommendation.