Getting a Statutory Off-Road Notice (SORN)

Here’s more information on what SORN means and how to do it.

What does SORN mean for my car?

By ‘SORNing’ your car, it means that it’s not being driven on the road according to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

This means you don’t have to pay road tax – known as vehicle excise duty (VED) – for your vehicle because it’s not driven on the road.

Should I look to SORN my car?

If you’re not going to be using your car for a while, SORNing can be a good way of saving some money.

But if you think you’ll be needing your car sooner rather than later, then keep the car taxed, as it’s only really worth it if your car is left for months rather than days.

How do I declare SORN for my car?

Go to and follow the simple steps that the government outlines.

You’ll be asked to enter the 16-digit code found on the V11 reminder for road tax. However, if that’s not to hand, you can use the vehicle’s V5C. If you don’t have that because you only recently bought the car, then use the V5C/2 ‘new keeper’s supplement’, which should have been given to you by the previous owner.

When you’ve finished, the SORN should be implemented almost instantly.

How much is it?

SORNing your car is free through the link.

Some sites have recently appeared online saying that you need to pay a small fee to SORN your car, but these aren’t to be trusted.

Do I get a refund for SORNing my car?

If you paid an annual rate for your road tax, the SORN means you should get a car tax refund for the remaining full months.

Can I still use my car while it’s SORN?

You shouldn’t drive your car once you’ve got a SORN for it, as you’re then at risk of a £2,500 fine and the vehicle being clamped.

You can use it on private property and also if you’re on the way to, or coming back from, a pre-arranged MOT appointment. You must have written proof for the latter otherwise you’ll be punished for it.

Where can I leave my car when it’s SORNed?

When you get a SORN, the car must be kept on private land such as a driveway or a garage. If you live on a private residential area, it’s best to check with the land owner to make sure you can keep the vehicle there.

You mustn’t leave it in a public place, such as on the street or in accessible car parks. Your car could then be clamped or seized.

What happens if I don’t tax or SORN my car?

If you don’t do either, you’re putting yourself at risk of being fined and the vehicle being seized.

You’ll likely receive an automated letter from the DVLA with a fine for £80 if you don’t do either, but if you pay within 28 days, that’s reduced to £40. If you fail to do that, then you could see your case go to court, with a fine of £1,000 possible.

How long before I can tax the car after a SORN?

If your car has been declared SORN, there is a period of a few days before you can tax it again. This also applies the other way if you’re looking to SORN after taxing it.

Do I need to do any renewals after I’ve SORNed?

SORN renewals used to be in place, but a few years ago that was changed so that once you SORN a vehicle, it remains that way until you tax it again.



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