SORN Insurance so you can have fire, theft and vandalism insurance whilst your car, van or motorcycle is off the road. Declare SORN (Statuary Off Road Notification) and keep your vehicle on your drive and not on the public road. With SORN you donít need vehicle tax or car insurance.
When you declare SORN using DVLA (Department of Vehicle Licencing) form V5C you are telling the authorities that you will no longer be insuring your car and you wonít be paying road tax either, with SORN you must keep your vehicle off the public highway, you cannot park your car on the side of the road as itís still on the road you must park your car on your driveway or in a shed or garage.
Declaring SORN is not the same as changing the registered keeper on your vehicle registration document (log book) you are still the owner of the vehicle and are just telling the DVLA that you will no longer be using your car on the road, itís a legal requirement to always have car insurance and this is called a continuous enforcement rule.
If you do not have insurance or have not paid your road tax (vehicle tax) then you will get an enforcement notice through the post, the enforcement notice will be sent to the registered keeper of the vehicle and will be a reminder that you must get car insurance and have a valid MOT (Ministry Of Transport) certificate and pay road tax, the enforcement notice will be a reminder that you will be fined if you do not insure your vehicle, you can in this situation also declare SORN.
Declaring SORN means that you do not need a valid MOT certificate, current insurance certificate or have road tax, the deal is that you must keep your car off the road, leaving your car on the street means you still need a valid MOT certificate, car insurance and road tax (what used to be called the car tax disc).
Keep Your Car Off The Road
You might want to keep your car off the road (declare SORN) because you cannot afford to use your car anymore, an example might be you have been made redundant and cannot afford to pay for car insurance, car tax and the carís MOT.
Another reason to declare SORN is because you have a motorbike that you only use in the summer months and over the winder period when you are not riding your bike you declare SORN to avoid the need for motorbike insurance, bike tax and a motorcycle MOT certificate.
When you declare SORN you must agree to keep your vehicle off the road on your own driveway or in a shed or garage this is because you have no insurance and should your vehicle cause an accident by for example being parked on the corner of a road obstructing the view of oncoming drivers, you would in this instance have liability to other drivers and road users but not have any insurance to cover your liability so you must keep your car, van or motorbike off the road when you declare SORN.
You might have a classic car (Classic Car Insurance) that you are slowly restoring, you cannot get a valid MOT certificate because the restoration is not complete and you donít want to pay road tax, this is a classic example (excuse the pun) of the need to declare SORN, now when you declare SORN there is no need to have car or bike or van insurance so why would you want to, the reason is that your classic car or everyday car that you have declared SORN is obviously now not insured so if there is a fire in the garage where you are restoring your vehicle or your classic car is stolen or your car is vandalised on your drive then you have no insurance to claim on.
When you declare SORN you obviously donít need vehicle insurance to use your car on the road or even keep your car parked on the road but vandalism, theft and fire are still very real issues that you would want to insure against, legally you can have no insurance when you declare SORN but then you will have no insurance to claim on for fire, theft or vandalism.
You can get SORN insurance for your car, motorbike or van for six or twelve months depending on how long you want to keep your vehicle off the road, for example if you are made redundant and canít afford to use your car then declaring SORN and taking out short term insurance for one month or two months may be the cheapest way to keep your car parked on your drive and not use your car until you have employment again.
What motor insurance do you need when you declare SORN?
When you declare SORN you legally do not need any motor insurance as the vehicle must be kept off the road, however you may want to insure your car especially if it has value or is a classic car for example for fire, theft and vandalism so that you can still claim on insurance for damage or loss of your vehicle.
If you declare SORN and keep your vehicle off the road then you do not need to have any insurance, but you may want insurance so that you can make a claim as otherwise the loss of your car or damage to your car will have to be met by yourself and not the insurance company.
If you donít declare SORN then you will face a fine, first the DVLA will send you a letter reminding you that your insurance has ended or that your car tax has expired or that your MOT if needed (if the car is over three years old your need a valid MOT certificate) has expired, the first letter you receive form the DVLA will just be a warning and reminder to declare SORN or get the car insured and taxed, if you ignore this reminder then you will receive a fine through the post.
Laid Up Insurance
Declaring SORN is also called laid up insurance because your car is out of use, it is laid up, for example your car might be laid up whilst you carry out maintenance work or restoration on your car, another example would be a convertible car where you like to drive the car with the top down over the summer and keep the car off the road (laid up) over the winter months.
If you have not declared SORN on your vehicle then you need car insurance as your vehicle is technically still on the road, even if you do declare SORN it is not enough to park your vehicle on the side of the road the vehicle must be kept off the road which means on private land and not the public highway so your driveway outside your house or a garage or shed will be accepted as private land.
How do you declare SORN?
Complete form V5C SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification) which you can download online from the DVLA or get a paper copy from the post office.
If you donít use your car and donít want to pay for insurance then declare SORN, whether you use your car or not even if your car just stays parked on your driveway all the year round, even though your driveway is private property, you still must declare SORN to avoid the need for car insurance and road tax, if you have elderly parents that donít drive much anymore you might think that having no road tax and no insurance is fine because the vehicle is parked off the road but the government requires continuous insurance for all motor vehicles unless they have declared SORN so if you are not declaring SORN then you must be insured.
The government introduced SORN to reduce the number of uninsured vehicles on the road, with the advent of SORN there is now a way to not use your car and not need insurance but you must tell the DVLA that you are not using the car anymore and the way you do that is with a SORN declaration.
How to stop a SORN declaration?
Simply insure your vehicle, tax your vehicle and have a valid MOT certificate if you need one, this will inform the DVLA that you no longer want SORN.
Do you need to insure a car if it is SORN?
No, there is no legal requirement to insure a car that has SORN, however you may want to do so as otherwise your car will have no fire, theft and vandalism insurance so any damage to your car would have to be paid by yourself, with SORN insurance the car insurance company would pay you compensation even though you had SORN.
Is it against the law to not have car insurance?
Yes, it is against the law to not insure your car for use on the public highway unless you have declared SORN, even if you just want to keep your car unused on your own private drive you still need insurance unless you have declared SORN, even then you might want to have insurance for fire, theft and vandalism as otherwise any damage to your car cannot be claimed against your insurance policy.
Build Up Cover
You might want build up cover, this is insurance for repairing or rebuilding your car, for example a car restoration project or building a kit car, if your expensive car where to be stolen or catch fire or be vandalised you would be out of pocket unless you could insure your car and that is exactly what SORN insurance is, it is the insurance you need for fire, theft and vandalism whilst your car is not yet ready to be driven on the road.
Maybe you have decided to modify your car (Modified Car Insurance) by adding a bigger engine, improved gearbox, improved brakes or customising the body work, whilst the vehicle is off the road being modified you donít want to be paying road tax and car insurance or worry about MOT reminders so you declare your car as SORN and take out SORN insurance to insure your vehicle.
Officially Declare Your Vehicle As Off The Road
To officially declare your vehicle as off the road you declare SORN, many people think that just keeping their car off the road and parked on their own private drive is enough to avoid the need for car insurance, after all the car is off the road and cannot endanger anyone else, but the DVLA have continuous insurance laws which means that only by declaring SORN will the DVLA not require you to have car insurance, car tax and a valid MOT certificate.
On your online insurance quote, you can tick the option to have theft only SORN insurance where you are not interested in insurance for fire or vandalism but are worried that your car might be stolen, theft only SORN insurance will be cheaper than fire, theft and vandalism but will obviously not allow youíre to claim for what you are not insured for.
If you know you will not be using your car for example because you are going to work overseas for the year then why not declare SORN and save yourself the money on car road tax, car insurance and needing to have a valid MOT, if you just let your insurance expire and road tax expire and MOT expire your receive written warnings through the post and then a fine through the post, the only way to stop the fine when you are not paying for insurance or road tax is to declare SORN.
If your car will only be off the road for a couple of months for example because you have suffered an injury and cannot drive or have been convicted of a driving offence that means you cannot drive for six months or more then consider declaring SORN to save yourself money on car insurance and road tax.