DVLA bust nine SORN myths and reveals the truth behind them

DVLA bust nine SORN myths and reveals the truth behind them
More than half a million vehicles were declared ‘off the road’ in March 2020, the highest number of SORNs (Statutory Off Road Notifications) made in any month in the past decade.

To put that figure into context, roughly 3.4 million vehicles are registered as SORN in a typical year.

While the outbreak of coronavirus has sent SORNs rocketing, myths about declaring vehicles off the road have also gathered momentum.

In response to the misinformation, the DVLA has set out to separate the fact from the fiction.

Nine SORN myths and the truth behind them

1: You can keep your vehicle on the road as long as you don’t drive it.

The clue's in the name. When you SORN your vehicle, it can’t be kept on a public road – it must be kept on private land, this can include a garage or a driveway.

2: SORNs can be transferred to the next vehicle keeper.

In the same way vehicle tax isn’t transferred to new keepers when you buy a vehicle, SORN status is also not transferred. So, if you’re buying a vehicle and want to keep it off the road, remember to make a new SORN request with the DVLA.

3: You need to make a SORN annually.

A SORN lasts until the vehicle is re-taxed, sold, permanently exported or scrapped. That means you don’t need to renew a SORN at all.

4: You can’t drive a SORN vehicle to an MOT test.

Incorrect. If you have a pre-arranged MOT test you can drive a SORN vehicle to its appointment.

5: Registering a vehicle as SORN is expensive and involves lots of admin.

Actually, it’s free to make a SORN – and takes just a few minutes online. You’ll need your vehicle’s registration certificate (V5C) and will receive instant confirmation from DVLA.

If you don’t have your V5C you can order a replacement, quickly and easily using DVLA’s new online service – your new certificate should arrive within five working days.

6: There’s no need to SORN an electric vehicle as they don’t incur vehicle tax.

Wrong. Although it costs nothing to tax an electric vehicle or your exempt from paying as a disabled driver, you still need to make a SORN. You’ll also need to tax your vehicle before you return it to the road.

7: If you SORN your vehicle you can’t get a tax refund

Registered keepers get an automatic refund for any full months of remaining tax when they make a SORN. To receive your refund you should keep your address up to date with DVLA using its online service.

8: You can’t make a SORN in advance

You can tell the DVLA up to two months in advance of when you want to declare a car off the road. You just need the 16 digit number on your V11 reminder letter.

9: It’s really difficult to ‘unSORN’

There is no such thing as ‘unSORNing’. When you want to start using your vehicle again simply tax it online in minutes and you’re good to go.

DVLA Chief Executive Julie Lennard said “Myth busting aims to help motorists understand what they need to do with a vehicle when it is declared SORN, including taxing it before using or keeping it on the road again.

“It’s really easy to check online if a  vehicle is taxed. And motorists can even check by asking Amazon Alexa or Google Home. It takes just a matter of minutes to tax it.”

RAC spokesman Rod Dennis said “Before the pandemic, it’s likely the ‘SORN’ acronym meant very little to most people but within weeks of the first lockdown hundreds of thousands of extra drivers had already stopped using their cars and made a SORN application to the DVLA.”

With restrictions lifting and ‘freedom day’ imminent, Mr Dennis urged motorists to make sure that their vehicle is taxed no matter how infrequently they choose to use it.

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