Motor insurance laws have changed & you need to be careful that you're not caught out. Here's what you need to know.
Any vehicle that's driven on Britain's road's needs to be covered by third party insurance as a minimum.
Until recently motor vehicles that weren't being used could sit uninsured without issue.
However, new legislation means this is no longer be the case.
Any vehicle registered for use on the road now needs to be insured. This applies to all cars, vans, motorbikes, motorhomes and trucks, even if they aren't in use.
Responsibility for insuring a vehicle registered as roadworthy (and taxed accordingly) will sit with its registered keeper so even if you're not a vehicle's main driver you'll need to make sure it's insured.
Fail to do this and you'll face a fixed penalty of £100 at the very minimum, fines of up to £1,000 and court prosecution will be used in a worst case scenario.
Notifications are now being sent out with tax disc renewal reminders and the DVLA will also be writing to registered owners whose vehicles are neither insured or declared SORN with warnings from now on.
If you are the registered keeper of a motor vehicle - albeit one that's sitting in a garage unused - you need to make sure it's insured.
This applies equally to classic cars (even those that have a nil value tax disc), motorhomes and motorbikes that are only used a couple of times a year. Even if temporary insurance has sufficed previously this will no longer be the case.
The only way to get around insuring a vehicle you're not using is to officially declare it off-road by registering it as SORN. Doing so will exempt it from the compulsory insurance requirement.
The only exception to this is if your vehicle has not been taxed, insured or driven since before 31st January 1998.
Declaring an unused vehicle SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification) is relatively straightforward, and it can be done free of charge.
You simply need to notify the DVLA by completing a form on their website - you will need to be the registered owner to do this.
You'll be asked for a reference number which you'll find in your vehicle's logbook, or on a tax disc or SORN renewal reminder form (V11) that you'll have been sent by the DVLA.
Once you've completed the SORN declaration form you'll receive confirmation that your vehicle is officially classed as unused (and therefore exempt from the insurance requirement) within 4 weeks. This declaration will last for 12 months after which you'll be asked to renew the SORN.
Driving a vehicle that's been declared SORN is illegal. However, reinstating its roadworthy status is simple. All you need to do is tax and insure it and you'll be entitled to drive it on public roads.
If you only want to use the vehicle temporarily you'll need to ensure it's roadworthy, tax it, get temporary insurance and then declare it SORN once you stop using it again.
I have a Clio registered in my name but my daughter is the main driver, she even has a Personalised Registration Number. She is 22 yrs of age and we were told that she would have to insure the car in her name, which she did with RSA, who have now advised her that they are going to CANCEL the policy because she is not the Registered Owner. Who is right? I have offered to advise DVLA of a change of ownership but they still want to cancel the policy.
I have just received a fine notification for not meeting insurance requirements. I have not heard anything other than this fine notification and now I have been landed with a fine and costs of £325! I wasn't aware of the need for the insurance. I think what it refers to is a car I sold earlier this year which was not driven but remained taxed and moted until the tax ran out and I sorned. Surely I shold have had some previous notification. I wouldn't have wanted to pay a fixed penalty but I would have but now it has gone straight to court without any input form me! An suggestions/ advice gratefully received! Nicola
If you sold the car then you should have sent the relevant part of your log book back to DVLA stating the vehicle was sold to a new owner, thus relinquishing your responsibility for the vehicle. If, indeed you did do this, then you should have sorned when the insurance ran out. You could try phoning DVLA.
I did change my car insurance to my new car several months before selling my old one so there was a period Of several months that the old one was without insurance however it was never driven and was parked on a private driveway. I sorned it when the tax disc ran out but I was never notified by the dvla or anyone else about needing insurance before this!
I was driving My Girlfriends car and i lost control on a corna in the back lanes.
I was insured as a named driver on her car
I also have my own insurence on a next car (fully Comp)
so My girlfriend cancelled the names driver policy 3 days ago.
I belived i would be covered if both cars are fully comp for us to swap
I found out My insurence does not cover me to drive other cars from the police man and now belive i am going to get 6 points and a fine.
The car was on a mud bank on the side of round. The police man let me sort out recovery as i had allready done so.
If i Go Back as a named driver on my girlfriends policy will it go in my faver at court
Hi I put my car on SORN notice and whilst it was SORN'D i scrapped it the garage that arranged it and sold me another car said they had done all relevant paperwork. I then received a SORN renewal letter so i wrote to DVLA and received an acknowledgement letter for the car. In the meantime I received a letter saying I had no insurance on the car so i forwarded them a copy of SORN renewal as proof the car was SORN'D when the supposed offence had vbeen committed and that said car was scrapped. They wrote back taking me to court, I sent another copy of SORN renewal letter and acknowledgement letter to court. They have now written to me saying they are fining me £305 with costs. This is outrageous where do i stand?
this whole things just a money making scam by the government why make people do it anually you shouldnt have to fill a form out every year to say you wont drive ilegally just idiot goverment hammering the more forget full of us with more fines theres just no point to it at all especially in a day with ANPR cameras every were but i supose by fining us their keeping a few extra jobs in wales which the goverment needs to because of their failings there. Maybe if the goverment did somthing about all the proper scum bags not the people who cant afford the insurance but the selfish scum making bogus claims, every get a little bump and thinks they deserve a "whippy" claim, their the scum robing off low income families and the old.
what happens if I am the owner of a car which is Sorn'd and I transfer it to a new registered keeper who is fully comp on another car and wants to drive my car..are they covered by 3rd party insurance or do they have to take out a new insurance policy that specifically identifies my car on it
I work in a garage and my car is in the garages name which is motor trade. My insurance policy ran out yesterday but I am selling my car at the garage. My car has tax but my boss told me it doesn't need to be insured as it is at the garage awaiting to be sold. Is it right that because it is in the garages name which is a motor trade company and being sold that I don't have to insure it as long as I'm not using it? Thanks in advance
Again another way for the government force you into spending more money. How ridiculous is this new law and for what reason? what is the point of having a vehicle insured that is not being used on the road. I have a bike that has tax but not being used due to not wanting to riding over the winter. Now they say I have to sorn it which means having my tax refunded and then having to go through the whole process again in a couple of months when the weather gets better. Its just nonsense and a waste of time and money even for the dvla to moniter. It makes you wonder which brain dead moron sits there thinking of these stupid ideads!!!
My car insurance runs out at midnight in a week's time, but I have found a new quote with a different company as they are £500 cheaper, as I want to add my 18-year old son to my policy. Can I insure my car today knowing that I still have a week to run on my old policy? I've tried to get through to my existing company to ask them, but its constantly engaged. Many thanks for any help
Dear Hannah, I have an old sports car that I take off the road during the winter due to the poor weather conditions here in north east Scotland. I SORNed the car when the tax ran out at the end of December, but l only got around to trying to arrange to suspend my insurance today. I was unimpressed to be informed that because I had SORN on my vehicle, the insurer insisted on cancelling the policy and would not suspend it. I am also being charged over £100 for the privilege. I feel there is an injustice here, is there anything I can do about it? Neil L
In March 2012, My son skidded my car (insured ok) but wrote the car off, no one else involved and no injury or damage done except to the car. Recovery made through breakdown service and delivered home. Due to risk of increase of premiums and value if car, I decided not to claim and just purchase another a few months later. New car is the same make and model and my partner is a mechanic, so made sense to keep both rather than scrap the damaged one and use for parts etc! Tax is only £35 a year so no point sending back to claim and would (and did) declare sorn when it ran out. The insurance was left running on the damaged vehicle to keep premiums going and transfered to new car when eventually purchased.. I have just received a court summons for not having sufficient insurance for the period of time between transferring the policy and declaring sorn (May 12-Sept12) - I have photographic evidence of the vehicle at the time of damage and still have it as a statue garden feature, and i have recovery documentation to prove dates etc. What are the points to prove in court for the required insurance etc and will the evidence of it not being used be helpful? Court date is 18th March (over a year since its not been used!) and I intend to fight it on principle. Any advice is appreciated - even if I'm on a losing battle?! Thanks
Hastings informed me it is now my responsibility to tell them if I sell or SORN a vehicle. This was the result of a complaint I made when they auto renewed without informing me of their intent; money came out of my bank account without my knowledge. They said they had sent post I had not received however I was registered as an online customer and did not receive an email until after my debate with Hastings. I fully agree road users should be insured and the auto renewal is an excellent idea but the insurance companies must ensure they have robust processes in place to ensure their customers are content to renew; if I was cynical I would say the insurance companies are using this law to their advantage.... I of course am not!
I had my car in garage on private land due to a electrical fault on the car. I changed my insurance to another vehicle while the car was in garage so I had some alternative transport. The car was still taxed and mot and I had no idea how long the car would be at the garage being repaired. I thought it would be a week or so. Turned out it took a few months for the garge to find the problem. I did think about sorning the car but I had misplaced the mot certificate and I wanted to drive the car as soon as it was repaired not wasting time getting tax sorted out. I then received £100 penalty for this new law that I think is ridiculous. I have never had a car on public road without insurance and I never would if my car is uninsured it always kept on drive or private property. I have 6 cars and 4 of them are on sorn off road. Two cars are fully insured and on road. I have not paid the fine as I feel I have done nothing that broke a road traffic law as the car never touched a public road when the insurance expired. I will fight it all the way to court in front of a judge I imagine loads of innocent people have been court out by this revinue collection scam. I do agree there needs to be ways of getting uninsured drivers off the road but there are police cars and anpr cameras for that purpose. They should not issue fines for people who don't have a car on public road who just forgot to sorn or sorn a few days late. It's absolutely rediculous in my book.
Slightly off topic here but.......
In Jan 2011 I was stopped for driving with no insurance (my fault but both my parents had died and I wasnt realy thinking about insuring a car), but when I was stopped the policemen siezed my car and told me about the costs (storing the car, impound fee ETC) then said I had the option of signing the car over to them and that would be the end of it!, so I gave them the car........Now 2 years later I have recieved a fine for £710
which apparently went to court in June 2011 (but I had moved in April 2011 so never recieved anything), what options do I have?.........My car was worth about £800 - £1000 so had I known I would be fined I would have paid to get the car back and sold it to cover this fine, I have stated in court that I knew nothing about the court summons but is there anything else I can do while I await the next course of action.
With the new law its the car itself that needs to be insured, you would need to either declare it as sorn or get it insured, if it is seen on the road even with an insured driver driving it YOU will get fined and the car will be seized and sold or crushed (and this money will be spent by the goverment so the fat cats can live a life of luxury!!!!!)
This whole system is a joke I had less then 6 weeks on a motorbike insurance and planned to keep bike in storage over winter so did not intend to renew tax and decided to declare it sorn .The insurance was due for renewal at this time and when the renewal arrived it was sent back as unwanted and the direct debit on my partner bank account canceled to prevent any miss understanding regarding collection of payments and slip from bank showing this retained.We believed this was all that was needed insurance docs returned DD canceled and bike of road in storage six weeks later bike declared sorn as no new tax needed.4 months later we get a bill from insurance providers collection dept demanding full insurance payment as they were unable to collect the remaining DD. (my partner had during this time changed banks) Insurance company were contacted and we are informed they set up a new DD and do not need my partners permission to set up a new DD as it was given previously. They also say they are entitled to the money they have so far collected (£95.00) as insurance was needed as the bike was not declared SORN before or on the day of renewal of the insurance .The FSA ruled in their favor this week saying they were entitled to the money under new rules surrounding declaring a vehicle as SORN.!!!
Legalized theft from another persons bank account and no protection under direct debit scheme either.
It would appear that you have better protection and more rights in this country if you are a fat cat thief and are protected by the law to legally steal money.
The irony of British Justice and our appalling system of irrational rules is if I had driven on the road with no insurance or tax I would have received less in fines then you do for watching a television with out a licence.
But then someone has to pay for the uninsured drivers the police and government are to lazy to punish properly
Typically this is a legal minefield however here are my thoughts. You can only claim a full months refund on your tax disc therefore I see it as this; as soon as you SORN the vehicle you must surrender your tax disc so you loose part of a month. However Ins107 states 'If you are waiting for insurance or are getting an MoT for your car and cannot renew your vehicle tax on time. By law you, as the registered keeper, will not be committing an offence if you either tax the vehicle or make a SORN within 14 days of the date your current tax disc runs out'. Make of that what you will but if there is any common sense in the British legal system I would suggest you have 14 days.
Hi, I'm going to buy a UK registered car tomorrow. At the moment I still have a dutch car where I can cancel the insurance off on the 2nd of April. I wasn't planning on using this new car anyway until the 2nd of April but am I allowed to leave the car outside in the parking lot with MOT but not insured (I will not be driving the car until the insurance kicks in on the 2nd of April)? or do I need to declare my new vehicle SORN even though there is still tax paid on it for another 2 months and I've paid the insurance company to insure me as of April the 2nd?
Firstly check the car park is not included in the highways (it shouldn't be but it's best to check) Your intent is to use the car as of 2 Apr which is some 9 days away so you should be alright; as I stated above Ins 107 states 'If you are waiting for insurance or are getting an MoT for your car and cannot renew your vehicle tax on time. By law you, as the registered keeper, will not be committing an offence if you either tax the vehicle or make a SORN within 14 days of the date your current tax disc runs out.'
Gareth, you are, by law, cleared to drive your car to an MOT centre for a booked MOT. Additionally you have to have the vehicle insured for the driver and once passed you must apply for road tax.
Emmadoe, yes you are legally cleared to sell a SORN vehicle however, tell the recipient the SORN is non transferable so the purchaser must either SORN or make the car legally road worthy; tax, insurance and MOT. If you sell parts of the car you must get it 'written off', it's best to sell the complete car. For instance a scrap yard would buy the car off you and do the necessary paperwork (you woul need to transport it there).
Craigallan: To answer your question completely: Ways to make a SORN
You can make a SORN in person or by post using a V10b(NI), V11(NI) or V11b(NI) (if you have received one of these forms) at any Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA) local office or by posting to:
Coleraine County Hall
You can also make a SORN in person at Post Office branches that issues tax discs with your V11(NI) reminder.