New compulsory car insurance laws: How to stay legal

by from, Last Updated: 10 December 2014

Motor insurance laws changed in 2011 & you need to be careful that you're not caught out. Here is what you need to know.

young driver in car happy female

Any vehicle that is driven on Britain's roads needs to be covered by third party insurance as a minimum.

Years ago, motor vehicles that were not being used could sit uninsured without issue.

However, legislation introduced in 2011 means this is no longer be the case.

What's changed?

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 are not in use.

Responsibility for insuring a vehicle registered as roadworthy (and taxed accordingly) will sit with its registered keeper so even if you are not a vehicle's main driver you will need to make sure it is insured.

Fail to do this and you will 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 nor declared SORN, with warnings from now on.

Will I need to insure my vehicle?

If you are the registered keeper of a motor vehicle - albeit one that is sitting in a garage unused - you need to make sure it is 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./p>

The only way to get around insuring a vehicle you are 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.

How do I declare a vehicle SORN?

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 will be asked for a reference number which you will find in your vehicle's logbook, or on a tax disc or SORN renewal reminder form (V11) that you will have been sent by the DVLA.

Once you have completed the SORN declaration form you will 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 will be asked to renew the SORN.

What if I want to use the vehicle again?

Driving a vehicle that is been declared SORN is illegal. However, reinstating its roadworthy status is simple. All you need to do is tax and insure it and you will be entitled to drive it on public roads.

If you only want to use the vehicle temporarily you will need to ensure it is roadworthy, tax it, compare and take out temporary insurance then declare it SORN once you stop using it again.


What about vehicles which have been off road for someyears, prior to introduction af SORN and at present not requiring SORN declaration.?

by Carboy, 21 May 2011

Hi Carboy,

Thanks for the question.

I've just checked & if your vehicle was last taxed before before 31 January 1998 then you don't need to declare it SORN under the new rules.

by Hannah from, 23 May 2011

Hi Hannah Thanks for confirming what I had been led to believe would happen. My vehicle has been off road awaiting restoration since the 1980`s so happily it is excluded. I do however agree with this attempt to drive the Unisured off our roads.

by Carboy, 23 May 2011

Yes but say your cars in your garage off the road and your insurance runs out while your away on holiday, why do you have to notifiy Swansea?

by paul03, 10 Jun 2012

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.

by davidj19, 26 Jun 2012

Hi David, many insurers won't cover drivers as the main driver on a vehicle where they are not the registered keeper this is quite common so your current insurer may wish to cancel your existing cover on those grounds.

Having said that there are insurers who will cover drivers who aren't the registered keeper of the cars they drive but finding the right policy can take a bit of leg work.

I've just finished writing a guide which runs through your options which you might find interesting, here's the link:

I hope you can get your cover sorted without too much hassle, Martin.

by Martin from, 27 Jun 2012

Thanks Martin I will try to sort it out on the phone tomorrow.

by davidj19, 27 Jun 2012

Thanks Martin. I had heard this was coming. Luckily we have sorned our oldies :)

by save24, 27 Jun 2012


My car is on auto trader just now and my insurance end on the 15/09/12 if it doesn't sell before then what should I do?

by shak19, 13 Sep 2012

If you're not going to be using it shak19 you'll need to declare it SORN until you sell it and/or decide to reinsure it.

by Hannah from, 13 Sep 2012

If I sorn my car offroad can I sell it?

by emmadoe70, 28 Mar 2013

Yes you can however, remember the SORN is only valid for 12 months and is not transferable. That means the buyer does not inherit the SORN and therefore must either SORN it himself or Tax and insure it.

by fairplaypls, 26 Jul 2013

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

by nicola18, 23 Sep 2012

That is a disgracefully high fine .
Still , I expect the magistrates get a nice bung out of it .
Pure extortion .

by nadge, 24 Nov 2012

the goverment have us pick up the check for there personal insurances by claiming them as an expense so they jus auto renew every year no matter the quote doesnt effect them so there not arsed, scumbags fining people on postal mistakes

by chris2468, 14 Dec 2012

Oh yes .
Corrupt scumbags , administering corrupt laws , in a corrupt society .

by nadge, 23 Jan 2013

Wayne37 I couldn,t agree with you more Nadge it seems big brother wants to know more & more so they can fine you more & more Corrupt with a capital C.

by waynet, 1 Feb 2013

I agree that the 'Big Brother' society is evolving however, it also stops illegal acts or at least makes it harder for uninsured drivers and car tax dodgers. In short it is the cyber systems making the police work easier and therefore as you put it - easier to fine the general public who stray from the safe and narrow. I do however believe the introduction of the change in the law could have been done better, i.e. advertising through the media.

by fairplaypls, 26 Jul 2013

It is total nonsense to say it stops uninsured drivers, the amount of info at police fingertips already does that, this is just another 'Big Brother' act to gain more info on for lady who got exorbitant fine I would challenge it with the magistrates as you did everything else right and if they didn't notify you of this change then I don't think they can legally impose it...the onus is on them to prove that they did every thing necessary to inform you of this change.....I and thousands of others did not know and I only found out when a friend was sent a summons..he is challenging his.

by stevenpax, 17 Sep 2013

Who are they? To TELL us we HAVE to insure our car EVEN if it is on our OWN private property in a garage??? Er this is just bull, why are we tolerating it. go to your search engine, type in "meet my straw man" good read indeed.
We weren't born to live like this, its creating severe apathy. depression, frustration and ultimately unhappiness, now this of course could be the "Aspartame'' they are putting in our food products that when consumed sit somewhere in our central nervous system creating cancerous tumors in our brains. The rats who tested "aspartame'' weren't too keen, they all died of cancerous tumors. It has not yet been tested on a human being we are just being force fed poisons without choice. But I digress as I usually do when talking of the unjust corrupt mindless system we are living in.... YOU must insure YOUR car, even if it is NOT being used at present, but is residing in YOUR garage, on YOUR private land while YOU (not the system) decide what YOU are going to do with it.... Oh dear Creator, I have children Grand Children, I love SO much. My heart breaks every day to see the insidious time stealers getting away with murder! We are 90% They are 10%.!!!

by alwaystruth, 8 Apr 2014

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.

by save24, 23 Sep 2012

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!

by nicola18, 23 Sep 2012

I made a mistake on my new policy so the car was uninsured between 00.00 one morning and 00.00 the next. Will I be fined?

by wat50n, 30 Sep 2012

They are not that efficient yet or quite that vindictive, surely.

by hoover, 24 Nov 2012

They ARE certainly vindictive !
They are also arrogant , bullying , criminal thugs .
As with everything else in this rotton and corrupt hellhole Britain , the prime motive is more extortion from the usual easiest of targets ,the motorist .

by nadge, 24 Nov 2012

goverment have us pick up the check for there personal insurances by claiming them as an expense so they jus auto renew every year no matter the quote doesnt effect them so there not arsed, wonder how many trees worth of renewals they send out, and with the post gettin messed up soften how can you fine people for their loosing of mail

by chris2468, 14 Dec 2012

can any one help me i have just bought a new car and i have comprehensive car insurance on my old car wich i sold to the dealer but i cannot change over my policy untill monday can i drive my new car on my existing policy pls help ppl

by mark923, 29 Dec 2012

NO !
Not until you have registered your new vehicle details with your insurer .

by nadge, 23 Jan 2013

Having received an IAL 09/10/12 how long do I have to insure the vehicle in question before a fixed penalty is issued.?

by rostoslavich, 10 Oct 2012


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

please help.

Thank you.

by elitesales2009, 17 Nov 2012

Really sorry to hear that elitesales2009.

I'm not 100% certain but I should imagine that the court will only consider whether you were insured at the time you were driving when they view your case.

It would probably be worth getting some proper legal advice though so you can be confident of the best way to proceed.

by Hannah from, 19 Nov 2012

Your true belief was you were insured however you should have checked with your insurance company before driving your girlfriends car on assumption. If I were the magistrate I would realize this was a naive mistake and treat you leniently - however the law can be an ass at times; best of luck!

by fairplaypls, 26 Jul 2013

Most fully comp policies cover driving another vehicle providing that vehicle is also covered by insurance. It is most unusual that your policy doesn't? suggest you read the small print.

by stevenpax, 18 Sep 2013

Hi, just to say "most fully comp policies cover driving other vehicles" is no longer the case, firstly it hs nothing to do with the level of cover, many third party only and third party fire and theft policies also provide "driving other cars" extensions.

However, many insurers are no longer offering this cover full stop, most will not offer it to under 25s and so, always check you Certificate of Insurance and you wording.

also remember that this "driving other cars" extension is supposed to be for emergencies only therefore provides minimum cover, i.e. third party only, if you have an accident you will only be covered for damage you do to another person/property and not cover for the vehicle you are driving.

by insurancegeezer, 25 Sep 2013

I have 2 x cars, 1 on the road with Fully comprehensive insurance that allows me to drive any other car with the owners permission, 3rd party cover. My second car is kept off the road do I need to insure the second vehicle seperately?

by simonf, 19 Nov 2012

Your policy covers you for "another persons car"; not yours.... Its quite straight forward, either the car is taxed/on the road or not; and thus the reg number must appear on the MID.

by hoover, 24 Nov 2012

the details about SORN are very clear and concise much better than

by fuefairy, 19 Nov 2012

Hi, I am covered third party for any other CAR but I need to use my friends Luton transit 3.5 tonne am I covered to drive this under my insurance?

by Jangokev, 8 Dec 2012

The safest thing to do is to double check with your insurer Jangokev because it'll really depend on the restrictions on your policy. They should be able to give you a yes/no answer over the phone.

by Hannah from, 10 Dec 2012

Ok thank you

by Jangokev, 10 Dec 2012

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?

by faithw, 13 Dec 2012

Don't pay .
Fight the cretinous , extorting morons .

by nadge, 23 Jan 2013

How have you got on , Faithw ?

by nadge, 2 Feb 2013

This country is disgusting. About 10 months after my Dad passed away, my Mum received a threatening letter suggesting that the car had not been sorn'd - yet she swore blind that she had done it. She was in a bad place at the time and was in pieces with the threat of £1000 fine for a dead man's car which was an old Maestro rotting into the front drive with no hope at all of it ever being driven again. We only left it there as it gave her some comfort after losing her beloved husband after a 50 year marriage. Eventually, amidst all her lifetime's collection of bills and paperwork I found the proof that she had sorn'd it. Admittedly, I did receive an apology, but it is just despicably awful, I hate this country so much. It's pure extortion all your life.

by Snoozie, 30 Apr 2013

Everyone who falls foul of these new regulations which have not been sufficiently advertised or individuals notified should fight, if enough do it the DVLA might see a bit of sense and allow a reasonable amount of time to adjust, I'm sure most Courts will empathise in this situation. (my view)

by stevenpax, 18 Sep 2013

Everyone should also write and complain to your MP, it can be done on line by e-mail.

by stevenpax, 18 Sep 2013

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.

by chris2468, 14 Dec 2012

Agreed !
It's just another revenue - raising scam .

by nadge, 23 Jan 2013

Hi mi mum had our van declared sorned in 2008 and moved abroad.Since then she did nothing. I ll try to sell the van now.. should i expect any troubles selling it or be worried for any bills?

by jeroen, 10 Jan 2013

As long as you still have the paperwork I don't imagine you should have too much issue. The only potential problem could be if it's all in your Mum's name because you're not the registered keeper.

by Hannah from, 10 Jan 2013

thanks, yeah i m more worried for mum, 3 years of bills maybe that have never reached her as she was living abroad. Fingers crossed or anyone having delt with this?

by jeroen, 10 Jan 2013

is car insurance (fully comp) still valid after vehicle has been written off , to still be able to drive other cars with owners permisson? I am still paying for insurance!

by stevo_, 11 Jan 2013

One to speak to your car insurance company about stevo because it will depend on your policy. Also worth finding out whether you can suspend your policy until you get a new car sorted or if it's worth cancelling!

by Hannah from, 11 Jan 2013

If the main insured driver loses their licence can the named driver on the same policy continue to drive or must the insurance be changed to the named driver as policy holder?

by angel5, 12 Jan 2013

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

by rumour, 14 Jan 2013

That would be entirely dependent on what their insurance covered them for rumour - not all fully comp policies cover you to drive others' vehicles. To drive it ongoing they'd need to list it on their insurance though.

by Hannah from, 23 Jan 2013

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

by tonige, 18 Jan 2013

hy Hannah,
if i will declare my car SORN can i keep it on road in front of my house on a public road or i will have to park it on a private garage,property etc??????

by Pac2la, 21 Jan 2013

Hi Pac2la,
You'll need to keep your car 'off road' - in a garage or on a drive, anything that's private property - once you declare it SORN. If you park a SORN car on a public road you could be hit with a fine of up to £5,000!

by Hannah from, 22 Jan 2013

What a RIP OFF !
How many of the fraudulent , taxpayer-robbing MPs have been fined £5000 ?

by nadge, 23 Jan 2013

I strongly agree with you.

by babybel55, 18 Sep 2013

Hi I'm trying to sell my car as the running costs are becoming too much. My insurance runs out on 8th Feb, am i still legal to leave it parked up on my sister's drive until i do or do i need to declare it as off the road as i'm not sure? Thanks.

by yvonnet30, 22 Jan 2013

Hi yvonnet30, you'll need to declare it SORN once the insurance runs out (if you don't plan to use it of course) and then keep it on your sister's drive (or some other private property) until you sell it.

by Hannah from, 23 Jan 2013

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!!!

by fordiep49, 24 Jan 2013


by Hannah from, 25 Jan 2013

I have a car that has a fully comp insurance ongoing ,however i have declared it SORN as it is not taxed .I have another car that is taxed ,MOT and i assume it is covered by my other fully comp as a 3rd party only cover can you confirm this please

by onecli, 24 Jan 2013

Unfortunately not onecli. You'll need to speak to your insurance company to find out and most likely transfer your insurance from one car to another.

by Hannah from, 25 Jan 2013

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

by Gollysmum, 6 Feb 2013

Sorry for the delayed reply Gollysmum - I've been away for the last week.

Did you get this sorted?

The vast majority of insurers allow you to select a start date for your new policy - the date your existing cover expires for instance.

by Hannah from, 19 Feb 2013

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

by Neil99, 7 Feb 2013

Do you insure your car on a Classic policy, Neil? I have an old merc that costs £65 a year to insure. It's taxed for 5 or 6 months and SORN'ed for the rest of the year. i dont bother with cancelling or suspending the insurance as any refund would be wiped out by the broker charges.

by Bonz1957, 3 Mar 2013

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

by Dellyboot, 24 Feb 2013

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!

by fairplaypls, 1 Mar 2013

Of course they are !

by nadge, 10 Mar 2013

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.

by fegbeg, 3 Mar 2013

here here, fight them all he way. Its about time we stood up to the highway robbers that the government are. They keep punishing the honest hard working public an keep letting the criminals get away with nothing. If they made jails a place of hardship instead of holiday camps nobody would want to go back.

by fordiep49, 10 Mar 2013

If your insurance runs out, but it is still taxed can it be SORN or do you need to return the tax disc?

by geera19, 10 Mar 2013

Without insurance you MUST insure your vehicle is kept off road. Without insurance you MUST declare your vehicle as SORN, or you are liable to a fine.
It would make sense to return the tax disc for a refund, if you were not using the car. Unless it was only going to be declared SORN for a matter of weeks.

by Bonz1957, 10 Mar 2013
by fairplaypls, 19 Mar 2013

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.

by chris0107, 11 Mar 2013

I am the registered keeper of the vehicle but i am not insured. it is road taxed and motd. can someonne with any driver insurance drive it legally

by dfrase, 16 Mar 2013

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!!!!!)

by chris0107, 16 Mar 2013

You are so right , Chris .

by nadge, 25 Mar 2013

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

by totallyfedup, 17 Mar 2013

Just so wrong , Totallyfedup .

by nadge, 25 Mar 2013

Is there a "grace" period for declaring SORN on a taxed but uninsured vehicle?..I can't afford the insurance for another seven days.It's off the road and not being used.

by lazoon, 19 Mar 2013

No. You must SORN it .

by nadge, 25 Mar 2013

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.

by fairplaypls, 19 Mar 2013

Just to make for clarity; even if you SORN your vehicle the SORN is only valid for 12 months you must then either SORN again or tax, MoT and insure it.

by fairplaypls, 19 Mar 2013

hi ! does the temporary insurance have to be in your name, when taxing your vehicle? thanks

by dolores, 22 Mar 2013

No the vehicle is required to be insured however if you are not named on the insurance you cannot legally drive/ride it; you probably knew that.

by fairplaypls, 22 Mar 2013

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?

by frank88, 23 Mar 2013

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.'

by fairplaypls, 25 Mar 2013

frank88, you could just SORN the vehicle surrender the tax and re-tax in Apr; I know its a pain but that would be the way this 'nanny' gov would like...........

by fairplaypls, 25 Mar 2013

It mentions you'll need to tax/insure the vehicle before taking it back on the road - what if the MOT runs out while off the road? You cannot tax a vehicle without a current MOT - and you'd need to drive the vehicle to get it tested.

by garethe77, 28 Mar 2013

If I sorn my car off road can I still sell it? As I can not afford to fix it as so much is wrong with it so I was going to sell it for spares but not sure if I can sell it sorn?

by emmadoe70, 28 Mar 2013

Yes you can. You can sell parts, but if you sell the whole vehicle it then becomes the new owners responsibility to SORN it.

by Bonz1957, 26 Jul 2013

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).

by fairplaypls, 29 Mar 2013

sorry fair play you are not we are an mot centre and can tell you that in Scotland the car must have a valid mot, insurance,. and tax or you must take it to the mot station in a trailer/recovery truck

by johnwal67, 19 May 2014

I have brought a car and the person I got it from has sent off the form to say the car is now mine but it needs to be sorn who has to do it me or the other person because I havent got the forms saying the cars mine yet ?

by craigallan, 2 Apr 2013

Craigallan: You have to SORN the vehicle. SORN is not transferable and it is only the owner/registered keeper who can SORN hence when the vehicle is sold the recipient (buyer) must SORN or make the vehicle road worthy (Tax, insurance & MoT).

by fairplaypls, 4 Apr 2013

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
Castlerock Road
BT51 3TA

You can also make a SORN in person at Post Office branches that issues tax discs with your V11(NI) reminder.

by fairplaypls, 4 Apr 2013

I am a registered keeper of a vehicle in the UK, which I own, but my motor insurer (Saga) has just cancelled my insurance because I am non-resident in the UK (working full-time overseas). It seems that most insurers adopt the same approach. How do I keep my car insured so that I can use it when I am in the UK and also comply with the law if I cannot obtain insurance? Your advice would be much appreciated. Barry

by Barryster, 3 Jul 2013

what happens if its SORN because work is needed to be carried out to make it roadworthy - how can I take it to a garage?

by moirag71, 18 Jul 2013

It's difficult moirag71! Can you ask the garage to tow it?

by Hannah from, 26 Jul 2013

This is ridiculous!! I got a new car becasue we need to sell my Astra to get funds. I switched my insurance over to the new car but was completely unaware of this insurance rule. I would've thought the insurance company would ask about the insurance for my old car but there we go.... So now I get two letters arriving on the same day, fining me for not insuring my car and telling me that the debt collectors will be knocking at my door becasue I haven't paid and have ignored all previous warnings - of which I've had none. So I can't afford to insure my old car (which is currently waiting for a repair so I can sell it) but if I declare SORN, whoever buys it won't be able to test drive it or take it home with them. You couldn't make it up if you tried!! So either way, I'm bugg***d. Just wonderful.

by jinx28, 25 Jul 2013

That's terrible jinx28! I'd call/write today stating that you have not received previous warnings.

by Hannah from, 26 Jul 2013

Whether you were aware of the rule or not, you were keeping a car on the road without insurance, and presumably happy to take it to and from a garage for the repair and allow prospective buyers to test drive it. How could you possibly think that was legal???
No-one would be able to test drive it without YOU having insurance on the car.

by Bonz1957, 26 Jul 2013

Thanks Hannah. I plan on calling again on Monday. Couldn't get through yesterday :(

As for you Bonz1957, I have bought a few cars in my short 10 years of driving but this is the first time I've sold one as my Dad always did it for me. He never insured the car under his name or asked if I was still holding insurance for it so I assumed that was the norm. And no, my old car has not been driven anywhere. My brother is fixing the car so it has been sat on my drive for 3 months. According to my insurance company I'm still covered to drive it third party (which just confuses me even more) so therefore taking it to a garage would have been OK anyway?? In the past when I've bought a car myself, I would test drive the car (which is usually covered third party on my own insurance) and then call the insurance company to get fully covered on the car before driving it home. Like I said, never had a problem before!

by jinx28, 27 Jul 2013

hello every one I know that i am putting a post up about MOTS and not the need to declare sorn and the insurance rip of as a result of it, as was my first post, but in a way it has to do with insurance still. I just had my car MOT done I was phoned and told the car failed its mot as i needed to have 4 new tyres. I asked why as front two were only worn on the very edge of the shoulder as is common with power steereing and rest of tyre was in good condition ie good tread over at least 80 %no wires or bald spots ect. Any way turns out they then say bulge on a back one and rear is down to 3m of tread on edge. After questioning this they then say the one with the bulge is the one that the car failed on.The one with the bulge ! has to be replaced so it is done when i collect the car i am given the mot fail cert and the new mot pass cert but not allowed to see the tyre that had the bulge . Here however is my querry if an MOT shows your car is SAFE to drive and in road worthy condition at the point of the MOT.

How can they have written on my MOT PASS in my opinion the vehicle is DANGEROUS to drive. then written tyre limit on front tyres 0-1.6m *dangerous*

surley if my car is DANGEROUS it should not have been given an MOT PASS as whot is the point of the mot if you are knowingly passing or allowing a vehicle in a dangerous condition to have an mot if an mot test has any validity and is not a goverment revenue maker then surley it is to prevent dangerous cars being put on the road
. On top of which driving my car with suchwritten on the certifacate means my insurance is invalid as i am knowingly driving a dangerous car and if stoped by the police I am commiting an offence.

by totallyfedup, 26 Jul 2013

They can advise that the tyre wear is only just on the legal limit of 1.6mm so they can't fail it, but can say it is dangerous to continue to drive with such little tread. Easy solution: fit new tyres. Your car is legal, the police and insurers are not bothered by what it says on the advisory section if it has been subsequently rectified.
If you are stopped by the police with defective tyres, it doesn't matter what it says on your MOT, you are committing an offence. And do you want to put your life, and that of your passengers, at risk by driving on worn tyres?

by Bonz1957, 26 Jul 2013

I would certainly find a new MOT station...its your right to see the tyre they changed and take it away for examination, which I would have done.

by stevenpax, 17 Sep 2013

How does an uninsured driver go about getting insurance? Will any insurers entertain them?

by thegru, 7 Aug 2013

Hi. I'm having an operation and not allowed to drive for 3months so can I SORN the car? How do I cover the car from being stolen? Can one recommend a good company for temporary insurance? Just want it for fire and theft. Thanks

by Rachie86, 19 Aug 2013

Might be an idea to make it clear that if you SORN a vehicle, any tax currently on it becomes void and you must apply for a refund so SORNing it to cover yourself for no insurance for a week, due to cashflow for example, opens up a whole new can of worms. As I have just found out.....

by glennwo77, 13 Sep 2013

Summons's are being sent out without prior warning and I believe this is unlawful. There has been very little publicity over this and it is typical of this current Government to once again screw the motorist without giving necessary information

by stevenpax, 17 Sep 2013

In Northern Ireland we have had to Sorn Vehicles etc for a long time. It is no trouble to do that.

by babybel55, 18 Sep 2013

my van recently broke down. the AA recovered it home for me where it has sat awaiting repair ever since. I transferred my insurance to another vehicle(I need one for work) and just received my fine/court summons through the post for having an uninsured vehicle..No prior warnings and obviously no idea about this new legislation. I'm furious as i have a long, clean driving career. Is there anything i can do to avoid this fine?

by jayjay7709, 1 Oct 2013

Random questions as I can't find a straight answer anywhere, firstly if I declare my motorbike SORN cover it up, chain it and park it next to the kerb is this legal? Bearing in mind the reason for it is there is no garage at my home and the bike will remain insured.
secondly can the parking ticket or police remove the cover to see the registration? Bearing in mind it is not their property and the owner could claim they damaged it while checking.

by reaper72, 16 Oct 2013

My son is thinking of buying a van and asked me if I can Insure it for him with him as a named driver. I have Max no claims bonus but he has nil . Is this legal?

by mrmsav, 23 Oct 2013

My sorn ran out 18months ago I moved house left it on my friends drive and just never got round to scrapping it which was my intention now Dvla are sending a letter to my new address saying they want to decuss a business matter I'm assuming its about the sorn being out of date etc what will they do to me? I'm nervous but I know I can't ignore it

by lous, 18 Nov 2013

I have an old UK registered car that has been kept in Spain for use on a private estate so it's not been on the public roads there. I now want to bring it to the UK. I've insured it but obviously I can't get a UK MOT in order to be able to tax it and even though it is over 25 years old I don't think it qualifies for a tax exempt status with the current rules. I have a few questions:

1) If I booked an MOT in Plymouth and got a voluntary Spanish ITV would it be legal to drive it to Santander for the ferry to Plymouth?

2) I am concerned that it has no SORN and that if I taxed it this would flag up and I would have a problem. However I have read that vehicles that were not taxed at 31st January 1998, or subsequently, do not require SORN declaration. I have searched my vehicle on the DVLA website and the information below is what they hold. The Date of Liability is the day after the tax expired as I understand it. Does this mean that I can tax it without a problem?

Date of Liability 01 08 1996
Date of First Registration 24 08 1994
Year of Manufacture 1988
Export Marker N
Vehicle Status Unlicensed

3) I have found this website that says that they can MOT your car whilst it's in Spain but I can't work out how they can do that! Anyone got any experience of them and is it legal?

Any advice greatly appreciated

by kl142, 9 Jan 2014

Hi buying a car for my daughter it will have road tax but see has not passed her test can I sorn it till see passes and keep it in my drive

by marty98, 14 Jan 2014

If I am driving someone elses car with my own comprehensive insurance then surely that car is covered by my third party insurance whilst I am using insurance cert. States this.

by paulan41, 16 Jan 2014

Yes and no.
If the person who owns the vehicle IS insured for that vehicle and they give their permission then YES you are legal to drive it on third party only.
If the person IS NOT insured for that vehicle then NO its illegal.
Hope this helps.

by reaper72, 16 Jan 2014

Answered in wrong place.

by reaper72, 16 Jan 2014

I declared my car as sorn 4 days ago .only to find when eating my tea a pick up truck was outside my house about to tow my car away,as i hastly went out to sort it out was told by a pretty big guy with a dvla bagde around his neck that the car was on a path which meant it was being seized and there was nothing i could do about. this so called path is right outside my house with my gardin connected to it,the car was half on the gardin and half on the path(no where near the road).
as the situation got heated with the then pick up guy(driver) coming onto my property trying to conect his equipment to my car the dvla person phoned the police.
the police arrived and said there was nothing i could do because the dvla person had taken photographic evidence on his phone which meant he could seize the car because it was on the path which is classed as a public highway.
shafted was the emotion i felt,what a technicality they got me on.£260 down not mention i now was.
the police where sort of understanding of my position.
i would love to know if it was legally correct for them(dvla,pick driver) to come onto my property take pictures and conect equipment on my car and i carnt do to then pay £260 for me to keep to car there,then go to pick £160 if i produce a tax disc within 14 days. i now have to tax the car, insure and mot it.

by stukin, 21 Jan 2014

my car insurance is due to renew at the end of the month. however I am appealing a claim made against me earlier this year without my knowledge and I don't know any details of other driver etc but insurance company has put in the report that I admitted fault ( this was just found out when I got my automatic renewal and it doubled - so I phoned and got this explanation) this could drag on with my insurer wanting to double my premium at present.
if I want to switch insurer I still have to declare this as pending and will still be penalised on my annual premium.
my tax is still valid for a further 6 months.

I own the car but have use of a company vehicle which I get to take home as part of my job.
I have a driveway which I can keep my car off the public highway.

I am willing to wait till the appeal is through and hopefully retain my 5 years ncb

so do I need to claim back money from my tax disc to then declare sorn? and this would keep me on the right side of the law voiding me from the continuous insurance law?

also my mot is due at same time as the insurance but if car gets mot then is off the road for a potential couple of months I think its a bit of a waste of mot.

but that leaves the predicament of trying to get it to an mot station when the appeal is finalised.
when I take out insurance again
I cant get tax without an mot ( if I have sent it back for refund then declared sorn)
but cant run a sorned car to the mot station?

any thoughts?

by robbi34, 10 Feb 2014

As if the insurance companies weren't ripping us off enough already. This rule is a bloody disgrace! Why would the government bring this in? What benefit does it serve? I have a classic that with free tax can sit in the garage all year without insurance. 1 quick phone call when the sun comes out and I'm ready for the road, now I will have to faff around obtaining a tax disc too! I don't mind new laws if they make any sense, this just doesn't. Someone please explain why! Thanks Craig

by sponghead, 19 Feb 2014

I've got my motorbike on ebay and im still insured on on it if it doesn't sell I want to saun it do I need to notify my insurance company ?

by matta1, 2 Mar 2014

I need to insure my sons car as he has been banned how if he is registered keeper can he insure even if he doesn't drive help

by suebri32, 9 Mar 2014

I left my car at a garage approx. 3 years ago for repairs. I told the man not to rush with the repairs as I had just purchased a new car and didn't really have the money to pay for it all at once. I completed a SORN and have done so since. When recently speaking to the garage owner he informs me that he has scrapped the vehicle. When I have contacted the place where the vehicle was scrapped they have no record of it. I continue to complete the SORN declaration but am no longer in possession of the vehicle. What do I do and how do I declare it scrapped without any proof of destruction??

by leef, 13 Mar 2014

Hi I tried to tax my car as its the last day of the month. at the post office and its come back SORN, even tho been driving it for the last year with tax mot and insurance. how is this possible? please help.

by pleasehelp, 31 Mar 2014
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