‘Be careful’: Millions of drivers urged to check SORN status to avoid £2,500 car tax fine

Why motorists could pay more in car tax in 2022

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Car tax rates increased at the beginning of April which will result in most drivers seeing higher costs, on top of the already growing cost of living. Vehicle Excise Duty increased in line with inflation for petrol and diesel cars, with some electric cars seeing tax increases through a one percent rise in Benefit-in-Kind tax.

For a typical petrol or diesel first car model, the first-year rate is due to rise from the previous rate of £130 to £190, a staggering 46 percent increase.

However, experts are concerned that the number of SORN vehicles has still not returned to pre-pandemic levels.

Drivers can register their vehicles as out of action using a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN).

This means drivers can get a refund for any full months of remaining tax, although it does mean the vehicle cannot be used on the roads until they tax it again.

Motorists are advised to follow the steps on the DVLA website to claim money back and to properly declare their vehicles as SORN.

During the pandemic, the way people used their cars changed dramatically, with many declaring their vehicles SORN, due to home working and lockdowns reducing the ability to commute or venture far.

The number of cars with SORN status peaked at 3,071,000 in the last quarter of 2020 as the UK entered a winter lockdown, an increase of nine percent more cars declared out of use compared to the same period in 2019.

While the number of SORN vehicles is beginning to reduce, it is still far from returning to pre-pandemic levels.

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James Armstrong, CEO at Veygo, is urging drivers not to cut corners to save cash, and to check the rules around SORN if they are getting back on the road to avoid unexpected fines.

He said: “The cost of running a car is going up, which is putting pressure on people who are strapped for cash.

“So much so that many people are still declaring their cars as SORN, and this may be so they can avoid paying car tax.

“SORN status might seem like an appealing way to save money, but if you are still driving your car when it’s meant to be off the road you could land yourself with a £2,500 fine.

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