DVLA rule could see motorists fined £1,000 and taken to court for forgetting to do this

All cars need to be insured and taxed meaning motorists who are not currently using their cars must apply for a Statutory Off Road Notice (SORN) to avoid fines and penalties. DVLA officials pushed out a warning to motorists through their social media page to raise awareness of the issue.


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The agency’s tweet said: “Tell DVLA you’re taking your vehicle off the road, for example, if you’re keeping it in a garage.”

According to the Gov.uk website, any vehicle which does not comply could face an automatic £80 fine but charges could rise in severe cases.  

Motorists could see their wheel clamped or their car towed to an impound which will incur extra fines.

In some circumstances, motorists may even face prosecution which could lead to a massive £1,000 charge.

However, road users can avoid the bill by simply updating their details as soon as possible online.

Recent research from car garage Kwik Fit revealed more than 73,000 motorists across England and Wales are taken to court for insurance breaches every year.

The data revealed this is a 78 percent increase compared to similar statistics from five years ago as total income generated through uninsured vehicles came to over £12million.

Roger Griggs, communications director at Kwik Fit said: “Many drivers may assume that the offence of not meeting insurance requirements is due to making unapproved modifications or not maintaining their car properly, but in the majority of offences this is not the case.

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“Drivers who decide not to use their car and take it off-road temporarily, for whatever reason, must ensure that they register a SORN with the DVLA.

“Registering a SORN is free, and as we have seen from our analysis, failing to do so can prove very costly.”

Taking a car off the road means the vehicle will not be liable for any tax charges or car insurance costs as it is not being used and presents no risk of damage.


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Road users can apply for a refund for any full months of remaining road tax they have paid in advance but the car must not be used on the roads until this has been lifted.

This mostly applies for vehicles which are no longer fit for the road or are undergoing repair work.

The free application takes just minutes to complete and motorists can even choose when the status of their vehicle changes.

Owners can decide to switch their policy immediately or schedule the changes from the first day of the following month.

According to the RAC, SORNs cannot be transferred from a previous owner and those purchasing a vehicle must make sure they apply for this immediately after purchase if they do not plan to use the car.

SORN agreements do not need to be renewed and these will stay in place indefinitely until it is removed from a vehicle.

Cars must stay in the UK for a SORN to remain valid and vehicles must not be used on the road except under certain circumstances.

It is only possible to drive a car which has been declared as off the road if you are going to a pre-booked MOT appointment or motor testing appointment.

No other use of the car on public roads is permitted with a SORN in place and failing to obey the rules can see motorists face devastating consequences.

Using a vehicle outside of these times could see motorists face prosecution for breaking the law and potentially fined up to £2,500. 

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