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What is SORN insurance?
When your car is declared off-road and SORN, you don’t need to tax or insure it. However, you might still want to protect your vehicle, without forking out for a standard car insurance policy. Sorn insurance (or laid up car insurance) can help protect your vehicle from fire, theft or damage even when it’s SORN.
Do I need insurance for a SORN vehicle?
If money is no issue then you can of course just insure and tax your vehicle as normal, even if you know that your car isn’t going to be used for a while. However you may be spending more money than you need to.
Alternatively, you could save money by not paying for car tax or car insurance. Instead you can buy specific SORN policies that cover the vehicle against fire and theft. You don’t need to purchase SORN insurance, but it could help give you peace of mind that you won’t be left out of pocket if your vehicle is damaged or stolen.
What does SORN Insurance Cost
When your car is SORN it is not allowed to be driven. This means you are much less likely of making a claim and could therefore be seen as “low risk”. Laid up car insurance therefore generally costs less than normal car insurance.
However just like standard car insurance, the cost of laid up car insurance depends on a host of other risk factors. The type and value of your car, where you live, and your claims history all play a part. Compare SORN insurance quotes online today to see how much you could save.
What are the different types of SORN insurance?
Fire & Theft laid up car insurance provides cover for your vehicle if it is damaged by fire or stolen whilst it’s declared SORN. It’s the most common form of SORN insurance and is often the cheapest.
Recommended for: those on a low budget
Not recommended for: those looking for a better level of cover
This type of laid up car insurance policy is similar to Fire & Theft cover but also provides cover for your vehicle if it is damaged by mistake whilst it’s declared SORN. Policies can be a little more expensive and different insurers will offer slightly different levels of cover so always check the policy wording before you buy.
Recommended for: those looking for a better level of cover
Not recommended for: those on a strict budget
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Do I need to SORN my car?
You can continue to tax and insure your car while you’re not using it. But, if you’ve got off-street parking, or a garage, and you aren’t going to be using it for a while, you might be better off getting it SORN. It means you don’t legally have to tax or insure your car.
There are many potential reasons why you may decide to SORN a vehicle including:
- You own a car you’re not planning to use
- Your car requires an expensive repair and you don’t currently have enough money to pay for it
- Your car is a write-off or is going to be scrapped, and you want to salvage parts from it first
- You can’t insure your car for a period because you can’t afford it or you need to arrange an MOT
- You’re going to be away for a while
Driving a SORN vehicle on the road
It’s illegal to drive it on a public road, unless you’re on your way to a pre-booked MOT appointment. If you were stopped, you’d have to be able to prove this. Otherwise, you’d be liable to court prosecution and a hefty fine of up to £2,500.
How do you get a SORN?
It’s important that you do things right otherwise you could be hit with a hefty fine or even have your vehicle ceased. If you’re not going to use your vehicle for a while you must complete a SORN application. This will notify the DVLA that the vehicle has been taken off the road. Only then can you decide to either not renew or cancel your existing car insurance.
Remember that it’s illegal to own a vehicle that is uninsured so if you don’t plan on insuring it and taxing it as normal then either sell it before your insurance and tax run out or SORN the vehicle and take it off the road.
You can SORN your vehicle for free online. Alternatively, you can contact the DVLA on its 24-hour number 0300 123 4321, or complete a V890 application and send it to the DVLA. You’ll need the vehicle log book (V5C).
If you don’t own the vehicle – for example, if you’re buying it – you’ll have to apply by post.
Whichever method you use, you can specify when you want the SORN to begin.
If you get a SORN, you’ll be refunded any full months of unused tax you’ve already paid for, and you won’t need a valid MOT when the SORN is applied. You may be able to get a refund on part of your vehicle insurance too if you cancel the policy before its renewal date.
How do I get my car back on the road after SORN?
A SORN will automatically end when you tax your vehicle again, sell it, scrap it, or permanently export it. You don’t need to renew it every year – as long as the vehicle remains in the UK, the SORN will be valid until one of the events outlines above occurs.