Driving a vehicle with SORN on a public road can land you a heavy fine or even result in court prosecution, but can you drive a car with SORN to an MOT test?

In this article, we discuss when it is acceptable to drive a car with SORN, whether you can drive a vehicle with SORN to an MOT test, and what happens if you drive a SORN car without insurance.


Can You Drive a Car With SORN To an MOT Test?

A vehicle with SORN can only be driven on a public road to or from a pre-booked MOT test or repair.

It is important that the MOT test is booked in advance, so that you can verify your appointment with the garage in the event you are stopped and questioned by the police. You may need to provide them with proof of the appointment.

If you drive a vehicle with SORN or use it on the road for any other reason, then you could face a fine of up to £2,500, and possibly even court prosecution.


Can You Drive a SORN Car to an MOT Test Without Insurance?

You cannot drive a vehicle to an MOT station without insurance, and you could face fines or even prosecution if you attempt to do so. 

You should check your insurance documents if you are planning to drive your car to a garage without an MOT or tax, as some insurance companies may declare your insurance void without these. Check with your cover provider, to ensure that you are not driving without insurance. 

If you are not insured to drive without an MOT or tax, you can get a quote for temporary car insurance. Certain companies offer short term cover which can allow you to deliver your car to the garage.


What Is a SORN Vehicle?

SORN stands for ‘Statutory Off-Road Notification.' A vehicle’s legal owner or keeper can apply for a SORN by contacting the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

SORN is used to inform the DVLA that you plan on registering your vehicle as being off the road. A vehicle is classed as being off the road if it is not kept or used on a public road, for instance if it is kept on a drive or piece of private land - or in a garage. 

If you have a vehicle and are not planning on driving it on the road, then you must inform the DVLA that the vehicle is off the road. 

Registering a SORN means that the car’s owner can avoid paying vehicle tax. However, please note that motorists can face fines of between £80 and £1,000 for failing to tax a car that has not been registered with a SORN. 

After registering for a SORN successfully, you can expect to receive a refund for any full months of tax remaining on the vehicle. 

Once you have applied for a SORN, you cannot drive the vehicle until you reverse the notice. You do not need to MOT your vehicle under these conditions. If the MOT expires while the vehicle is under a SORN, you will need to renew the MOT if you wish to return the car to the road.


When Should You Register a SORN For Your Vehicle?

You should declare a SORN for your vehicle if the following circumstances apply:

  • You plan on keeping the vehicle in a garage, or on a driveway or private land for a period of time. The vehicle may not be parked on any public roads.
  • The vehicle is uninsured - even briefly - for instance, as the result of a delay in renewing a policy.
  • You plan on salvaging parts from the vehicle before it is scrapped
  • You are buying or receiving a car which you plan to keep off the road - for instance, a classic or collectible car. 

Please know that if you are buying or receiving a vehicle, you cannot transfer a SORN from the previous keeper. 

You can inform the DVLA up to two months in advance of when you wish to declare a vehicle as being off the road. You will need the 16 digit number on your V11 reminder letter to do this. 


Can I Drive a SORN Car in an Emergency?

Again, the answer is no. Even if your vehicle is insured, you cannot drive your SORN car other than to a pre-booked MOT test, even in an emergency. 

Is your current MOT certificate soon to expire? Be sure to book an MOT test near you with a professional garage at your earliest convenience.


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