More and more people are choosing to leave their cars off the road due to the cost of living crisis, fuel prices and general changes in circumstances. Drivers are being advised to make sure they are updating the DVLA if their car is off the road and left untaxed.
Many aren’t aware of the legal requirements that come with not running your car. If you are planning to cut this cost and leave your car off the road over winter, you must inform the DVLA so you can be issued with a SORN - Statutory Off Road Notification.
Making the declaration is easy and can be done via the DVLA’s website. This only needs to be done once and the notification will be automatically overturned if that car is retaxed.
Once declared, you will know your car is successfully SORNed when you receive a letter from the DVLA within a four weeks period. The government assume all cars are on the roads in the UK unless they are SORN, therefore required to be taxed.
Having the SORN will help avoid penalties which can incur if a camera or police see the car on the road when it’s not covered with road tax. Once the car has had a successful SORN application, you will not be able to drive that car on the roads.
If you are caught you will receive a warning letting with a fine. It is £100 if your car is uninsured and £40-£100 if the road tax has expired. If escalated, fines of up to £1000 can be issued.
You might be thinking, how does this apply to me as a learner? Well, there are a few reasons why you may decide to leave your car off the road over winter.
How far away is your test? Test waiting times are now reaching close to six months, and whilst it is good to be getting the practise in, it might not be affordable for everyone to keep their car running for that long. To cut costs down you might look at taking your car off the road for a few months until your test is closer.
Another reason may be down to confidence. Winter months are renowned for dark nights and icy conditions. If you are a new driver, still building your confidence, it might be worth skipping taking your car out in these months until you have more lessons under your belt and feel comfortable with the more challenging situations.
All we advise is you do what’s best for you. If you do decide to leave your car off the road, don’t forget to declare it to the DVLA!