Hastings Direct.

Important - Coronavirus update

In line with guidance from the Government and to help look after our colleagues, we now have a limited number of staff in the office. During this time, we're committed to supporting you in the best way we can. We'll be here throughout to keep you updated so make sure to check back regularly.

  • At this time, please help us to prioritise essential calls by using our online services.
    • If you're a car customer you can use MyAccount or the app to make policy changes or payments, including changing your payment date, checking your documents or to report or track a claim (MyAccount only).
    • If you're a home, bike or van customer, or for any customers wishing to cancel their insurance, please use our online forms.
  • If you do phone, we will only be able to deal with your query if:
    • You're in a vulnerable situation or an NHS/critical care worker who can't easily access our online services, or
    • You are worried about making future payments, or
    • Your policy is due to renew in less than a week and you're concerned the policy is no longer suitable for you, or
    • You need to make a claim and your vehicle is un-driveable or if you need urgent roadside assistance.
  • For all other queries, including buying a new policy, please first read our Coronavirus FAQs for the latest advice and how to use our online services.
  • Our opening hours have changed to: Monday to Friday 9am - 6pm, Saturday 10am - 2pm and Sunday Closed. If do you need to call us, please bear with us as it may take us longer to answer your call. We're sorry for any inconvenience this causes you.

Read our Coronavirus FAQs

Declaring a SORN

A car undergoing restoration.

If you own a car that's not being driven on public roads, you're legally required to notify the DVLA by making a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN). By registering the car as off road and filing a SORN, you won't need to pay for tax or insurance.

SORN cars must be kept off public roads at all times, for instance in a garage or on a driveway. You must also declare a car SORN if you plan to use it solely on private land.

Drivers face tough penalties if they're caught with a car that's uninsured but not declared SORN. They'll have to pay a fixed fine of £100 and could have their car clamped, seized or disposed of. In some cases, the driver could face prosecution with a maximum fine of £1,000.

If you stop paying for car tax then you must declare your car SORN. If you don't, the DVLA will automatically fine you £80.

When would I need to make a SORN?

There are a number of situations where you are required to make a SORN on your vehicle, including:

  • Your car isn't insured, even if only for a short period of time, such as if there's a delay in your policy renewal.
  • Your car isn't taxed, bearing in mind tax can no longer be transferred with cars when they're sold on.
  • You want to disassemble your car for parts before scrapping it.
  • You buy a car but intend to keep it off road, SORN cannot be transferred from the previous owner.
  • You're going abroad on holiday for a long period of time and want to take your car off the road.
  • Your car fails its MOT and needs significant repairs. Also, if you intend to carry out the work yourself you must declare it as SORN.

How do I declare a SORN?

It doesn't cost anything to declare a SORN and you can choose to do it online via the government's website, by phone or by post.

To apply online, you'll need either the 16-digit reference number on your tax renewal letter (V11) or the 11-digit reference number on your log book (V5C). You can declare SORN by ringing 0300 132 4321, making sure you've either your V11 or V5C to hand.

To file a SORN by post, you need to complete a V890 form and send it to: DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1AR. If you want to keep your car off road whilst you're on holiday, you can file a SORN by post two months before you leave — just make sure you include a letter in the envelope explaining why.

There are a number of circumstances where you can only make a SORN by post, such as if you're not yet registered as the car's keeper, or you've recently registered as the keeper and received the V5C document in the current month.

If you haven't yet registered as the car's keeper, you need to fill in the necessary sections of the V5C and send it to the DVLA along with the V890 form.

If you don't have a V5C for the car, you're required to fill in an application for a vehicle registration certificate (V62) and send it with your SORN application — there's a fee.

When will the SORN take effect?

If you apply for SORN online or by phone using your V5C it will be declared immediately, but if you use your V11 it'll come into effect at the start of the next month. If you make a SORN via post, it'll start on the date you write on the form.

Your car will remain declared SORN until you tax and insure it, sell it, scrap it, or permanently export it. In these cases, you won't need to do anything to remove or renew the SORN as the DVLA will change the car's status automatically.

If you have any remaining tax on your car at the point it's declared SORN, you'll receive a refund for any full months.

When you want to get the car back on the road, the SORN will expire automatically when you apply for car tax using your V5C. There are a number of ways you can apply for tax — visit our car tax guide for more information.

Remember, you can only legally start driving when the car's taxed, insured, and has a valid MOT certificate.

When can you drive a car that's been declared SORN?

If your car's declared SORN, the only exception where you can drive it on a public road's to drive to and from a pre-booked MOT test, or to a garage for another pre-booked testing appointment. If you're found to be driving illegally on public roads you'll be fined up to £2,500 and could face prosecution.

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