SORN violations cost drivers over 12m

Drivers are paying millions of pounds in fines for failing to declare when they are keeping a vehicle off the road.

If you're taking your vehicle off the road for a while -- for example, undertaking major repairs or keeping it in a garage over the winter -- it doesn't have to be taxed or insured and you can get a refund for any full months of remaining tax. However, you have to register the vehicle with a Statutory Off-Road Notification (SORN).

Analysis of government data by garage chain Kwik Fit has revealed that drivers paid out £12.4m last year for not meeting this requirement.

First-time offenders usually get a fixed penalty notice of £100 for failing to comply with insurance requirements, while those appearing in court receive an average fine of more than £200.

In the past five years there has been a 78% increase in the number of offenders, Kwik Fit found.

Meanwhile, the total number of people taken to court for insurance-related infringements has increased by 26%, resulting in £52m in fines last year alone.

Around a quarter (24%) of all vehicle offences in 2018 involved insurance.

Roger Griggs, Kwik Fit's communications director, 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.

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

"It is also vital to note that SORNs need to be renewed each year to ensure drivers keep within regulations. Registering a SORN is free, and as we have seen from our analysis, failing to do so can prove very costly."

For information on getting a quote visit our car insurance page.