How to SORN a car

Leaving an old car by the wayside and don’t want to pay car tax? If you’ve got a vehicle that won’t be driving on the road, you had better apply for a SORN.

Promoted car insurance logo
Get cheap car insurance quotes
Save up to £561 on your car insurance*
Compare over 120 insurance providers
Enjoy rewards
Get a quote

If you’ve taken your car off the road and are keeping it without ever planning on driving it on the road, then you’ll need to get it a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) for it. This is because the DVLA needs to know that you won’t be on the road and so won’t need to pay car tax. Once you have your SORN, you will automatically get any unused months of road tax refunded to you in the post within six weeks.

How to SORN your car (A step by step guide)

  1. Tick the SORN box on your V11 (if your tax is already running out). If your road tax is running out, the DVLA will send you a V11 with your vehicles registration number on it. The V11 gives you the various options for renewing your car tax as well as a check box if would like to apply for a SORN. Simply tick this box and send it back to the DVLA to apply for a SORN.
  2. Choose when to take your car off the road (if you have full months remaining on your road tax). You can choose to take your car off the road either immediately or on the first day of the next month. You will need different information depending on which you choose: If you choose to take it off immediately, you will need the eleven digit number on your vehicle log book (V5C); if you choose to wait until the first of the next month, you’ll need the 16 digit number on your most recent tax reminder letter (V11).
  3. Tell the DVLA that you want to SORN your car. You can do this in a number of different ways. If you are not the registered owner of the car, you must get your SORN by post.
    • Online. Fortunately, the government have a handy page ( where you can enter either your V5C, V5C/2 or V11 and follow their simple steps to apply for your SORN. For this option you have to be the vehicles registered owner.
    • By phone. You can apply for a SORN by calling the DVLA at 0300 123 4321. This is a 24 hour phone service, so you can call anytime, and they will take you through all you need to do to get a SORN.
    • By post. You can also apply for a SORN by post by completing the application form V890 (available here – and send it to:
      SA99 1AR.
      When you apply by post, you can choose any day in the current or previous month as the day you take your car off the road. You can also choose a day in the next month or the month after that, but if you do this you’ll have to include a letter explaining why you can’t apply for your SORN closer to the time.
  4. Once you have your SORN, you will automatically get a refund on any unused tax months. This should happen within 6 weeks, and if it hasn’t, or if the information on your rebate cheque is wrong, contact the DVLA.

Frequently asked questions

Finder survey: What proportion of Brits say customer service is one of the most important considerations when choosing car insurance?

Customer service23.1%16.87%
Source: Finder survey by Censuswide of 1032 Brits, December 2023
*Based on data provided by Consumer Intelligence Ltd, (Mar ’24). 51% of car insurance customers could save £539.54
The offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of products we can track; we don't cover every product on the market...yet. Unless we've indicated otherwise, products are shown in no particular order or ranking. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations), aren't product ratings, although we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it; this is subject to our terms of use. When making a big financial decision, it's wise to consider getting independent financial advice, and always consider your own financial circumstances when comparing products so you get what's right for you. Most of the data in Finder's comparison tables has the source: Moneyfacts Group PLC. In other cases, Finder has sourced data directly from providers.

Written by

Esther Wolffowitz

Esther Wolffowitz was a publisher at specialising in insurance. Esther holds an MSc in Media and Communication Governance from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). See full profile

More guides on Finder

  • Dude, when’s my car insurance?

    We explain how to find out when your car insurance is up for renewal and how to avoid the hefty fines for missing it.

  • Cat S insurance

    Learn how to find insurance for your Cat S write-off, average cost and whether you can keep your category S car.

  • Admiral car insurance review

    Compare and review all the policies on offer from Admiral car insurance and see if it provides cover that suits you.

  • Fiat 500 Insurance Group

    Find out which insurance group your Fiat 500 belongs in, how much it should cost to insure and how you can save on your premiums.

  • Cheapest car insurance in the UK

    Good car insurance doesn’t have to be expensive. Compare cheap car insurance quotes to start saving today.

  • Direct Line car insurance review

    Compare Direct Line’s car insurance options with our analysis and review. Find out what’s covered and how to make a claim.

  • RAC car insurance review

    Compare and review RAC car insurance and find out if it’s the right cover for you. Discover policies and how to save on your premiums.

  • Tesco Bank car insurance review

    Compare and review Tesco Bank car insurance and see if it has the right policy to protect you behind the wheel.

  • Car insurance exclusions

    Find out what car insurance won’t cover so you can avoid any nasty surprises at claim time.

  • Get agreed value car insurance quotes online

    Find out how agreed value car insurance works and if it’s the right option for you.

14 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    PaulineJuly 4, 2019

    Trying to sorn a van I bought and it’s not recognised what do I do

      fayemanuelJuly 5, 2019Finder

      Hi Pauline,

      Thanks for contacting Finder.

      Sorry to know that your vehicle isn’t recognized when you are applying for a SORN online. Please call the DVLA at 0300 123 4321 to have this checked or just have it registered through them over the phone.

      Should you wish to have real-time answers to your questions, try our chat box on the lower right corner of our page.


    Default Gravatar
    mrsDecember 22, 2018

    can I sorn my car for just a month?

      JoshuaDecember 23, 2018Finder

      Hi Mrs. Shields,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      Basically, once you have applied for SORN and it was approved, it would be effective for as long as you want. You don’t need to renew SORN. If you want to SORN your car for only a month, then you can simply remove the SORN by complying with the requirements.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!


    Default Gravatar
    EilennNovember 14, 2018

    My father car is no longer on the road since 2yrs and has misplaced the paper work to put it of the road

      AshNovember 30, 2018Finder

      Hi Eilenn,

      Thank you for reaching out to us.

      If your Father will not be using the car, he can apply for a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) so he will not be obligated to pay for its tax. This will also inform Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) that your father’s car will no longer be on the road. You can follow the instructions on the above page on how you can file a SORN.

      No worries, as the car can be used again on the road once your father applies for the vehicle tax and have it insured again.

      I hope this helps.

      Please do not hesitate to reach out again to us if you have additional questions that you need assistance with.


    Default Gravatar
    ScottOctober 2, 2018

    I have sold my car that is SORN, what happens next?

      JhezelynOctober 2, 2018Finder

      Hello Scott,

      Thank you for your comment.

      Your SORN is automatically cancelled when it’s sold. Selling a car in this situation is not much different to typically selling a vehicle, however, you are legally required to tell the buyer that the vehicle is SORN. This means that they will buy the car in the knowledge that it is not legal to drive on the roads and will have to tax and insure the vehicle themselves before moving it.

      Should you wish to have real-time answers to your questions, try our chat box on the lower right corner of our page.


    Default Gravatar
    MartinOctober 1, 2018

    Just bought car and waiting to sell my other, how long can I have before I have to sorn it.

      JhezelynOctober 2, 2018Finder

      Hello Martin,

      Thank you for your comment.

      You need to make a SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification) when you take a vehicle ‘off the road’ and you want to stop taxing and insuring it. Your vehicle is off the road if you don’t keep or use it on a public road, for example, if it’s in a garage, on a drive or on private land.

      You must make a SORN in any of the following situations:

      -your vehicle isn’t taxed
      -your vehicle isn’t insured (even for a short time, for example, because there’s a delay renewing your policy)
      -you want to break a vehicle down for parts before you scrap it
      -you buy or receive a vehicle and want to keep it off the road (you can’t transfer a SORN from the previous keeper)

      You don’t need to make a SORN if you’ve been sent a V11 reminder letter for a vehicle you’ve already sold. You’ll receive confirmation that you no longer have the vehicle within 4 weeks of telling DVLA you’ve sold it.

      Should you wish to have real-time answers to your questions, try our chat box on the lower right corner of our page.


Go to site