/ Motoring

We shouldn’t have to insure our unused cars

Vintage car in garage

You may or may not be aware, but from the end of June, any vehicle without current insurance cover could be seized or even destroyed, with owners facing a £1,000 fine. Even if the car is not on the public road!

Essentially, according to the new rules, if you’re the registered keeper of a vehicle, it must be insured at all times.

The only get-out is if you formally register your motor as being off the road, by submitting a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN).

Is it the right solution?

The authorities will use the Motor Insurance Database to track uninsured vehicles, so even if your car isn’t in use, you’re not safe – they can take it off your hands. Another step towards a Big Brother state? Yes, I think it is.

I agree that uninsured drivers are a menace, and the idea of crushing their cars when they’re caught on the road (especially when they are habitual offenders) is a great one.

But I think the new rules are a step too far. It’s not really anybody’s business but the owner’s if a car is kept on private land. This legislation, in my view, is ill-conceived, created by people who haven’t thought it through, and may even turn out to be unenforceable.

Another car insurance option

Is there a better solution to fix this country’s car insurance problem? Why not introduce a levy on every litre of fuel, which would be used to pay for third party cover for everyone. Anyone wanting more comprehensive cover could then buy that separately as an optional extra. Essentially this would mean everybody would be automatically insured.

Plus, not only would we all pay in proportion to the amount of fuel we use, but it would remove the problem of uninsured drivers at a stroke – thus freeing up valuable police resources.

I suspect it would also shake up the closed-shop run by insurers, who in my view cash-in on the mandatory requirement of car insurance. The price of cover is now so high that it’s no wonder some people decide to chance it, rather than stump up several times the value of their car just to be allowed on the road.

With an insurance levy we’d suddenly find much stiffer competition for optional policies, bringing prices down for those of us who drive carefully and avoid claiming.

Do you think the government’s new car insurance rules are a step too far, or a required move to purge Britain’s roads of uninsured drivers?

Comments
Guest
Glad says:
16 July 2011

If you drive someone else’s car using your own insurance to cover it third party, the car that you are going to drive must also have insurance and road tax, this has been the case for many years, so if your car is not insured or taxed no-one can drive it no matter what insurance they have (unless a trader perhaps), this has not changed. I worked many years selling car insurance and had to explain this many times to customers. It cant be difficult to make sure the car that is being used is the most useful one at the time and is the one insured in the persons name who is driving it whilst the other one is sorned, and the insurance company will always insure the one left on the drive or garage for fire and theft only which is a small sum compared to full insurance, most companies just amend cover and cost on the policy already held, this would cover the cost of adding the driver as a second driver until both cars are used again.

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Guest

I may have become an innocent victim of the insurance laws. I have taken toaday off work as I am afraid to drive my new car into work as i work within the new Royston ring of steel” NPNR cameras. I have just had 6 weeks of frustration with purchasing a car through the Mercedes Approved used car scheme (that’s another story). I took up the 1st cover insurance that Mercedes offers for free under the scheme then purchased a years policy during that time. Since then I ended up rejecting the car but due to timings I collected the replacement car on Saturday but the 1st car could not be collected till yesterday(Tuesday). Last week I contacted the insurer and explained the situation that I needed to have the insurance overlapping for a few days. The insurance cover was sent directly to the main dealer and I duly collected the car and drove it home 100 miles and have been driving it since. This morning I checked on Ask mid and discovered to my horror the car was not showing as insured, despite me having a 7 day cover note. I contacted the insurance company this morning and was told the cover note issue to the dealer was only for taxation purposes. This was not pointed out to me and I have never had problems with insuring a 2nd car for a few days when changing vehicles. I also had to Sorn the first car over the weekend so as not to loose August tax refund. The insurance has now been amended for the new car but is only dated from this morning. I am now waiting for the car to show on ask mid as insured and I am now worried over whether I will be receiving a letter in the post for driving without insurance. Please let this be a warning to everyone to check ask mid even if you think you are insured. Of course it is the innocent like me that are going to be clobbered with the new laws, not those the don’t care about driving without tax and insurance.

Guest
justin says:
21 August 2011

I’m a bit late on this thread but have to make this point:
Richard, you seem to be the main advocate of squeaky clean living, that’s fine, and redeclaring SORN is (tediously) all very well. But maybe you are forgetting the vast majority of us do not have any space to make a vehicle SORN, so what do we do?
If someone has a vehicle they use during holidays or only for 6 months of the year – maybe a camper van or a motorcycle – they either have to pay very expensive insurance (with no no-claims to use) or have to get rid of the vehicle.
This is surely a great shame and is going to cost many people dearly in the quality of their living.

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Guest

Justin

Sorry – I hadn’t forgotten that the majority of you do not have any space to make a vehicle SORN, But it doesn’t change the situation.

When I was a young family man living in a smallish flat without garage facilities – I had a Vauxhall Estate – a Morris van modified as a motorised caravan and an Ambassador 125cc Scrambles motorcycle (the last kept in the front garden) – All were taxed and insured as required by Road Traffic Acts all the time because they were kept on the road.

The Vauxhall was used as general transport for business and short pleasure trips – it carried in cramped conditions Two adults – two children – two large dogs with enough room left for shopping. It was economical.

The Morris van could just sleep the above family – but it meant we could go on several very cheap holidays around the country a year – though petrol consumption was too high for general use..But the amount saved by using it instead far outweighed the costs of keeping it on the road. My insurance broker managed to get a cheap multi-car insurance only around 50% more than one car. The extra cost was less – and far less stressful than trying to get Bed and Breakfast for two adults – two children and two dogs. Hotels were out of the question. It was used for around four ‘long’ holidays and four weekend trips a year.

The motorcycle was my indulgence – I was a keen motorcyclist and loved scrambles or occasional “fast” road trips with friends. The tax and insurance was little (insurance added to car insurance) I used it infrequently – but the pleasure derived far outweighed the costs.- I would not have bothered to keep SORNing it – because it would have been impossible to plan when I wanted to use the motorcycle .

At no time did I contemplate SORN (if it was available at the time)

The choice is yours – pay the costs involved or don’t have the vehicles. I chose at the time to have all three vehicles and pay – I didn’t moan about it..

As for quality of living – the reason I paid was to have my quality of living within the law . Why do so many now want it free??

The reason for the change of the law is to combat the increasing numbers of irresponsible idiots who drive without insurance – tax – or MOT. It is over 1.25 MILLION now. It means all vehicles can be tracked if found driven on the road and seized to be crushed if required – I want this to happen.

If you can’t afford it – don’t do it – Live within your means.

Guest
Phil Huff says:
24 August 2011

Richard,

I have no desire to break the law, and I’m happy to tax, MOT and insure any car I keep on the road. However, like you, I have a fleet (currently five, but between three and eight cars) and some of those are very much toys

I used to keep those toys taxed and MOT’d, but not insured, on private ground away from the road. When I want to use the car, I stick a days insurance on it (a 2 minute job) and away I go, adhering to every applicable law.

Now I’m breaking the law doing that. That simply does not make sense.

Yes, there’s uninsured drivers out there. Yes, something needs to be done about that. Start off with putting the fines up from circa £200 (when insurance for the most part would be circa £2,000) to double their estimated insurance cost. At the moment the biggest single incentive to not pay is the fact that even if caught, you’ll still not pay.

Making law abiders like myself in to law breakers doesn’t help anyone.

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Guest

Phil

Though I agree that fines are ridiculously low – the new punishment of removing the car from the road and crushing it if required has started to redress the balance.

But sadly making everybody either insure their car or SORN it – <b.is helping the entire country and the police tackle the problem of 1.25 million irresponsible idiots who don’t.. If the measure removes these idiots from the road permanently – then it is an inconvenience worth paying.and should decrease the cost of motor insurance – provided something is also done about cost of motor repair and ambulance chasers.

Quite frankly the number of multi car owners in your position is tiny compared to the massive numbers of drivers flouting the law. If I were you I’d either accept the costs involved or reduce the number of cars in my possession..

Guest
Phil Huff says:
24 August 2011

I accept I’m in the minority, and a tiny minority at that. However, this one toy I have costs a little over £3,000 a year to insure, or about £40 a day if I insure it for just when I use it. Given that I use it probably about twice a month at the most, shelling out an extra £2,000+ for the privilege of parking it in my garage seems a bit steep…

The new law seems like the easiest way of enforcing the previous laws, rather than the best way. I still maintain that sticking the fines up to punitive levels will have more effect, as crushing a £300 Nova still won’t be much of a deterrent when you’ve got a £2,000 insurance bill as an alternative.

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Guest

I really disagree – it is not just crushing the £200 Nova – there are fines – points – retesting – and possible imprisonment attached to the crushing – so the more cars crushed the higher the cost and consequences for buying another car – If that car was correctly registered before sale as it should be – then all drivers will be traceable.

It reminds me a little of the old Dangerous Dog Act which targeted American Pit Bull Terriers – As a responsible dog owner I wanted the actual dog owner targeted not the dog itself- .But the result of the ban completely stopped serious or fatal dog bites on humans for ten years. The number of fatal cases about two since then.- both illegal APBT – Though the number of normal dog bites has not reduced. So the law was highly effective.

I think the insure or SORN law will be highly effective..

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Guest

Added later – I wish there was a preview and edit facility

Sorry if the car is in your garage – then you can SORN it which is free – If you want to use it – pay for it – I do.

Guest

In Australia, well at least WA, third party cover is included in the road registration (what we call Car Tax) which is payable each year to the state government. This means that you don’t need to legally insure your car separately although many people with good vehicles often do to ensure that they have fully comprehensive cover. However, this system works well, because it has two key benefits, first it means that all cars are covered as long as they are registered (and the police keep a close eye on registration stickers which like our road tax are renewable on a yearly basis and displayed in the windscreen of the vehicle). Second, it also has the added benefit of keeping full cover insurance costs down simply because insurance companies are working in a more competitive market because it is not a legal requirement that vehicles take out insurance with an insurance company.

Why on earth don’t they introduce such a scheme here? Well, I suspect it has something to do with the fact that the government at Westminster makes a fortune out of business taxes etc from insurance companies. It’s big business after all.

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Guest

Sadly in the UK there are over 1 million car drivers who do not MOT or Register their vehicles. How does WA check that ALL cars are properly registered?

Because from what I’ve seen on TV there are many Aussie drivers who drive illegal and dangerous unregistered vehicles – somewhat similar to UK problem

Here it is easy enough to buy insurance – obtain an MOT – to buy the Road Tax or to apply for a SORN – the problem is 1 million car drivers in the UK – will NOT obtain the required documents and so drive illegally . The additional mandatory SORN .is purely because of the enormous numbers of illegal drivers.here.that need to caught – fined – and cars crushed if possible.

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Guest

Could the answer be to ask the Government to allow SORNing and getting tax refunded by the day, rather then by the month as it is now? That way, you could SORN a car online for, say, the three days it would take you to repair it and get three days’ worth of tax refunded. I don’t know why it’s not done already, with modern technology making this potentially simple.

Guest
extremelyupset says:
11 October 2011

some of us dont have a sporty model for week ends. we have our every day cars. They eventually get old and tatty so on a limited budget we buy a replacement. But that old car is still too good to scrap so we want to sell it on and leave the tax on it for the new owner to try and get back some of that money we threw at it for all those years. so we swap our insurance over for the new car add the old one on as a second car so that people can come and have a test drive but you only get a max of 30 days. Then oh dear the new car brought privately to save the over priced forecourt prices develops a problem and ends up off the road didn’t see that coming never mind i’ll use the old car till the new ones fixed. Thats ok get the new car back but now only have a couple of days to sell the old car before the insurance runs out. so do I send the tax back declare sorn? but I dont have a drive. if I keep tax on it It’ll get taken away and crushed. So do I give it away ? the car isn’t so attractive with no tax and is illegal parked on the road. mmmm not on to winner there am I.
Or the other way round the new car is going to cost loads to repair and can’t afford it just yet after just spending all my hard earned cash on it. Decide on a second hand part engine or gearbox but guess what the cars too new and there aren’t many spares about today. shall I send the tax back lose a month on the tax and sorn it till the part comes up or i have the money for the new part.?
Then 2 days after you send the tax back the part becomes available that would be about right.
You see I think this goverment doesn’t live in the real world where everyday people are mostly law abiding and struggle on low wages with two vehicles in the family out of the fact that the kids have to be driven miles to school because the local one was closed. the wifes working because the husband has to drive miles to work for less than he should be earning then has to work all hours to make ends meet. These are the real people that get hurt buy legislation like this. The well off can afford the Etype, Bently, or Lambo all legal in the garage for its monthly outing while using his and hers Porsches daily. the other scum buy non Mot’d wrecks for £50 don’t tax or insure them and can’t because they don’t have a licence anyway. So the most of us don’t exist in the eyes of the government. So if your car is over five years old you must be scum.
The other solution someone posted earlier about putting the levy on fuel.
To that I ask are you nuts? All this will do is allow young rich kids to drive cars that are too powerful for them resulting in more fatalities. as well as just being unfair. The experienced driver gets a discount at present for paying in but not taking out.That advantage for the good safe driver would be gone. I for one would be far more wreckless if having an accident wouldn’t put up my premium. I could drink drive get banned get my licence back and just drive like nothing happened. The scum still wouldn’t mot or tax their cars and the insurace even though on the fuel would not pay out as it was invalidated by the lack of the former. Its our worst nightmare to be hit by an uninsured driver.
but hammering the everyday guy who’s not intending to drive the uninsured car and was just keeping it till it’s fixed or until someone comes round with reasonable money for the old pride and joy is just wrong. Anyway tomorrow I shall be leaving the Jag on the drive next to the Bently and taking the rusty uninsured ford with no mot or tax to work instead

Guest
extremelyupset says:
11 October 2011

Just one question for Richard
You sound like a right “Richard” are you a tory?

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Guest

Actually I’m a privately educated Labour party member with a with 64 years of daily London driving without a single traffic accident – or traffic offence – or speeding ticket – now exactly what is your record??

In fact I stopped being a Tory when Thatcher destroyed the London Education system – You see like driving – I learned by my experience how appalling Tory policies were for the poor and vulnerable.

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Guest

Hi Extremelyupset – please do not make your comments personal or offensive to other commenters on the website. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and needn’t be stereotyped for holding a particular view. Please try and stay on topic and leave personal accusations out of it. Have a read of our Commenting Guidelines if you’re unsure. Thanks.

Guest
extremelyupset says:
12 October 2011

You Know! actually another question Richard. Do you own a Bently?
The problem with people like you is that this government is full of them. Ill informed “Richard’s”
Buy the way have you ever had your name shortend?
There will always be an element of society that is outside the law. This type of thing reminds me of days at school when everyone suffered because of one or two idiots.
Usually I don’t suffer idiots too well but with you i will make an exception.
All the legislation in the world WILL NOT STOP people that want to drive illegally doing so.
Maybe if the government lowered fuel duty got off the green band wagon lowered tax on all but the very extravagant and pointless cars and stopped insurance companies charging over the top premiums some of these people may actually abide by the law.
The problem with people like you is you assume that breaking the law is a planned and conscious decision. for some people its the only choice they have. they risk it no tax for a month declare sorn then drive to work because it too far to walk or bike and the public transport is crap but they need the money to survive to another payday when they may have money to buy it then No MOT can’t afford to replace that chipped screen or replace that cat to get the imissions right this month i’ll risk it. Not every MOT failure is dangerous. I’ve seen plenty of cars with an MOT that are. Have you ever driven with a bulb gone. most of us have, question is did you know it had gone before you were stopped? or was the blue lights in the rear view mirror and tapping on you side window a mystery to you before he said ” do you know why i’ve stopped you sir”? If it was the former then you took a conscious decision to break the law. But then that hasn’t happened to you has it as your the only one in the country that walks round his car to check before driving off. Either that or youve got a posh Tory car that tells you a bulbs out. Then you can go get it changed for you by some underpaid uninsured tax dodging kid from the local halfords or Quickfit

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Guest

What a crass reply

No legislation ENTIRELY STOPS CRIMINAL ACTIVITY – but it does not make the offence LESS Criminal. I knew a lot of criminals due to my day job of teaching in a very slum school in a slum area,

Using your crass argument we should forgive burglary because the law won’t stop it entirely – RUBBISH – Do me a favour get real. Keep the speed limit at 70 mph.

Guest
extremelyupset says:
12 October 2011

Ok so your not a tory and I agree with the burglary argument. But you also don’t arrest everybody thats walking down the road with a DVD player under their arm. My reply wasn’t crass, I posted that prior to your reply. As you’ve worked in a deprived area you will understand how some people think. I have worked with people that have had to chose between car tax/ insurance or rent. It’s not right but some of these people are single parents desparatly trying to keep a roof over their childrens heads. ( rather than sponging of the state) if they can’t get to work they lose their job. We could take a snipe at those people and suggest that its the poor life choices made that puts them in that situation in the first place? But that would be a nonsense.
The problem is that the government seem to have a very stereotypical veiw of certain groups of people. ” lets kick the rioters out of their council houses and stop their benefits” what makes that statement worse is that it is offensive to those rioters that were not council tennants.
See done it again.
As I said its like being at school where one idiot breaking the rules affects all the others that don’t. Just wondered if you have ever seen minority report with Tom Cruise? in that film people were arrested and imprisoned for crimes that they were going to commit in the future.
As a legal minimum insurance covers the third party. So if the car is not being driven what risk is there to the third party. If you sorn the car has to be off the road. Some people can’t park off road so they have to keep the car taxed for it to be on the road used or not.
Generally the people that break the law don’t have insurace, tax or mot because they don’t care!
if they are caught let them have it to the fullest extent of the law. Hammering the person who can’t sell that old car and wants to hang on for a reasonable price rather than taking peanuts from some tyre kicker is wrong. Maybe with all the I.T involved now it would be easier to simply sieze any vehicle that was say more than 100yrds away from the adress it is registered to if it is not insured, any further away than that and its being driven illegaly, catch the people in the act, cars parked 5 miles away from home address? its being used sieze it. Dont make the honest guy pay.

As for the 70mph that means 78mph 10%speedo error +3mph local adjustment. I’ve been in cars where neither the car or the driver should be allowed over 40mph. I’ve also driven on the autobaan at over double our speed limit in a car that feels more like 80mph, my car is capable of double the speed limit but i stick to 70 yeah right. cars are safer now than they have ever been the driving test is harder to pass than when we got our licences. so does that mean that driving standards are higher now? This is the problem some people have no idea of speed. And whilst it works in germany it would not work here. you get idiots that do 70 on the motorway and sit in lane three and won’t move over because they’ve decided to enforce the speed limit on everybody else themselves. these are the same idiots that pull out to overtake at 60- 65 when your coming down at 78ish.We have the lowest motorway speed limit in the eu most people already drive at 80 or more so make it legal then use the extra resourses to catch real criminals and the perpetraters of real crimes like not insuring their unused vehicles.

Guest
Lamster says:
24 October 2011

Well heres one for you all. I think the new law is barmy!
I don’t have a lot of disposable income so my ageing car needs some work doing. nothing that makes it unroadworthy more annoying bumps and squeeks.
so after working out what it would cost it was more than the thing is worth, but it still has 8 months mot so for someone it may be a do’er upper.
So I brought another car it needed minor repairs like a service and a couple of tyres so I insured the new car and kept the old one on my insurance at extra cost so that I could drive to work while the garage sorted out the new car about a week I thought.
Anyway there was a problem/ Accident at the garage and the result is that they caused a large amount of damage to the new car which they are now having to sort out at their cost, in the mean time i’m driving my old car still. Heres the thing my insurance company sent me new documents but they are wrong there is no mention of the new car and I didn’t get a notice for the temp cover for the old one.
All I got was a certificate for the old car with new from and expired dates on it. When I rang them they told me i’m insured for the new car as my main car and I have temp cover on the old one. Still can’t get the correct paperwork. I was driving the new car before taking it to the garage but may well have been uninsured due to their c**k-up
The repairs to the new car could be a few weeks and the temp cover on my old car will expire. So what now if Iswap my policy again and reinsure my old car which I will also have to retax next month. I will not be insured for the new car which is taxed, does that mean it should be siezed and crushed?. Likewise if I get the car back and the temp cover has or almost expired I will have an uninsured car with tax on.
I could sorn it but I want to sell it so unless I find a buyer with sensible money to offer i’ll have to let the first person that turns up pay me whatever they offer. Under the old laws i’d have still had a month or so to sell the car without worrying about where it is parked. I could haggle over the price.
Now I feel that any buyer will just offer me very little knowing I must sell or Break the law. If I sorn the car i’ll never fix it up as I already thought it cheaper to buy another car so why would I do that?
I also do not have the luxuary of my own drive. If some of the post on here that i’ve read were law I would by now have had both cars crushed and most likely be in prison although i’ve paid out a large amount of money to a reputable insurer If stopped I don’t Have any up to date paperwork for either car, now thats worrying.

Guest
extremelyupset says:
24 October 2011

Well Lamster
Thats the point I was trying to make.
Sorry to here about your dilema sounds like a nightmere.
If your insurance say your covered you proberly are, keep on to them about the documents and try not to get stopped in the mean time.
The car in for repair maybe covered on the garage’s policy they should really do more`to help you out like lending you a car.

Guest
colin cobb says:
10 November 2011

Yes I do think the goverment new car insurance rules are a “step too far. The suggestion of a percentage of petrol costs going towards mandatory third party insurance would I feel, raise a few hackles, but is a thought. Likewise a percentage added to petrol and we could do away with road tax. Everyone would have to pay,and the biggest mileage burners would pay most, that seems fair. But it won’t happen because too many civil servants will be ousted from their warm offices in Swansea. It would lessen the queues at Post Offices at the end of the month as well.

Guest
nevertellanyone says:
28 October 2012

Everyone states the best way forward is to put the insurance on petrol, here is the problem,
driving lessons will go up in increments of £10 the young ones will not take tests, they now have no licence, but never mind they are insured because they have 1 litre in the tank and thats the fool that ran over my kid as he/she left the garge.
the only way is to stop it all, how? very heavy fines, the fines go to injuries etc of people hit by these drivers, petrol is stupid and we pay £18 in every £30 fill up to this tory crew.
insurance should be displayed in the windows of all cars and then rewarded to all people who shop the ones who do not have it, then get this tory gang to stop the insurance companies making insurance unreachable.
a young lad can pay up to 4k for insurance, a young girl 2k and so we opened our mouths and moaned that girls are getting better deals than the guys, what happened, yes, they put the girls up to same level, why did they not meet in the middle and say 3k for all sexes, because its the tory system, if you cannot see we are actually going backwards, you had better catch on, there is more slavery now than when we had slavery, more rented houses than ever in history, wages are lower and food is higher, caqp in hand is on its way back, and i really do thank my lucky stars that i am 56 and will not be here in 30 years, i have lived through some great times and inventions, tv, cd, computers,mp3, cars, no world wars, and now it is turning, because the rich want to be richer, and keep normal people down, it is very plain to see here,
we run small un insured cars, or not at all, and guess what comes around the corner, mr gas eating flash bentley taxed insured car. just like dickension times, little boy no shoes and mr rich looks down his nose from his horse drawn carriage. this will always be the way of the world, animal farm shows us this.it will never be perfect and we will always go on and on.

Guest
borris says:
13 November 2011

Hi, There must be some human rights issue here, I agree that to be uninsured is not acceptible. But if you own your car it is your property and you should be able to keep it off road without having to tell the DVLA, what has it got to do with them. I think most people can see through this law and can see that its largly just another way of getting revenue. I think this is all wrong and would urge motorist to fight back in what ever way they can to overturn this law. Haven’t we had enough big brother.

Guest
Larry Stuart says:
14 November 2011

Borris is quite right, why should we have to tell the DVLA anything other than what they need to know, have you got a car on the road, if so then the DVLA needs to know, so if I had a Museum and had 25 cars the DVLA would want to let the insurance company’s, and know doubt them, fleece us another time.

Guest
Lamster says:
14 November 2011

Yes Borris
we are not telling them anything they don’t already know your MOT Tax and Insurance is already on big brothers laptop I mean database. for The police DVLA VOSA and many many more to look at.
The problem arises when you don’t intend to drive the car for what ever reason but still wish to keep it.If you sorn the car your saying museum piece as your tax is invalidated when you declare sorn yes even if theres 6,8,10 months left on it. If the Mot expires you would have to trailer it to the test center as you can not legally drive it there as no insurance company will cover a non mot’d vehicle,
I know the excuse for the tax is I’m taking it to an MOT which is legal if it is previously booked in.
I’ve just sorned my old car so I can keep it for a while after having problems with the new one just in case. I phoned DVLA to get the low down on this law. And its goes like this. when your insurance runs out you will get 14 days to reinsure or sorn your car/bike before they are alerted at which time you will recieve a gentle threat, I mean reminder if after a further 14days you do nothing You will be gently carted off fined £1000 and your vehicle siezed. My old car will most likely never go back on the road even though it still has 8 months mot as I can’t give a legal test drive and can’t allow anybody to try the car out because if its seen on the road before I sell it guess who gets the £1000 fine. The only person that can drive the car as is is a trader with trade plates as He/she doesn’t need to display tax with trade plates and has insurance to cover all cars even ones that are not mot’d. This is because they are upstanding trustworthy members of society and would not abuse this by driving around in an unroadworthy car let alone sell one like it.
Sorry to rant but has anybody seen the new MOT certificates yet. They look like someone spent 10mins on Word to do the template and I can imagine the old bill saying something like “Hey sonny did you print this yourself”? Now go to the “Dog and Duck” for a bent one ” No Need” !

Guest
Alex Cooper says:
23 November 2011

The problem for most working people is mainly the greedy insurance companies who have made no allowance for insuring off road or on road sorned vehicles.. I have had several situations over the years in which I was forced to keep 2 cars on the road…. mainly due to one of them needing repairs… Why dont insurance comapnies have a special low level insurance premium for cars that cant be driven over a particular time period, which would enable them to still be taxed. Im sure a 25% level of normal insurance for a second car which was not being driven would be more helpful to honest owners in a fix in some of those situations which always seem to occur with cars. The idiots of course would not pay any insurance or tax anyway…. no matter what the law or the circumstances….

Guest
Lamster says:
25 November 2011

Just to point out Alex, that a sorned vehicle does not need insurance. But also cannot have valid tax and therefore cannot be legally on the road.
Now what I don’t understand and this isn’t new but I’m a safe driver no claims and been driving umteen years. So I get 75% NCD but if I insure a second car all my years of NCD don’t count and I have to pay the full premium. I can only drive one at a time and behind the wheel I am the same risk so I should get my NCD but I don’t. The premium varies but that distinquises between the Ford Mondeo used daily and the AC cobra used when its Sunny, so not much then. Now consider that insurance has to be third party minimum, if the car is not being driven then what is the risk to the third party? Unless they can claim for crashing into a parked but uninsured vehicle. What should have happened is that Tax and Insurance should have been more easily purchased Tax and Insurance could be brought monthly for vehicles that have been delared sorn and not been continously taxed for 12months or more since declaring sorn. That way you can sorn a vehicle you are not using if its off road. Or keep it legal while your trying to sell it.But NO! that won’t raise enough revenue.

Guest
Nigel says:
3 December 2011

I have just been pulled over by police; my car was not on the database; eventually they got through to my insurers “Tesco”, who confirmed that I was insured. 30 minutes later I contacted Tesco, who confirmed that I was insured, and that the details they had were correct (I changed car, but not insurers in September); they had not put me on the Motor Insurance Database. So not only was my time wasted; Police time was wasted; and I felt physically sick with the mental trauma of the incident. I do my best to follow the law, so to be treated as a criminal was awful. It was not helped by a rather patronising, but helpful, Policeman, who asked me whether I was aware of the penalties for not being insured.

Guest
Chris says:
5 December 2011

This law doesn’t help those of us trying to sell our old vehicles. I’m in the middle of two cars and am frantically trying to find the best way of keeping legal without forking out a huge amount on a car I no longer want. Currently its going to cost me an extra £220 for one weeks worth of insurance for a car I’m trying to sell. Its only £500 to insure it for a whole year.

Talk about a government yet again not thinking things through properly.

Guest
car off the road says:
17 January 2012

why can the police not do anything if a car is not tax mot or insuread when it is used on the road unless they see it on the road . i was told the police dont do anything them self you have to report it to DVLA . i dont break the law how come others can drive with no mot tax or insurance .

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Guest

I’ve found a solution to my specific problems; I’ve now got trade insurance that covers all of my cars, whether on road, off road, SORNd, or even if they’re just in my care. It costs me about £100 more than my usual insurance but means I’m never uninsured under any circumstances.

Of course, that doesn’t mean I necessarily keep tax/SORN in order for the off-road cars, but at least the insurance is covered.

To be clear, if a car of mine goes on-road, it’s taxed 😉

Guest
Lamster says:
19 January 2012

Blimmey Phil only a £100 more who was that with?

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Guest

I went through a broker called Think Insurance. There’s a few restrictions, and the excess is higher, but then I don’t intend to claim anything…

It’s made life so much easier, although it does mean I’ve got to buy/sell six more cars this year. considering I like to buy unloved 80s/90s cars, that shouldn’t be too much trouble!

Guest
Maurice says:
22 January 2012

It is not true, as stated in the article above, that “The only get-out is if you formally register your motor as being off the road, by submitting a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN)”. You also do not have to insure your car if your vehicle has been kept off-road since before SORN came into force on 31 January 1998 (like my 1977 Spitfire that is no longer roadworthy but which I can’t bear to get rid of!), but articles like this, and other sources of information — even warnings enclosed with tax reminders, for instance — do not tell the whole story and are misleading people.

Guest
Chris A says:
3 March 2012

Can an Vehicle be Sold Sold As SEEN if the vehicle has an SORN on it

Guest
Larry says:
3 March 2012

I do not know what all the fuss is about, the easy answer is use the SORN, I have a 1963 MGB and have used the SORN for some time now, so get into SORN.

Guest
Lamster says:
3 March 2012

Hi Larry
Sorn is not the problem Not if you intend keeping the car or simply watching the grass grow round it over over the next twenty years. The problem arises if you are trying to sell a car that has been sorned Say you have a rare car that is road worthy but the mot has expired because its been layed up for 12months for repairs/restoration you know it would pass an MOT if you could get it to the test center but other than trailering it there and back there is no legal way to do so unless your a trader. At least under the old system you could cover the no tax element by pre booking the test some insurance companies say it is ok to drive to a test some say definatly not without a current mot. I suspect if you had an accident the ones that say yes would wash their hands and leave you on your own As it happens my old car is sorned still has mot on it. And wasn’t sold because I couldn’t offer a test drive to any prospective buyers as it wasn’t insured, and I wasn’t prepared to sell for an amount less than it was worth so I kept it. Sitting there eventually it will develope a problem and won’t start and some one will end up giving me £100 for scrap its not worth a great deal maybe £1000 but no one will pay that unless they drive it and convince themselves that its worth that money. I know most cars we buy privatly we are most likely not covered to test drive the and we take a risk but in the old days your car didn’t get siezed and taken for disposal.

Guest
Extremelyupset says:
30 October 2012

Hi nevertellanyone.
Your right insurance on petrol is not the way to go. But maybe Tax is that would level the playing field. If you drive a gas guzzler then you pay more just like you do now with the £475 per year for said cars.
Maybe something more radical like new number plates but instead of a dealers name it has you insurance policy number and the expiry date on it or a bar code that the police can read. and when you go to collect the plate you have to show a valid mot for the vehicle.

Now today the Tories have announced plans to levy tax on what roads we use so if you have a little 850cc band B car and you run it up and down the motorway you’ll pay the £475 rate if you already pay that rate then you can drive anywhere so no increase if you Drive a Bently Merc or a Jag.
So what this means is if you want to pay the ammont you pay now you’ll have to stick to minor roads to get to work or go on holiday so your 3hr getaway drive becomes 17hrs when your stuck on a “B” road with all the other people that want to pay lower tax? Out of touch? time for a chage me thinks

Guest
Sam says:
19 June 2013

Hello everyone.

Got a question for you all… I’m leaving the country next month and want to sell my car whoe’s MOT and TAX is due in June 2013. I have already cancelled my insurance so what options do I have to sell the car? Should I get it taxed? I am new and don’t know much about the law but what I red above is scary.
I will really appreciate if someone can guide me step by step about what should I do to sell the car before I leave the country.

Guest
Mervyne says:
16 April 2015

Iv just bought a car,but have no v5 documents as the car is from a dead persons estate and was sold at auction,I’m the new owner.I have insured the car but can’t tax it because having no document,the £25 fee for new documents has been paid and sent off,,but I am informed it could take up to six weeks,
While this car is insured can it be parked on the roadside without the tax.
Please comment.

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Guest

Hi Mervyne, thanks for your post about the new car you’ve recently bought. To my knowledge, with no V5 or car tax, the insurance is invalid because they’re both linked with one another.

In this respect, I’d strongly suggest that you to take this up with your car insurer. It’s best to keep written correspondence confirming they’ll insure the vehicle whilst you’re waiting for the documents.

In the meanwhile, we’d recommend not parking the car on the road. Just to add, a valid MOT is linked with insurance, so it’s best checking this too.

Guest
Busby says:
25 April 2015

purchased a new van so changed my insurance from my old car. Car is currently on my drive still with tax and mot as it was supposed to be going to a member of the family I did not declare it off the road. I’m now fuming that I have recently received a fine for not being insured. Have now had to put the car up for sale but confused about sorn as then it would be illegal for anyone to test the car. I was simply going to put it on my insurance as and when required for test drives. It seems either way I’ll get done. I can’t see why I should pay for insurance that will only be used for 5 or 10 minutes at a time yet if I don’t I have to try to sell it without letting people test it.

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Guest

You do not have to have insurance (or tex) to keep a vehicle on the drive or in a garage, but you must make a SORN to avoid being fined, as you have discovered. Someone else could drive a vehicle under their own insurance, albeit with only third party cover, but obviously not if it is has been declared to be off the road.

That’s the law. Even though it sounds tough, there are very good reasons.

Guest
Clare says:
18 May 2017

Our car was taxed and insured but the mot was out. We live in a housing association house with private parking. The housing group put a notice on our car saying it would be taken away as no mot which we didn’t see as assuming it was removed by kids. Not knowing this at the time we reported it stolen to the police. Finally two weeks later we find out the the housing group has not only taken it but destroyed our £6000 van without notifying us the owners. Can they do this?

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Guest

No Clare , although even on private land/road I found out you still need an MOT as I parked an old car somebody complained about unless as Wavechange says you -SORN it. The land in your case will belong to the housing association and they are safeguarding themselves in case injury is caused by it being parked there. You would have to prove negligence on the part of the housing association to obtain a successful claim in law , all they have to prove is that a notice was attached to the car warning of its removal unless action is taken by the owners. If they knew who owned it they should have notified you. Councils have a statutory duty to remove abandoned vehicles from land/private roads but a lot depends on the local council .