Apply for a SORN if you do not want to use your vehicle through the pandemic

Through the pandemic, a lot of people were no longer using vehicles that they had because they had no choice but to stay indoors. To reduce the spread of the virus, the authorities were asking people to work remotely. They were not allowed to meet in large groups so going to an office was off the table. According to the rules put forth by various authorities, companies started implementing multiple remote working options and were having virtual meetings, which made processes a lot more bearable. With these changes, people were trying to be as safe as possible, and to reduce their in-person interactions, with many even getting their groceries and other basic home requirements delivered to their houses.

People were hitting the brakes on many in-person activities, including home renovations, which were delayed for when the pandemic situation started getting better. There were other changes they were getting through, and transportation was becoming challenging because there were new restrictions when it came to the rules relating to the border. Most states and countries were trying to control the spread of the virus from within so they implemented various border control measures which made it a bit challenging to move from one country or state to another. It was now quite challenging to get the correct supply of raw materials and other requirements when getting through the process.

Getting an MOT test in the UK

One of the requirements to have a vehicle in the UK is to get through the MOT test, which is a mandatory test that vehicle owners have to get done. Every car, bike, or truck should have a current MOT test if they want to ply on roads in the UK. There are various rules that they have to follow to make sure that they pass the test. Vehicle owners are requested to get their vehicles tested before applying for the MOT test because there are penalties if they fail the MOT test.

Additionally, they would not be allowed to ply on roads in the UK without their pass certificate and would have to reapply for their MOT test. Every year more than 33% of vehicles that apply for their test fail it, and then have to re-apply. According to a study, some vehicles have a higher chance of failing the MOT test while a few would get through it without too much trouble. Vehicle

owners should check the sections of the test that they need to prepare and work on. Furthermore, they can download their previous year’s records and handle repairs, so their vehicles are ready to get through the process.

However, through the pandemic, some of the rules around the MOT test were changing. Many people were not open to leaving their homes and getting their car tested especially with such a large number of people in the country infected with the virus. Furthermore, with remote working as an option, people were not planning on and some even lacked the opportunity to use their vehicles which were just sitting around for the most time. With the MOT test being a mandatory one, people no longer wanted to get their vehicles tested, if they were not using them.

There were changes implemented to the MOT tests and most of the service centers started working on online systems that would allow people to get through the process. No longer did applicants have to apply at the MOT center and wait for a date for them to bring in their vehicles. They could now get through the process with ease which was simple and could fill out their information and receive a date for their test in under 30 minutes without leaving their house.

Many MOT centers were even sending a person to the house to collect the vehicle so they could get them tested, sanitized, and bring the vehicle back at the end of the day. There are other changes that they were implementing to make the process as smooth as possible for everyone working through it.

There were many households with more than one car which made sense when two people from the house were heading to work in opposite directions. However, with remote working becoming the norm, people were not using their vehicles as much as they were in the past.

Using SORN to avoid paying for unused vehicles

There was a rule within the MOT requirements that stated that people could stop renewing their MOT temporarily and start again once they wanted to start using the car on the streets. Even if you plan on not renewing your MOT or your vehicle insurance, you have to apply for a SORN otherwise you would receive information about their documents having expired and would have to pay the backlog. There are fines for using vehicles without the right documents or not applying for the requirements that they have in store.

People who are not planning on using their vehicles on the road could apply for a Statutory Off Road Notification. The process allows people to temporarily or permanently stop taxing or insuring their vehicle but can only be used if the vehicle is going to be off the road.

Some of the times when you consider vehicles to be off the road are:

  • If they are not kept or used on public roads. For instance: if you leave the vehicle in your garage, on a drive, or private land.
  • If your vehicle is not taxed
  • If your vehicle is not insured (even for a short time, for example, because there’s a delay renewing your policy)
  • If you want to break a vehicle down for parts before scrapping it
  • If you buy or receive a vehicle and want to keep it off the road

Unlike the MOT or the vehicle insurance, which is more with the vehicle than the vehicle owner, you cannot transfer a SORN from the previous keeper and have to apply for the same again.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of

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