How you could be fined THOUSANDS for trying to save money on car tax – here's how to avoid being caught out

BRITS could be fined THOUSANDS of pounds for trying to save money on their car tax.

Drivers who declare their car as SORN and still take their motors to dodge road tax can be slapped with a £2,500 fine.

A Statutory Off Road Notification is a declaration made by the registered owner of a vehicle that they are removing their car from the public highway.

By doing this, the person will no longer need to pay road tax, as the notification tells the DVLA that a vehicle is registered but not currently being used.

Those who have their insurance and road tax expire and don’t want to renew them may find it makes more sense to declare a SORN instead.

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Once you’ve made a SORN, your car has to remain off the road and either stored in a garage or kept on private land.

If your car is on the road in any way, it has to be taxed and insured – which includes parking it on a curb and leaving it there.

If your road tax expires, the DVLA will assume your vehicle is off the road, so if you don’t keep your tax up to date, you could be issued an £80 penalty for no road tax – or £100 if the car is uninsured.

It comes as VED is set to increase by 46 per cent in April, and the costs of fuel are now 176.7p per litre for diesel and 165.4p for unleaded.

New analysis of figures showing the number of vehicles declared SORN indicate a worrying trend.

During the pandemic, the way people used their cars changed dramatically, with many declaring their vehicles SORN – meaning Statutory Off Road Notification, where you’ve declared your vehicle not in use and kept off public roads – due to home working and lockdowns reducing the ability to commute or venture far.

The number of cars with SORN status peaked at 3,071,000 in the last quarter of 2020 as the UK entered a winter lockdown, an increase of 9% more cars declared out of use compared to the same period in 2019.(v)

And while the number of cars declared as SORN is beginning to reduce, we’re far from returning to pre-pandemic levels.

James Armstrong, CEO at Veygo is urging drivers not to cut corners to save cash, and to check the rules around SORN if they are getting back on the road to avoid unexpected fines.

He said: “The cost of running a car is going up, which is putting pressure on people who are strapped for cash. So much so that many people are still declaring their cars as SORN, and this may be so they can avoid paying car tax.

“SORN status might seem like an appealing way to save money, but if you are still driving your car when it’s meant to be off the road you could land yourself with a £2,500 fine.

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“This could also land you with an IN10 conviction for driving without insurance. While paying car tax is unavoidable, if you’re not using your car very often you could make savings by taking out temporary car insurance for as little as one hour.

“Just remember that when you’re trying to save cash, be careful not to cut corners that could land you with substantial fines and leave you even more out of pocket.”

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