Home > Other Offences > Penalties for Uninsured Vehicles Kept Off-road

Penalties for Uninsured Vehicles Kept Off-road

By: Garry Crystal - Updated: 1 Apr 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Uninsured Vehicles Sorn Tax Discs Dvla

Around 1.4 million vehicles are being driven uninsured in the UK. New government legislation means that drivers must insure their vehicles or have a SORN to avoid financial penalties.

What Are the Figures for Uninsured Vehicles in the UK?

According to the Department of Transport there are around 34 million vehicles registered in the UK but only 32 million insurance records. It is estimated that the 1.4 million Uninsured Vehicles costs Britain around £500 million per year. Uninsured vehicles also bump up insurance policy prices for other UK drivers; as much as £30 per policy. Uninsured drivers are also more likely to be involved in traffic accidents causing financial hardship for other drivers. The UK police presently seize around 500 uninsured vehicles per day.

What Does the Legislation on Vehicle Insurance Consist Of?

The Department of Transport inroduced new vehicle insurance regulations in April 2011. The Continuous Insurance Enforcement Scheme (CIE) provides new rules for vehicles driven on the road and also for cars kept off-road. The CIE legislation means that uninsured vehicles that are not driven on the road must carry a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN). Cars that are not driven on public roads or are kept off-road are not required to be insured but must have a SORN.

How Does the CIE Apply to All Vehicles?

There are now only two choices open to drivers in the UK; vehicles must either be insured or carry a SORN. Registered on the road drivers must have at least third party insurance. Drivers without insurance or a SORN can face a series of fines and penalties.

How Will Non Insured Drivers be Identified?

The Motor Insurance Database records is compared with DVLA’s Registered Vehicle Database. This allows the authorities to compare and identify drivers who do not have motor insurance or a SORN. If the driver does not have either insurance or a SORN they are sent an Insurance Advisory Letter. This is a reminder letter that will provide details of what must be done to comply with the CIE regulations. Drivers who do ignore the Insurance Advisory Letter can receive an initial Financial Penalty.

What are the Penalties for Non Insured Drivers?

Drivers who ignore the initial Insurance Advisory Letter can be issued with a fine of £100. But this is the minimum fine that can be applied. Other penalties can include the seizing and destroying of the driver’s vehicle. The vehicle can also be clamped by the authorities. Prosecution in the courts is another option, and this can mean financial penalties of up to £1000.

Can Errors Occur with the New Insurance Legislation?

It may be the case that some insured driver’s records will not appear on the Motor Insurance Database. Drivers can check the database to ensure their records are included; this is a free to use service. If the insured driver’s records do not appear on the database they should contact their insurers to update the database. By doing so the driver can ensure they are not sent an advisory letter or stopped by the police when driving on the road.

Are There Any Exemptions from the New Insurance Enforcement Rules?

Drivers who have taxed their vehicles before 31 January 1998 and who have not driven their vehicles on the road since are exempt. This means that they will not be required to hold a SORN or insurance as they will be automatically excluded from the DVLA database. Drivers who keep their vehicles off-road and have taxed their vehicles after 31 January 1998 will be required to submit their tax discs to receive a SORN. Tax discs must be submitted to the DVLA using the V14 form. This includes vehicles with nil value tax discs.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
Leabee - Your Question:
Hi. My housemate has just received a summons to court for no insurance. She is dyslexic, possibly autistic and really doesn't understand paperwork.The bike was taxed and mot'd and insured, then the bike broke down and it took 3 weeks for insurance company to recover it, so after that the bike insurance was cancelled. But it was taken to a private drive while it was being fixed. It never left the drive, until it was sold 6 months later.It had tax and an mot, just no insurance. She ordered her new log book the year before (as I made her use a care of due to being homeless) and the log book never came back, but she found her old one.(probably because she put cash in the envelope instead of postal order/cheque) so all correspondence went to her old address, but the court summons came to her new address. It states in the subsection in 144a that if it is not kept on public property then no offense is committed as long as the following are done.it says about tax before 1998 etc but nothing about SORN. Is it a case of just writing down what has happened, getting a letter off of the lady who's drive it was on, explained no mechanics in the area would touch a Chinese import and that during that time she had an accident at work and went into a huge depression, and had to sell her bike as she couldn't afford to fix it. Plus her struggles with reading, writing and understanding?Sorry for the big comment, I just really feel for her. Her lack of understanding paperwork etc has got her into so much debt. She gave her ex money for there bills every month, and her ex didn't pay them but put them all in her name so now she has thousands chasing her.

Our Response:
It might be worth getting your housemate to go to her Citizens' Advice Bureau, they have access to lawyers and debt advisors and can help approach creditors to make arrangements etc.
NoPenaltyPoints - 4-Apr-18 @ 11:27 AM
Hi. My housemate has just received a summons to court for no insurance. She is dyslexic, possibly autistic and really doesn't understand paperwork. The bike was taxed and mot'd and insured, then the bike broke down and it took 3 weeks for insurance company to recover it, so after that the bike insurance was cancelled. But it was taken to a private drive while it was being fixed. It never left the drive, until it was sold 6 months later. It had tax and an mot, just no insurance. She ordered her new log book the year before (as I made her use a care of due to being homeless) and the log book never came back, but she found her old one...(probably because she put cash in the envelope instead of postal order/cheque) so all correspondence went to her old address, but the court summons came to her new address. It states in the subsection in 144a that if it is not kept on public property then no offense is committed as long as the following are done...it says about tax before 1998 etc but nothing about SORN. Is it a case of just writing down what has happened, getting a letter off of the lady who's drive it was on, explained no mechanics in the area would touch a Chinese import and that during that time she had an accident at work and went into a huge depression, and had to sell her bike as she couldn't afford to fix it. Plus her struggles with reading, writing and understanding? Sorry for the big comment, I just really feel for her. Her lack of understanding paperwork etc has got her into so much debt. She gave her ex money for there bills every month, and her ex didn't pay them but put them all in her name so now she has thousands chasing her.
Leabee - 1-Apr-18 @ 11:39 AM
ladnek - Your Question:
Next door to us a old campervan has been on neighbours drive his son is living in it its no scorn ive had a word with neighbour what can I do to get it removed I dont want to confront my neighbour as we get on well but hes scared of his Dad

Our Response:
You can (anonymously) report a vehicle that's either untaxed or registered as SORN that is parked on a public road. You say this vehicle is not used on a public road and is in a private driveway, so it's unlikely that it will be investigated (although it should be declared SORN if it's not taxed). Your planning authority might be able to take action if the van is lived in/or their are restrictions about this kind of thing in your area.
NoPenaltyPoints - 7-Mar-18 @ 2:46 PM
Next door to us a old campervan has been on neighbours drive his son is living in itits no scorn ive had a word with neighbour what can i do to get it removed i dont want to confront my neighbouras we get on well but hes scared of his Dad
ladnek - 6-Mar-18 @ 6:59 PM
i have had a scooter off the road for nearly 16 years now.It has been at a different house to the one I live at, however due to various circumstances, I made kind of made homeless at that time and then ended up in an abusive marriage I never changed the address that the vehicle was registered to or declared it sorn due to the above.I am now back in touch with the person who is keeping it (in a garage), but I now want to scrap it.If I am honest I am really scared about contacting the DVLA but I know I need to, what do I do?I looked on their data base and they say it hasn't been taxed since 2002.What kind of fine will I receive etc?
lemms - 18-Jan-18 @ 5:42 AM
Kim - Your Question:
I bought a car off a friend on New Year’s Eve. I sent off the new registration documents and received them back today. I have tried to sort it as I don’t need to drive it yet and I can’t on line as it says the old keeper has not notified them of the sale. I tried to call the sorn line to sorn over the phone and was told by automated voice that I have committed an offence! What did I go wrong? What will happen? Will I have to go to court? Will I get fined?

Our Response:
It's probably that the tax on the vehicle has expired...which is an offence but if you are not showing as the registered keeper you can't be held responsible. Keep trying the DVLA 0300 790 6802 and ask them what you're supposed to do if the seller didn't notify them of the sale. There is not sufficient information on this on the Internet as far as I can see.
NoPenaltyPoints - 16-Jan-18 @ 2:30 PM
I bought a car off a friend on New Year’s Eve. I sent off the new registration documents and received them back today. I have tried to sort it as I don’t need to drive it yet and I can’t on line as it says the old keeper has not notified them of the sale. I tried to call the sorn line to sorn over the phone and was told by automated voice that I have committed an offence! What did I go wrong? What will happen? Will I have to go to court? Will I get fined?
Kim - 13-Jan-18 @ 8:00 PM
MJJ - Your Question:
I was with 1st Central Insurers. They failed to put my car on the MID insurance database. 2 months after buying and insuring it I received a notice saying that it was not on the database and needed to be. I immediately contacted 1st Central and they apologised and said they'd put it on. 2 weeks later the car ground to a halt - new gearbox and clutch required. Took it to garage and they're looking for parts. Got new car and immediately insured that, transferring old insurance to the new car. Less than a week later I receive a letter saying my old car is uninsured and I need to pay £100. I look online and see that I should have immediately SORN the old car, despite it being very much up in the air as to what will happen with it and it being in the garage. But no warning letter, advisory letter etc? Or was the original letter about it being not on the MID the warning letter? Seems deeply unfair system, penalised again for the misfortune of having a car that needs repairing.

Our Response:
Unfrotunately the system is automatic and if you do not SORN a vehicle when you stop using it, you'll receive fine.
NoPenaltyPoints - 18-Dec-17 @ 3:45 PM
Nas - Your Question:
I part exchanged my car to a dealer when buying a new car in June. Gave them the v5 but didn’t get anything back. I didn’t realise I had to send anything to DVLA. Received a letter from askmid in August saying the old car wasnt insured and I wrote to DVLA declaring I wasn’t the owner. They sent an acknowledgment slip saying they recognise I wasn’t the legal owner from September. I received a court summons because I haven’t paid a fine which I didn’t receive. Being summoned for not insuring a motor vehicle that was registered in my name. I’ve ones not guilty and have to attend court. What do you think is likely to happen?

Our Response:
We can't say what a judge will decide when this goes to court unfortunately.There is no real defence for "ignorance of the law" - as the car owner, it would have been sensible for you to read the instructions on the V5 before simply handing it over.
NoPenaltyPoints - 18-Dec-17 @ 2:45 PM
I was with 1st Central Insurers. They failed to put my car on the MID insurance database. 2 months after buying and insuring it I received a notice saying that it was not on the database and needed to be. I immediately contacted 1st Central and they apologised and said they'd put it on. 2 weeks later the car ground to a halt - new gearbox and clutch required. Took it to garage and they're looking for parts. Got new car and immediately insured that, transferring old insurance to the new car. Less than a week later I receive a letter saying my old car is uninsured and I need to pay £100. I look online and see that I should have immediately SORN the old car, despite it being very much up in the air as to what will happen with it and it being in the garage. But no warning letter, advisory letter etc? Or was the original letter about it being not on the MID the warning letter? Seems deeply unfair system, penalised again for the misfortune of having a car that needs repairing.
MJJ - 16-Dec-17 @ 10:19 AM
I part exchanged my car to a dealer when buying a new car in June. Gave them the v5 but didn’t get anything back. I didn’t realise I had to send anything to DVLA. Received a letter from askmid in August saying the old car wasnt insured and I wrote to DVLA declaring I wasn’t the owner. They sent an acknowledgment slip saying they recognise I wasn’t the legal owner from September. I received a court summons because I haven’t paid a fine which I didn’t receive. Being summoned for not insuring a motor vehicle that was registered in my name. I’ve ones not guilty and have to attend court. What do you think is likely to happen?
Nas - 15-Dec-17 @ 8:54 PM
I brought a moped for my daughter it was taxed by garage and I insured it but my daughter decided she didn't want it so I cancelled insurance and tried to register bike off road and can't as it has not been registered to my daughter will she get a fine
sue - 12-Dec-17 @ 4:02 PM
My son has a similar story to Asman on here. Motor bike left in my garage having moved house, no SORN, didn't get any of the warning letters from his old house, eventually told he had been convicted (in his absence) of breaking the continuous insurance rules and a £350 bill for the DVLA £100 penalty and a fine. Apparently he could restart the trial by making a statutory declaration, but my question is: - will this have any different outcome from the first trial? - what is the severity of the conviction he has already had - how will it affect his life going forward? Many thanks
hugo - 7-Dec-17 @ 10:39 AM
Azman - Your Question:
I have moved back in august 2016 and forgot to change over my address on v5c my vehicle broke down and was left on my private drive as this is my 1st insurance and 1st ever car I was told that would be fine by my dad as its on private property I then on the 28-01-17 found out it should be sorn which I done on that date on 20-11-17 I received a letter from collectica for £660 due to not appearing in court regarding a vehicle that had no insurance on 17-01-17 but was not being driven. found out that they have sent the letter to my old address even though I haven't lived there since august 2016 even though I had changed my driving license, electoral vote address I pay my council tax at my new address from the moment I moved there and my tax is also at my new address as well. (the debt company found us in 3 days, but my own government couldn't find us). I have to now appear in court do I have any grounds to appeal this decision or at least get a reduced fee due to not even been aware of the prosecution?

Our Response:
There aren't really any valid grounds to appeal this apart from explaining the circumstances and hoping the judge will accept them in mitigation.
NoPenaltyPoints - 27-Nov-17 @ 12:57 PM
i have moved back in august 2016 and forgot to change over my address on v5c my vehicle broke down and was left on my private drive as this is my 1st insurance and 1st ever car i was told that would be fine by my dad as its on private property i then on the 28-01-17 found out it should be sorn which i done on that date on 20-11-17 i received a letter from collectica for £660 due to not appearing in court regarding a vehicle that had no insurance on 17-01-17 but was not being driven. found out that they have sent the letter to my old address even though i haven't lived there since august 2016 even though i had changed my driving license, electoral vote address i pay my council tax at my new address from the moment i moved there and my tax is also at my new address as well. (the debt company found us in 3 days, but my own government couldn't find us). i have to now appear in court do i have any grounds to appeal this decision or at least get a reduced fee due to not even been aware of the prosecution?
Azman - 23-Nov-17 @ 12:29 PM
i have moved back in august 2016 and forgot to change over my address on v5c my vehicle broke down and was left on my private drive as this is my 1st insurance and 1st ever car i was told that would be fine by my dad as its on private property i then on the 28-01-17 found out it should be sorn which i done on that date on 20-11-17 i received a letter from collectica for £660 due to not appearing in court regarding a vehicle that had no insurance on 17-01-17 but was not being driven. found out that they have sent the letter to my old address even though i haven't lived there since august 2016 even though i had changed my driving license, electoral vote address i pay my council tax at my new address from the moment i moved there and my tax is also at my new address as well. (the debt company found us in 3 days, but my own government couldn't find us). i have to now appear in court do i have any grounds to appeal this decision or at least get a reduced fee due to not even been aware of the prosecution?
Azman - 22-Nov-17 @ 6:18 PM
i have moved back in august 2016 and forgot to change over my address on v5c my vehicle broke down and was left on my private drive as this is my 1st insurance and 1st ever car i was told that would be fine by my dad as its on private property i then on the 28-01-17 found out it should be sorn which i done on that date on 20-11-17 i received a letter from collectica for £660 due to not appearing in court regarding a vehicle that had no insurance on 17-01-17 but was not being driven. found out that they have sent the letter to my old address even though i haven't lived there since august 2016 even though i had changed my driving license, electoral vote address i pay my council tax at my new address from the moment i moved there and my tax is also at my new address as well. (the debt company found us in 3 days, but my own government couldn't find us). i have to now appear in court do i have any grounds to appeal this decision or at least get a reduced fee due to not even been aware of the prosecution?
Azman - 22-Nov-17 @ 5:49 PM
Raff - Your Question:
Hi,I received 100 £ penalty for having uninsured vehicle on my drive (behind the fence) I didn't pay it and now received 330£ fine with court costs for same thing ,can they charge me for having uninsured vehicle on my own property behind the fence??

Our Response:
You can only leave your vehicle uninsured, somewhere offroad/private, if it has been declared SORN at the DVLA.
NoPenaltyPoints - 20-Oct-17 @ 3:09 PM
Hi,I received 100 £ penalty for having uninsured vehicle on my drive (behind the fence) I didn't pay it and now received 330£fine with court costs for same thing ,can they charge me for having uninsured vehicle on my own property behind the fence??
Raff - 18-Oct-17 @ 2:23 PM
I bought a car in Feb 2012, was a bit of a rust bucket.Scrapped the car in the April of 2012.Have just had a letter at my parents address from Dvla to sorn the car, haven't lived there since 2012! Do I just sorn although the car had long gone?This is the 1st correspondence I have had from them.Can't find the certificate of destruction or remember the garage who I paid to scrap the car.Any advice would be much appreciated.
Lynz - 20-May-17 @ 3:46 PM
MRG - Your Question:
Hi, I have been offered a motorbike (free of charge) that has been sitting in the back of a garage I'm working on. It has been sitting there for 8 years since the gearbox blew up and the owner didn't sorn the bike at the time and then didn't receive any updates/requests to afterwards once bike was out of tax and not insured.Im not sure what the legality is of me taking ownership of it to repair and use if it hasn't been sorn for the past 8 years? Can I go to DVLA and say this is what has happened and pay something or will they want the last 8 years road tax which will mean it's not worth taking to fix as £810 would mean the bike is going to be worth less than the tax?Thanks

Our Response:
No, they won't want the last 8 year's road tax from you. If the vehicle changes ownership, you should just SORN it or buy road tax.
NoPenaltyPoints - 20-Mar-17 @ 11:38 AM
Sally - Your Question:
Hi dear.Please I need your advise. My friend have a van parked outside hi's flat car park. And not insurence. Now received a letter for pay insurence or to provide sorn. Please what do you think need to do. The Van is not be used. No drive.Thank you

Our Response:
If it's not parked on his own property (and it sounds as though it is not if it is on a communal car park), he will need tax & insurance or to declare SORN
NoPenaltyPoints - 17-Mar-17 @ 2:45 PM
Hi, I have been offered a motorbike (free of charge) that has been sitting in the back of a garage i'm working on. It has been sitting there for 8 years since the gearbox blew up and the owner didn't sorn the bike at the time and then didn't receive any updates/requests to afterwards once bike was out of tax and not insured. Im not sure what the legality is of me taking ownership of it to repair and use if it hasn't been sorn for the past 8 years? Can I go to DVLA and say this is what has happened and pay something or will they want the last 8 years road tax which will mean it's not worth taking to fix as £810 would mean the bike is going to be worth less than the tax? Thanks
MRG - 17-Mar-17 @ 9:49 AM
Hi dear. Please i need your advise. My friend have a van parked outside hi's flat car park. And not insurence. Now received a letter for pay insurence or to provide sorn. Please what do you think need to do. The Van is not be used. No drive. Thank you
Sally - 15-Mar-17 @ 9:47 PM
Hi there is a vehicle parked outside my house in parking bay. It is moted It is taxed But im sure its not insured It hasnt moved for months and always has a cover on it. What should i do. Reg of vehicleis Eu02zff
Martian74 - 18-Feb-17 @ 9:49 PM
Hana - Your Question:
I sold my car to a scrap dealer in June and sent the slip from the logbook to dvla. However it would appear that they either didn't receive it or process it as the car was left in my name. I'm now being summoned to court for having no insurance but I don't have possession of the car and haven't done since before the date they are stating. Unfortunately I am having issues with the guy I sold it to and he won't answer my calls.although I do have text messages from back in June and fb pics and status showing I had scrapped the car.would this be able to stand up in court or am I going to be in a hopeless position. I find it crazy that I'm being fined by the dvla considering I sent them the change of keeper document.I hadn't received their letters as they went to my old address the car was registered to. It's all a bit of a mess tbh

Our Response:
If you can prove that you scrapped it, a judge will probably accept this. You should have been given a receipt from the scrap merchant, but the text messages may suffice. For future reference, always ask for proof of posting when you send anything off for example to the DVLA. Always pay to have your post forwarded when you change address.
NoPenaltyPoints - 24-Jan-17 @ 2:04 PM
I sold my car to a scrap dealer in June and sent the slip from the logbook to dvla. However it would appear that they either didn't receive it or process it as the car was left in my name. I'm now being summoned to court for having no insurance but I don't have possession of the car and haven't done since before the date they are stating. Unfortunately I am having issues with the guy I sold it to and he won't answer my calls....although I do have text messages from back in June and fb pics and status showing I had scrapped the car....would this be able to stand up in court or am I going to be in a hopeless position. I find it crazy that I'm being fined by the dvla considering I sent them the change of keeper document. I hadn't received their letters as they went to my old address the car was registered to. It's all a bit of a mess tbh
Hana - 22-Jan-17 @ 12:40 PM
Hi, I have just received a letter from DVLA that my car was not insured and i have to pay £100 fine. I have been looking on the internet, dont they first send insurance advisory letter? I bought a new car and was going to sell old one, hence did not insure. Its been sold now. Is it a serious offence? and does it go on my driving history. I hope there are no points for this offence as it doesnt say on the letter. I think i have to pay the fine but i am only worried if it will have affect on my driving history as my work involves driving.. Please advise Thank you
Maz - 21-Jan-17 @ 6:01 PM
My van was sorn parked off rd,my neighbour borrowed it for a week and insured it on his trade policy now I just received a £ 260 fine for it being parked on the road whilst sorn as my name is on the log book,I was not the driver or in possession of the vehicle at the time of the offence should I pay or should I give DVLA the details of the person who was in possession as he should be liable to pay ??? What should I do as I don't have £260 and feel DVLA should be asking payment from who was I possession of the vehicle at the time of the offence
King - 13-Jan-17 @ 2:22 PM
Unfair! Any grounds? My 17year old(at the time) Son bought a £300 car from a good friend of ours in Aug '16..Mot'd, Taxed, and hoped to be driving it for practice alongside lessons by Sept/Oct. Obviously I, mum,would be the licensed driver so I could take him out for practice before test. So we searched and after MANY non-feasible insurance quotes,...and WEEKS of trying-(expecting him to pass as said by instructor within 5 months).(quotes+asking for help on social media we can prove) we have not been able to finance the insurance. We received a letter suggesting we 'would be fined as it is an offence'....ALTHOUGH NO DEADLINE WAS SET.... only to then receive a letter giving us a fine to pay of £100 (£50 if paid within a month). ...at which point we SORN'd as ordered...wasn't even aware of this LAW?? I am sure there must be legal ground for attempting to find a competitive insurance price???
Claire - 12-Jan-17 @ 10:06 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments