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Not Using My Car: Does it Need Insurance?

By: Sally Aquire - Updated: 2 Dec 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Insurance Car Not Used Off The Road

Q.

I have a car which is currently out of Mot and the insurance is due to expire soon, but it is taxed. It is parked in the street and is not currently being used. Is this legal?

I am due to go into Hospital next week for an operation and will be out of action for some time, I would rather not pay for an insurance renewal if I am unable to use the car.

(Mr Daniel Westnutt, 9 September 2008)

A.

The law states that all registered vehicles that are being used on public roads must be both taxed and insured. If you are caught without insurance, you can be fined and given penalty points on your driving licence. You can potentially be Disqualified from Driving for a while too. Although you are not legally obliged to insure vehicles that are currently off the road and being kept in private garages or on private land, you should make sure that your car is insured if it is being kept on a public road. There are also practical reasons for making sure that any vehicles registered by you are fully insured, regardless of where they are being kept. Your car can be involved in an accident without being on the road – the handbrake could fail, an electrical fault could start a fire or the car could be stolen. Without insurance, you are not covered for these types of situations.

If you are not going to be using your car for over a month, you can contact your insurance company and ask them to suspend your insurance cover during this period. They may also refund part of your insurance premium for this period too. This applies if your absence from driving is not related to the insurance cover (for example, you cannot usually do this if you have made a claim because your car has been stolen or damaged). The refund is usually paid when your insurance cover is reinstated again (i.e. when you begin driving again). Insurance companies such as Direct Line and RAC operate in this manner. During the suspension period, your car will still be covered for loss or damage that occurs as a result of theft or a fire, provided that it is locked away in a garage.

What type of insurance do I need?

That depends on where you intend to keep your car while it is not in use. If you are going to be parking your car in your garage to take advantage of suspended insurance cover while your car is off the road, you need to get insurance that covers you against theft and fire, but this will not cover you against third party accidents (which shouldn't really be a problem if your car is locked away). If you are going to be parking your car on a road, you need to be covered for third party accidents as well.

Do I need to do anything else?

You need to inform the DVLA that your car is going to be off the road for a significant time through the Statutory Off-Road Notification (SORN)certificate, which you can request from them. Using your car while the SORN is in place will result in a fine of up to £5000 and a possible prison sentence. The SORN lasts for a year, and must be renewed if you need to keep your car off the road longer than this. This can be done online at the DVLA website if you have a V11 form, a V58/1 form or a V5C form. Alternatively, you can do it by phone instead. If your local Post Office branch issues tax discs, you can take your V11 form there too. If you want to apply by post, you can request the SORN V890 form, and return it to DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1AR.

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Lin For a car parked up off the road there are two legal options: 1. Taxed AND insured. or 2. SORN - and then whether you insure it or not is your choice. If it's taxed but not insured (even if parked up off the road) the fine can be between £100 and £1000.
SC - 2-Dec-18 @ 4:56 PM
I've just sold my car, forc16 days it was not insured as it was parked up. I did however have it taxed. Will I receive a fine, and how much. Ridiculous system.
Lin - 18-Nov-18 @ 8:11 PM
It would appear that the information in Sally Aquire's article above is incorrect and you cannot have a taxed vehicle parked up in your garage without insurance, it has to be SORN'd. My Wife has recently bought a new car and has transferred her insurance and no claims bonus to the new vehicle. The old car was taxed, MOT'd but uninsured and locked in our garage and advertised for sale. Today we received a letter from MIB (the motor insurance database people) stating that, if the old car for that is for sale is taxed, then it has to be insured - regardless that is parked up in the garage and we have no intention of driving it ourselves. Our options were: 1) to insure the car and keep it taxed so that a potential buyer could test drive it if they had insurance cover of their own, or 2) SORN it. Obviously my Wife's no claims bonus was used on her new car so insuring the old car would mean starting from scratch no claims bonus wise, so would be very expensive. When the car sold, cancelling the insurance cover on it would then result in a considerable loss on the original premium paid. We tried to keep it legal by keeping the car taxed, but now we've had to SORN it and a potential buyer will be unable to test drive it on the day of viewing. What a ridiculous system!
SC - 1-Nov-18 @ 2:37 PM
It would appear that the information in Sally Aquire's article above is incorrect and you cannot have a taxed vehicle parked up in your garage without insurance, it has to be SORN'd. My Wife has recently bought a new car and has transferred her insurance and no claims bonus to the new vehicle. The old car was taxed, MOT'd but uninsured and locked in our garage and advertised for sale. Today we received a letter from MIB (the motor insurance database people) stating that, if the old car for that is for sale is taxed, then it has to be insured - regardless that is parked up in the garage and we have no intention of driving it ourselves. Our options were: 1) to insure the car and keep it taxed so that a potential buyer could test drive it if they had insurance cover of their own, or 2) SORN it. Obviously my Wife's no claims bonus was used on her new car so insuring the old car would mean starting from scratch no claims bonus wise, so would be very expensive. When the car sold, cancelling the insurance cover on it would then result in a considerable loss on the original premium paid. We tried to keep it legal by keeping the car taxed, but now we've had to SORN it and a potential buyer will be unable to test drive it on the day of viewing. What a ridiculous system!
SC - 1-Nov-18 @ 2:28 PM
Hi i had a car through finance and struggled getting in and out of it and when i was awarded a mobility car due to disability, i emailed the finance company to collect the car as it was no longer needed, the finance company took 3 months to collect it and in this time the car was parked in our carpark with our car permit ,the insurance expired but it had a brand new m.o.t put on it just before we asked for it to be collected which was a clause in our agreement and we carried on paying the tax on it but didnt renew the insurance as it wasnt being driven. I was sent a form from whoever cant remember stating within the period of waiting for the car to be collected it was uninsured so i sent form back stating the reason why, never heard anything else back until today when i get a court summons. Its totally freaking me out which makes my disability worse as far as i was concered i did everything correct. When the car was eventually picked up to be sold at bournemouth auction the guy took log book and everything so i also assumed it would be filled in by them as the car wasnt legally mine due to handing it back early. I just dont no what to do as im not capable of fighting this myself and i dont see why i should agree liability in court. The finance company should have collected the car straight away and sent the log book of to the dvla. Many thanks Kat
Kat - 1-Sep-18 @ 7:32 PM
Hi i had a car through finance and struggled getting in and out of it and when i was awarded a mobility car due to disability, i emailed the finance company to collect the car as it was no longer needed, the finance company took 3 months to collect it and in this time the car was parked in our carpark with our car permit ,the insurance expired but it had a brand new m.o.t put on it just before we asked for it to be collected which was a clause in our agreement and we carried on paying the tax on it but didnt renew the insurance as it wasnt being driven. I was sent a form from whoever cant remember stating within the period of waiting for the car to be collected it was uninsured so i sent form back stating the reason why, never heard anything else back until today when i get a court summons. Its totally freaking me out which makes my disability worse as far as i was concered i did everything correct. When the car was eventually picked up to be sold at bournemouth auction the guy took log book and everything so i also assumed it would be filled in by them as the car wasnt legally mine due to handing it back early. I just dont no what to do as im not capable of fighting this myself and i dont see why i should agree liability in court. The finance company should have collected the car straight away and sent the log book of to the dvla. Many thanks Kat
Kat - 1-Sep-18 @ 7:31 PM
Hi i had a car through finance and struggled getting in and out of it and when i was awarded a mobility car due to disability, i emailed the finance company to collect the car as it was no longer needed, the finance company took 3 months to collect it and in this time the car was parked in our carpark with our car permit ,the insurance expired but it had a brand new m.o.t put on it just before we asked for it to be collected which was a clause in our agreement and we carried on paying the tax on it but didnt renew the insurance as it wasnt being driven. I was sent a form from whoever cant remember stating within the period of waiting for the car to be collected it was uninsured so i sent form back stating the reason why, never heard anything else back until today when i get a court summons. Its totally freaking me out which makes my disability worse as far as i was concered i did everything correct. When the car was eventually picked up to be sold at bournemouth auction the guy took log book and everything so i also assumed it would be filled in by them as the car wasnt legally mine due to handing it back early. I just dont no what to do as im not capable of fighting this myself and i dont see why i should agree liability in court. The finance company should have collected the car straight away and sent the log book of to the dvla. Many thanks Kat
Kat - 1-Sep-18 @ 7:30 PM
I had a car that was unable to fix financially, it was taxed, mot'd.. but I had to buy another car asap, I swopped my insurance to new car, BUT didn't realize I still needed Insurance on the old one, which has now been scrapped. 3 weeks ago, now Ive received an MIB letter to say my old car hasn't got any insurance held. & I'm still waiting for my certificate of distinction .. will I get a hearty fine still. ??
Mac - 5-Aug-18 @ 11:42 PM
I have a van parked in my private drive, I have a MOT and insurance, but no road tax and I am not using the van. I will tax the van on 1st August 2018 will i get a fine from DVLA
Lokat - 13-Jul-18 @ 7:08 PM
porky - Your Question:
My van as no tax if it is on rams an being repaired for mot can I still get fined for no tax on it

Our Response:
If your vehicle is not taxed your have to declare it SORN while it's being repaired and be sure to keep it off the public road.
NoPenaltyPoints - 22-Jun-18 @ 2:41 PM
my van as no tax if it is on rams an being repaired for mot can i still get fined for no tax on it
porky - 21-Jun-18 @ 8:02 PM
paul232 - Your Question:
Hello, I have been keep my broken vehicle in the garage yard for near a half of the year, insurance expired, but road tax still on. Do this vehicle have to be insured ? Sins car delivered to garage, I am driving another car.Many Thanks

Our Response:
If the vehicle is taxed, it must have insurance. If you don't need to use the vehicle you should declare it SORN.
NoPenaltyPoints - 28-Feb-18 @ 12:27 PM
Hello, I have been keep my broken vehicle in the garage yard for near a half of the year, insurance expired, but road tax still on. Do this vehicle have to be insured ? Sins car delivered to garage, I am driving another car. Many Thanks
paul232 - 27-Feb-18 @ 12:21 AM
Hello, I have been left a vehicle in an inheritance, the owners insurance expires in a month. The car is in a locked garage. I don't drive but am looking to book my test so can drive the car, (may take few months) It's an expensive sports car, how can I insurance It to cover for theft etc (whilst locked up & off the road) once current insurance expires until I pass my test and insure it myself? Thanks for time
Evogirl - 19-Jan-18 @ 9:57 PM
Evogirl - Your Question:
Hello, I have been left a vehicle in an inheritance, the owners insurance expires in a month. The car is in a locked garage. I don't drive but am looking to book my test so can drive the car, (may take few months) It's an expensive sports car, how can I insurance It to cover for theft etc (whilst locked up & off the road) once current insurance expires until I pass my test and insure it myself?Thanks for time

Our Response:
You need to declare it SORN as you don't need to insure your vehicle if it is kept off the road and declared as off the road (SORN).
NoPenaltyPoints - 19-Jan-18 @ 11:21 AM
Hello, I have been left a vehicle in an inheritance, the owners insurance expires in a month. The car is in a locked garage. I don't drive but am looking to book my test so can drive the car, (may take few months) It's an expensive sports car, how can I insurance It to cover for theft etc (whilst locked up & off the road) once current insurance expires until I pass my test and insure it myself?Thanks for time
Evogirl - 16-Jan-18 @ 2:30 PM
Beck - Your Question:
I hav split up with my partner. The car is in my name but he drives it. I am keeping the car. I do not drive and won't be I hav epilepsy so have no lisence. It will be parked on the road. What insurance do I need.

Our Response:
You will need specialist insurance for this. The easiest thing to do is to call different insurers to find out what you need to do. If it's parked on a public road, you have to be able to move it (for example in an emergency) so your insurer may insist you insure it for any driver etc.
NoPenaltyPoints - 28-Nov-17 @ 1:55 PM
I hav split up with my partner. The car is in my name but he drives it. I am keeping the car. I do not drive and won't be I hav epilepsy so have no lisence. It will be parked on the road. What insurance do I need.
Beck - 27-Nov-17 @ 10:57 AM
Murf - Your Question:
On July 18th my insurance ran out on my Picasso which has not been driven and I plan to sell.It is parked on my private drive and is fully Taxed July 28th I received a letter with a fine of £100 for having no insurance. Sent a letter explaining as it is taxed and not being used I didnt receive a sorn reminder. should I insist it be heard in court.

Our Response:
You need to make a SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification) when you are not driving your vehicle and/or because yourvehicle isn’t insured (even for a short time, for example because there’s a delay renewing your policy). It's unlikely that you'd be successful in appealing this.
NoPenaltyPoints - 7-Aug-17 @ 2:17 PM
On July 18th my insurance ran out on my Picasso which has not been driven and I plan to sell .It is parked on my private drive and is fully Taxed July 28th I received a letter with a fine of £100 for having no insurance. Sent a letter explaining as it is taxed and not being used I didnt receive a sorn reminder. should I insist it be heard in court.
Murf - 4-Aug-17 @ 12:34 PM
I have an unpleasant near trade neighbour. His van has been broken down for 2 months but is still parked curbside and is a nuisance. He has had mechanics looking at, but I guess can not afford to fix it. For the last 6 weeks he has hired another van. Is there any limit re has long it can just sit there and be a parking nuisance, or must it be towed away?
Del - 21-Jul-17 @ 5:35 PM
Hi can i keep my car in private driway without insurence? Many thanks for answers.
Domi - 6-Jan-17 @ 9:16 PM
I have parked my car in the garage with no insurance but taxed. Would I be fined for keeping my car without insurance but in my house garage with tax? Thanks
Rana - 30-Dec-16 @ 5:04 AM
I have lost my licence for drink driving. 6 months into my ban my car nowners has no insurance or tax but does have a valid mot. I need to have the car taken to be stored at my brothers house until I get my licence back in November. How can I do this legally.
Adam - 16-Dec-16 @ 6:18 PM
Sian - Your Question:
I want to buy a car but I'm not sure if it is legal to park it in the car park at The back of my house; I have to designated parking spaces with my house and I'm not sure if I need insurance and MOT etc to park it there?

Our Response:
If the property does not belong to you (from what you've suggested the car park spaces do not form part of your property), then you will need insurance and tax. If you take it on a public road, you will also need an MOT.
NoPenaltyPoints - 13-Dec-16 @ 12:01 PM
my son has been issued a court order as his bike was taxed but not insured.it was in my garage and not used as he passed his driving test and got a car taxed and insured that. I taxed the bike as I thought that was the right thing to do but now I find that it is an offence and he is in trouble. The court have said that he would have been sent letters but we never received anything until last month advising we would be going to court.we filled this in explaining that the bike had been sold, but the next letter is a court summons.Please advise what we can do and would this be points on my sons new licence?
concerned parent - 9-Dec-16 @ 12:13 PM
My car has been impounded by bailiffs. I have declared it SORN, as I do not intend to pay the ridiculous amount over parking tickets which are worth the car itself. Now the problem lies with the Insurance. Since I have insured my car for a year and have only 3 months usage of insurance gone on it, and have the remaining 6 months of insurance to go.As I do not intend to buy another vehicle can the insurance company refund me or will they want to keep it insured despite the circumstance.Also can a claim be made on insurance for impounded/scrapped cars?
Deeza - 8-Dec-16 @ 11:19 AM
Hi, I have a pretty complex problem: I am looking to buy a car in the UK but as an international on a foreign license the insurance is too expensive. Since I only intend to drive twice a month, I am looking to use temporary insurance (on a 3-day basis each time) whenever I want to drive. My question therefore is: Can I own and keep the car having paid my tax without a continuing insurance policy? Or must I declare it SORN every time I decide I won't be driving it for two weeks until I do so again on a 3 day insurance policy? If that happens, whenever I use my V5c to pay for tax again, will I get a refund and will proof of my temporary insurance cover for those 3 days be sufficient to un-SORN the car? Thanks
WSLee - 8-Dec-16 @ 1:01 AM
I've declared a SORN, and am intending to scrap the vehicle, however, I may need to temporarily move it back onto the public road for ease of collection. Would I have to retax the vehicle?
Eric - 24-Nov-16 @ 5:02 PM
I have a car that is my project car and i need to repair it before use on the road again, it is currently sorn and on my Fathers driveway, i am planning on moving house soon and the new house has a parking bay infront of it which is off the road, would i be able to park it there being sorn or would it need to be taxed and insured?
Danny - 13-Nov-16 @ 6:09 PM
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