SORN stands for Statutory Off-Road Notification and means that vehicles are exempt from MOT, car insurance and tax costs. According to experts at Confused.com, the reasons behind the enormous spike could be the Covid pandemic and the ongoing cost of living crisis. Drivers have been warned about doing this in some cases, however, and experts shared other ways to save money.
During 2022 alone, nearly three million vehicles were declared off-road.
And now, the new data shows SORN applications reached their highest in October 2022, rising by 77 percent compared to the previous three months.
In October 2022, some 297,770 SORN applications were made compared to 167,383 in July of the same year.
The data, which was obtained by the experts at Confused.com from the DVLA, revealed that the 77 percent increase is the highest seen for this time period in the past four years, which could be attributed to the 40-year high inflation rates reported in the same month.
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With that enormous spike in mind, the experts surveyed thousands of drivers to find out the reasons behind the data.
The study showed that the main reasons behind so many SORN applications were financial commitments.
One in 10 drivers also admitted that they have considered declaring their vehicle as SORN.
The biggest reason behind that was to save money. This was followed by not being able to make payments and not driving enough.
Louise Thomas, car insurance expert at Confused.com, said: “The number of SORN applications has hit record-breaking figures since the Covid-19 pandemic.
“And with 2.7 million applications registered last year, it’s clear that some drivers are facing financial burdens due to the cost-of-living crisis.
“Although declaring your vehicle off-road might seem like a cheaper alternative, it might not always be the best solution.
“Once a car is registered as SORN, you can’t drive it, and the consequences of doing so could be costly.
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“That’s why drivers should weigh up all options before going through the legal process with the DVLA.
“If motorists are looking for other ways to save money, there are a few things they can do to keep costs down.”
The expert shared other ways to save money. They explained: “Taking time to shop around for things like car insurance, fuel and even vehicle maintenance can ensure that drivers aren’t paying more than they need to.
“It might seem time-consuming, but the financial benefits could really pay off.
“And it means that SORN applications are the last option, especially if drivers rely on their cars for everyday travel.
“For more information, our guide on how to SORN your car can help drivers weigh up their options before making a decision.”
Although there are many motorists currently on UK roads that are managing their financial commitments, it’s clear that there are also many who aren’t.
Data shows that SORN applications have been noticeably high since the pandemic, and it could continue if the economy worsens.
But it’s important for motorists to remember that SORN declarations don’t have to be the only option out there.