SORN car status

We got lease cars a couple of years ago and applied for SORN for Mrs AC’s old car.

All happened close to Christmas so decided to SORN due to the generally hectic time of year with impending MOT/service, perhaps we should have scrapped it but it was a good little runner as they say despite some non-essential issues.

I suspect it’s not worth attempting to get it back on the road, but it won’t be taxed, won’t have a valid MOT or insurance.

How do you get around this if you want a garage to take a peek and potentially try to get it roadworthy? Are there exceptions which would allow a drive to a local garage or would it need to be towed there?

If the car starts/drives you can insure it and book it in for MOT and drive it for that, otherwise it will be a garage call out/flatbed trailer.


Excellent, thanks, managed to start it a while back with one of those portable battery starters, though suspect battery itself may have had it due to disuse so might not hold a charge.

There are two slow punctures, an unpaired key which means alarm goes off until you turn the ignition. Damp has got into some areas unfortunately but I have a few of those chemical dehumidifiers inside which has reduced this.

We get ‘we buy any car’ notes through the door from time to time so someone must be eyeing it up.

Will need to decide whether or not to resurrect it as a ‘dirty vehicle’/backup for garden waste for the tip etc, or potentially as a trade-in after a few months with valid MOT if it’ll pass, assuming those deals for older cars are still available.

It will need to be taxed, even for a quick run to and from a garage. Its only the MOT thats exempt if you are going TO the garage to get the MOT done. It has to be a pre booked MOT, not a quick once over to get it roadworthy.

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Can you tax it temporarily without the MOT?

If not it would need to be trailer pickup unless perhaps garage could collect and use one of those things they stick in the windows for untaxed vehicles.

Low loader is your only option. You need MOT to tax a vehicle.

That was not my understanding. From DVLA website -

When you can drive your vehicle

You can only drive a vehicle with a SORN on a public road to go to or from a pre-booked MOT or other testing appointment.

And -
in order to renew your annual road tax on your vehicle you will need a valid MOT certificate, however you can insure your car without this

So forgive me but how can you tax a car without MOT ?

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The OP didnt originally say he was going to a pre booked MOT, he said it was to get the car checked over.

@Neilb1906 understood, hence my reply that you can book it in for MOT and drive it then. Thank you.

That part was entirely correct biddler66. Again , only if it is taxed.

@Neilb1906 I am not trying to be antagonistic but that is not my understanding. From DVLA website (you need MOT to tax a vehicle) -

If your car has no valid MOT and no tax, you can drive it to a test centre . That’s because, without an MOT, you will be unable to renew your road tax. By law, your vehicle needs to have passed its MOT test to be taxed.

Yes, for a pre arranged MOT that is absolutely correct. My phrasing was wrong and misleading, apologies. I meant he would need tax if it was to go to a garage for a check over/attempt to get roadworthy, as per the OPs opening post.
If however you drive a car that has no tax/MOT and is obviously unroadworthy, just hope you dont get stopped or have an accident.

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You have a several options the easiest would be to have the local garage collect it on a recovery vehicle of some kind.

One other possibility is if your local garage has Trade Plates they could use these to collect the vehicle provided they thought it was safe to do so when they see the vehicle at your premises.


Trade plates can only be used on MOTd vehicles, unless exempt.
As this car is going for a “check over” and not a pre booked MOT, I fear its not exempt.

I think the consensus here after all is a total lift to your garage.

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How much would the car fetch if it was sold in running order with MOT? If it’s under £1k I’d just sell it on eBay as a spares or repairs and be done with it. There could well be more defects you’re not aware of.


Perhaps I was vague - it would be for a pre-booked MOT to assess what needs doing and how much. Then we could make an informed decision about whether or not to keep it.

Confirmed with DVLA that if vehicle insured you can drive to a pre-booked MOT provided you go directly there. Cannot tax it temporarily for this purpose (thankfully perhaps).

No immediate rush, something for Springtime or later.


Good luck whatever you decide to do.

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Just sorting a few things out with the lease cars so wondered about the SORN’d vehicle too.


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Also, a trip to the local dealer a mile away goes straight past the local police HQ !

It may well do, but there’s hardly any police there anymore in all probability. I’m not condoning an illegal trip by the way, far from it.
Anyway, digressing…